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Rangers vs. Stars 1.17.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Rangers: 28-15-1 (57 pts)
Stars: 18-19-8 (44 pts)


  • All-Time*: 74-39-22-2 (39-18-11-1 at home; 35-21-11-1 on the road) *Note: all-time record includes games against the Minnesota North Stars from 1967-68 - 1992-93
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the second of two meetings between the Rangers and Stars, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record against Dallas (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), as the Blueshirts defeated the Stars, 2-0, on Dec. 15 in Dallas. Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta combined to post the first "shared" shutout by Rangers goaltenders in franchise history. Rick Nash tallied a shorthanded goal, which was the game-winning goal, in the third period.
  • New York has won each of its last three games against Dallas, dating back to Jan. 5, 2016.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in eight of their last 10 games against the Stars, dating back to Jan. 6, 2010 (7-2-1).


  • Lauri Korpikoski began his NHL career with the Rangers and played one season in New York (2008-09).
  • Stars Head Coach Lindy Ruff played parts of three seasons with the Rangers (1988-89 - 1990-91).
  • Stars Assistant Coach James Patrick played parts of 11 seasons with the Rangers (1983-84 - 1993-94).
  • 90TH SEASON NOTE: While skating in his fourth career NHL game, 19-year-old Don Murdoch became the first Ranger in franchise history to tally five goals in one game as the Blueshirts defeated the Minnesota North Stars, 10-4, in Minnesota.


  • Henrik Lundqvist - 12 GP, 8-4-0, 1.93 GAA, .936 SV% - In his last nine appearances against the Stars (dating back to Jan. 6, 2010), Lundqvist has posted a 7-2-0 record, along with a 1.79 GAA and a .941 SV%.
  • Rick Nash - 39 GP, 21-12-33 - Nash has tallied 26 points (16 goals, 10 assists) in his last 26 games against Dallas. In addition, he has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in his last two games against the Stars. 

