Here are the pregame news and notes from the Rangers, via my anonymous source:
NEW YORK RANGERS at BOSTON BRUINS
Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
TD Garden – Boston, MA
Rangers: 8-3-0 (16 pts)
Bruins: 6-4-0 (12 pts)
The Rangers play their 12th game of the 2016-17 season and begin a back-to-back set tonight, Nov. 5, against the Boston Bruins in an Original Six matchup at TD Garden (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). New York enters the contest with a three-game winning streak. The Rangers have won seven of their last nine games (7-2-0), including six of their last seven games (6-1-0), and have posted an 8-3-0 record this season.
RANGERS VS. BRUINS
- All-Time: 253-289-97-2 (147-121-55-0 at home; 106-168-42-2 on the road)
- 2016-17: Tonight’s game is the second of three meetings between the Rangers and Bruins, and the first of two meetings between the two teams in Boston. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road) and defeated the Bruins, 5-2, on Oct. 26 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers rallied from a 2-0 deficit after the first period to register five unanswered goals over the final two periods. Brandon Pirri registered two goals in the contest and five different Blueshirts tallied two points. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers and Bruins will play against each other on the following date: Mar. 2 (at Boston).
- The Rangers have played more regular season games (641) and have earned more regular season wins (253) against the Bruins than against any other NHL opponent in their 90-season history.
- Since Mar. 24, 2007, 24 of the 34 meetings between the Rangers and Bruins have been decided by one goal, and eight of those contests have been decided in either overtime or a shootout. In addition, 29 of those games have been decided by two or fewer goals.
- 90TH SEASON FUN FACT: Jean Ratelle and Phil Esposito are the only players who registered at least 400 career points with both the Rangers and Bruins.
- Dominic Moore played parts of five seasons with the Rangers (2003-04 – 2005-06; 2013-14 – 2015-16).
- Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Hayes are brothers. The two have played against each other in seven NHL games, and the Rangers have won six of the seven contests.
- The Rangers have three Massachusetts natives on their roster: Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, MA), Chris Kreider (Boxford, MA), and Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, MA). All three played college hockey in Massachusetts (Hayes and Kreider played at Boston College, and Vesey played at Harvard).
- Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, and Jimmy Hayes were all teammates at Boston College for one season (2010-11). Kreider and Jimmy Hayes were teammates for two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) and helped the Eagles win the National Championship in 2009-10.
- Jeff Gorton spent 15 seasons in the Bruins organization and served as Boston’s Interim General Manager in 2006.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BRUINS
- Derek Stepan – 20 GP, 6-10-16 – Stepan has registered nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last seven games against the Bruins.
- Rick Nash – 22 GP, 8-7-15 – Nash has tallied a goal/point in five of the last six contests against Boston (five goals, two assists).
- Mika Zibanejad – 19 GP, 6-4-10 – Zibanejad enters the contest with a six-game point streak against Boston (four goals, two assists), and he has tallied a goal in four of his last five games against Boston.
- J.T. Miller – 8 GP, 3-4-7 – Miller has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in his last five games against Boston.
- Jesper Fast – 7 GP, 1-3-4 – Fast enters the contest with a four-game point streak against the Bruins (one goal, three assists).
The Rangers have tallied 45 goals in their first 11 games this season (4.09 goals per game). New York has recorded at least 45 goals in the first 11 games of a season for the first time since 1990-91. The Rangers lead the NHL in goals and goals per game in 2016-17.
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in goal differential this season (plus-20 – 45 goals for, 25 goals against). The Rangers’ plus-20 goal differential through 11 games this season is the best over the first 11 games of any season in franchise history. The Rangers have posted a plus-12 goal differential over the last two games (16-4).
The Rangers have recorded at least eight wins in the first 11 games of a season for the fifth time in their 90-season history (1983-84, 1988-89, 1990-91, 2008-09, and 2016-17). New York’s eight wins through the first 11 games in 2016-17 are tied for the second-most wins in the first 11 games of one season in franchise history. The Rangers rank second in the NHL in wins this season.
The Rangers are the only NHL team that has seven players who have tallied four or more goals this season. In addition, the Blueshirts are the only NHL team that has seven players who have tallied nine or more points in 2016-17.
WHAT A LINE
The Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller line combined for seven points (three goals, four assists) on Nov. 3 vs. Edmonton, as each of the three players tallied a goal and registered at least two points. Over the last three games, the trio has notched 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists).
The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in shots against per game (26.6) and are tied for fifth in the NHL in shots on goal per game (31.5) this season.
The Rangers are tied for second in the NHL – and lead the Eastern Conference – in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (73).
The Rangers have posted a plus-14 goal differential in the second period this season (20-6). The Blueshirts are the only NHL team that has posted a plus-14 goal differential or better in a period this season.
Over the last seven games, the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 25-6, in the second period and third period (16-4 in the second period, 9-2 in the third period). New York has recorded 36 of its 45 goals this season in either the second period or third period (20 goals in the second period and 16 goals in the third period).
SHUTTING THE DOOR
New York ranks fifth in the NHL in goals against per game this season (2.27). The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in six of the last eight games and have allowed four goals over the last three contests.
The Rangers have outscored their opponents, 12-2, at 5-on-5 over the last three games. New York leads the NHL in shooting percentage (9.3) and is tied for the NHL lead in save percentage (.933) at 5-on-5 since the start of last season.
HOT AT THE DOT
New York ranks eighth in the NHL in faceoff win percentage this season (51.1%) and has won at least 50.0% of faceoffs in seven of 11 games in 2016-17.
TAKE IT AWAY
The Rangers lead the NHL in takeaways this season (117), as four Rangers rank among the top 11 players in the NHL in takeaways in 2016-17.
Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Rangers lead the NHL in wins during November (85; 85-46-9 record in 140 games during the month).
Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in regular season wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (465). By earning a win on Oct. 30 vs. Tampa Bay, Vigneault became the sixth head coach in franchise history to earn 150 wins with the Rangers (joining Emile Francis, Lester Patrick, Frank Boucher, John Tortorella, and Tom Renney).
Ryan McDonagh posted a career-high eight-game assist/point streak from Oct. 17 vs. San Jose to Nov. 1 vs. St. Louis (nine assists over the span). McDonagh’s eight-game assist streak was tied for the eighth-longest assist streak in franchise history, and he was the first Rangers defenseman who registered an eight-game assist streak since Brian Leetch did so from Jan. 3, 1996 – Jan. 31, 1996. He is tied for fourth in the NHL – and is tied for first among NHL defensemen – in assists this season (nine). In addition, McDonagh leads the NHL in even strength assists in 2016-17 (seven).
Rick Nash enters the contest with 399 career NHL goals. Nash has registered a goal/point in each of the last three games, in four of the last five games, and in six of 11 contests this season. He is tied for third in the NHL – and is tied for the team lead – in goals this season (six).
RAISE THE ANTTI
Among NHL goaltenders who have appeared in at least 25 games since the start of the 2014-15 season, Antti Raanta ranks second in the NHL in GAA (2.12) and is tied for second in SV% (.926).
VESEY DOES IT
Jimmy Vesey became the first Rangers rookie who has tallied six goals in the team’s first 10 games of a season since Darren Turcotte in 1989-90. Vesey is tied for third in the NHL – and is tied for first among NHL rookies – in goals this season (six). Vesey is one of three rookies who have tallied six goals this season (along with Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine).
IT’S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has recorded a point in each of the Rangers’ eight wins in 2016-17, and the Blueshirts have posted an 8-0-0 record in games which he has tallied a point this season. He has registered 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the last seven games, and he leads the Rangers in points this season (12; four goals, eight assists). Miller is tied for the NHL lead in even strength assists (seven) and he is tied for third in the NHL in even strength points (10) in 2016-17. Among NHL players 23 years old or younger, Miller ranks third in points this season, trailing only Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov.
HEY HEY HAYES
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, among NHL players who took at least 100 faceoffs in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, Kevin Hayes has posted the best improvement in faceoff win percentage (14.0%; 36.0 FOW% in 2015-16 and 50.0 FOW% in 2016-17). Hayes has recorded seven points (two goals, five assists) and a plus-seven rating in the last three games and is tied for third in the NHL in even strength points this season (10).
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner is tied for the NHL lead in even strength goals (six), is tied for third in the NHL in goals (six), and ranks fourth in the NHL in takeaways (12) this season. He has registered five points (four goals, one assist) and a plus-seven rating over the last three games, as well as six points (four goals, two assists) and a plus-nine rating over the last six contests.
Nick Holden is tied for second in the NHL in plus/minus rating this season (plus-10). He has posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in every game thus far this season, and he is one of seven NHL players who have posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 11 games in 2016-17.
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei enters the contest with a three-game assist/point streak (four assists) and he has registered five assists/points in the last six contests. Skjei is tied for first among NHL rookie defensemen in assists (six) and ranks second among NHL rookie defensemen in points (six) this season.
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 60th career NHL shutout on Nov. 1 vs. St. Louis. Lundqvist 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). He has posted a 5-2-0 record, along with a 2.01 GAA, a .924 SV%, and 1 SO in his last seven appearances, and he has allowed two goals or fewer in five of the seven games.
Since the start of the 2014-15 season, the Rangers have posted a 37-2-3 record in games which they have outscored their opponent on special teams. The Rangers have outscored their opponent on special teams in six of 11 games this season.
- The Rangers were 0-for-3 (5:59) on Nov. 3 vs. Edmonton.
- The Blueshirts rank 13th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (21.9%; 9-for-41).
- New York has recorded a power play goal in five of the last seven games (7-for-27; 25.9%) and in seven of 11 games in 2016-17.
- The Rangers were 3-for-4 (6:34) on Nov. 3 vs. Edmonton.
- The Blueshirts have posted a 22-2-2 record in the last 26 games in which they did not allow a power play goal, dating back to Dec. 22, 2015.
- Rick Nash – 1 goal away from 400 in his NHL career
INJURIES (24 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
- Josh Jooris (separated shoulder) – 3-4 weeks
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
- Nov. 4, 2003 – Mark Messier tallied two goals to pass Gordie Howe for sole possession of second place on the NHL’s all-time points list, as the Rangers defeated the Dallas Stars, 3-0, at MSG.
- Nov. 5, 1939 – Frank Boucher makes his head coaching debut with the Rangers. Boucher was the second head coach in franchise history.
- Nov. 5, 2002 – Mike Richter appeared in his final NHL game and earned his final NHL win, making 39 saves as the Rangers defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 5-2, at MSG.