The Rangers' 28 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the fifth-most wins the team has earned through the first 44 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 28 wins in their first 44 games of a season six times in franchise history (1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17).
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 29-6-1 record in the game following a loss (regulation or overtime/shootout). New York has posted a 12-2-1 record in games following a loss in 2016-17. The Rangers have not had a losing streak or a winless streak longer than two games at any point thus far during the 2016-17 season.
Five American-born players have tallied 10 or more goals with the Rangers in 2016-17 (Kreider, Miller, Hayes, Vesey, and Stepan). This season is the first season in which five American-born players have recorded at least 10 goals with the Rangers in franchise history.
The Rangers are the only NHL team that has seven players who have tallied 10 or more goals this season (Grabner, Kreider, Miller, Nash, Hayes, Vesey, and Stepan). 
The Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello line has tallied 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) over the last nine games, and each of the three players has recorded 10 points in those nine contests. In addition, the three players have registered 54 points - including 20 goals - in the Rangers' 20 games since Dec. 1, and each player has registered at least 17 points in the 20 contests.
New York leads the NHL in goals (152 - includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins) and also leads the NHL in goals per game (3.41) this season. Prior to 2016-17, the last season in which the Blueshirts registered at least 152 goals through the first 44 games was 1996-97 (153). The Rangers have recorded 37 goals over the last nine games, registering at least four goals in seven of the nine contests. The Blueshirts have also tallied five or more goals in four of the last seven games.
In four of the last six weeks, a Ranger has been selected as one of the NHL's Three Stars of the Week (Raanta - week ending on Dec. 11; Lundqvist - week ending on Dec. 18; Kreider - week ending on Jan. 1; Grabner - week ending on Jan. 8).
Since the start of last season, the Rangers have posted a 40-18-5 record in 63 games at Madison Square Garden, and the Blueshirts have averaged 3.24 goals per game in those contests.
New York has posted a 14-4-0 record in 18 games against Western Conference opponents this season, including a 7-3-0 record against teams in the Central Division.
Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (485). Entering the contest, Vigneault has earned 594 career wins and has been behind the bench for 1,096 career games as a head coach in the NHL.
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 390th career NHL win on Dec. 31 at Colorado, passing Dominik Hasek to become the all-time leader in wins by a European-born goaltender in NHL history. He is one of 10 goaltenders in NHL history who have earned at least 350 career wins and 60 career shutouts (along with Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Dominik Hasek, Ed Belfour, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall, and Roberto Luongo).
J.T. Miller enters the contest with a career-high seven-game point streak (five goals, five assists). He leads the NHL in shorthanded goals (three) and is tied for third in the NHL in shorthanded points (three) this season. In addition, Miller leads the Rangers in games with a point in 2016-17 (24).
Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (19), is tied for fourth in plus/minus rating (plus-22), and is tied for ninth in goals (19) this season. He also ranks second in the NHL (min. 10 games played) in goals per 60 minutes of ice time this season (1.94).
Ryan McDonagh was selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. McDonagh, who also played in the NHL All-Star Game last season, is the first Ranger who has been selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game in at least two consecutive years since Henrik Lundqvist (2009 - 2012). He ranks third among NHL defensemen in even strength assists (16), is tied for third in primary assists (15), ranks fifth in assists (25), and is tied for eighth in points (27) in 2016-17. In addition, McDonagh ranks third among NHL defensemen in games with an assist this season (21).
Kevin Hayes is tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded assists (three) and shorthanded points (four) this season. He is tied for first on the Rangers in points in 2016-17 (33; 13 goals, 20 assists). Hayes is one of two NHL players who have recorded at least 33 points and a plus-17 rating this season.
Derek Stepan is tied for the team lead in points this season (33; 10 goals, 23 assists). He has recorded 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in the last 26 games, including 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in the last 20 contests and 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 11 games.
Chris Kreider is tied for second in the NHL in goals since Dec. 1 (13). He has recorded 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in the last nine games. 
Mats Zuccarello has registered 12 assists/points over the last 11 games (since Dec. 18), and he is tied for the NHL lead in assists over the span. He is tied for fourth in the NHL in even strength assists this season (20).
Pavel Buchnevich has tallied a point in each of his last six NHL games (four goals, four assists) and he has recorded a point in eight of his 12 career NHL games (four goals, six assists). Among NHL players who have skated in at least 10 games this season, Buchnevich ranks eighth - and leads rookies - in points per 60 minutes of ice time (3.35).
Nick Holden is one of five NHL defensemen who have registered at least 20 even strength points this season (along with Brent Burns, Duncan Keith, Erik Karlsson, and Victor Hedman). Holden is also one of three NHL defensemen who have recorded at least 20 points and have posted a plus-20 rating or better this season (along with Ryan Suter and Justin Schultz).
Mika Zibanejad is expected to return to the Rangers' lineup tomorrow after missing 25 games due to injury. Zibanejad has registered 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 19 games this season, and he has recorded a point in 12 of the 19 games he has played. At the time he suffered his injury, Zibanejad led the Rangers in faceoffs won (183), power play assists (five), and power play points (five), ranked second in shots on goal (47), ranked third in points (15), and was tied for third in assists (10) in 2016-17.
The Rangers are one of three NHL teams that have a 22.0% power play efficiency and an 82.0% penalty kill efficiency or better this season.
Power Play:
The Rangers were 1-for-3 (7:04) on Jan. 14 at Montreal.
New York has tallied a PPG in five of the last eight games (9-for-29; 31.0%).
The Blueshirts rank sixth in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (22.4%; 30-for-134).
Penalty Kill:
The Rangers were 2-for-2 (4:00) and tallied a SHG on Jan. 14 at Montreal.
New York ranks second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (six).

  • Oscar Lindberg - 2 games away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Ryan McDonagh - 3 points away from 200 in his NHL career
  • Mika Zibanejad - 3 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Alain Vigneault - 6 wins away from 600 as an NHL head coach; 4 games away from 1,100 as an NHL head coach

INJURIES (112 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Matt Puempel (concussion symptoms) - has missed five games
  • Marc Staal (upper-body injury) - has missed four games
  • Antti Raanta (lower-body injury) 


  • Jan. 16 - Recalled Magnus Hellberg from Hartford (AHL); Assigned Marek Hrivik to Hartford (AHL)
  • Jan. 12 - Recalled Pavel Buchnevich from Hartford (AHL) 


  • Jan. 16, 1927 - Murray Murdoch tallied the Rangers' first hat trick at MSG, as he registered two goals in a 10-second span and recorded the game-winning goal with 1:10 remaining in regulation as the Rangers defeated the Chicago Black Hawks, 5-4.
  • Jan. 16, 1936 - Bert Connolly tallied the first penalty shot goal in Rangers history as the Blueshirts defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 1-0, at MSG.
  • Jan. 16, 2016 - Henrik Lundqvist became the first goaltender in NHL history to earn at least 20 wins in each of his first 11 seasons. Lundqvist made 34 saves as the Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, in a shootout.
  • Jan. 17, 1965 - Camille Henry registered a hat trick as the Rangers defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-2, in Detroit.
  • Jan. 17, 1969 - Emile Francis began his second stint as the Rangers' Head Coach. During his second stint as the Rangers' Head Coach, Francis guided the team to a 201-88-54 record in 343 games and helped the Rangers advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1971-72.
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