Below are the pregame news and notes provided by the Rangers, via my anonymous source. But before I get to those, I wanted to put a couple of things out there for everyone. First, I want to remind everyone that while I am running this blog, it is a half-assed venture (HAV), meaning that I cannot generate a full blog’s worth of content on my own, nor would I want to. My intent in running this was to keep Carp’s seat warm until he finds something new. Second, and to that point, while I ask for game review volunteers pretty frequently, especially on weekends, I am very much open to anyone submitting content for publication on this blog. It belongs to all boneheads. As editor-in-chief, I’ll have final veto power over anything crazy, but otherwise it’s free to all for submission at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, would there be any interest in me doing a podcast?
And now, the pregame news and notes:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-7-1 (31 pts)
Hurricanes: 9-8-4 (22 pts)
The Rangers play their 24th game of the 2016-17 season tonight, Nov. 29, against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). All of the Blueshirts’ next four games (including tonight’s game) are against Eastern Conference opponents, and three of the four games are against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Rangers have won 14 of their last 21 games (14-6-1), including 13 of their last 19 games (13-5-1) and 10 of their last 15 games (10-4-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 15-7-1 record this season.
RANGERS VS. HURRICANES
All-Time*: 73-51-7-2 (44-17-4-2 at home; 29-34-3-0 on the road) *Note: All-Time record includes games against the Hartford Whalers from 1979-80 – 1996-97
2016-17: Tonight’s game is the second of four meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 0-1-0 record (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-2 loss on Oct. 28 at Carolina. Mats Zuccarello recorded two goals in the contest. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers and Hurricanes will play against each other on the following dates: Dec. 3 (at MSG), Mar. 9 (at Carolina).
The Rangers have won each of their last 11 home games against Carolina, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011. New York’s 11-game home winning streak against the Hurricanes is tied for the longest home winning streak against one opponent in franchise history.
The Rangers have won 19 of their last 22 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Feb. 22, 2011 (19-3-0). New York has also won nine of its last 11 games against Carolina, dating back to Apr. 8, 2014 (9-2-0).
Marc Staal and Jordan Staal are brothers. Marc and Jordan, along with their brother, Eric, are the only trio of brothers in the history of the NHL, NFL, MLB, or NBA who were all selected 12th overall or higher in the Draft.
Viktor Stalberg played one season with the Rangers (2015-16).
Lee Stempniak played with the Rangers for part of one season (2014-15).
The Rangers selected Jesper Fast in the sixth round (157th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The Blueshirts acquired the 157th overall pick in a trade with the Hurricanes.
Brett Pesce is a native of Tarrytown, NY.
90TH SEASON NOTE – Mark Pavelich tied a single-game franchise record by registering five goals on Feb. 23, 1983 vs. Hartford at MSG. The Rangers defeated the Whalers, 11-3.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. HURRICANES
Henrik Lundqvist – 35 GP, 23-11-1, 2.11 GAA, .926 SV%, 2 SO – In his last nine appearances at home against the Hurricanes (dating back to Jan. 5, 2011), Lundqvist has posted a 9-0-0 record, along with a 1.09 GAA, a .965 SV%, and 1 SO.
Mats Zuccarello – 20 GP, 5-15-20 – Zuccarello has registered a point in 13 of his last 14 games against Carolina, dating back to Nov. 2, 2013 (four goals, 12 assists over the span).
Derek Stepan – 23 GP, 8-12-20 – Stepan has tallied 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in his last 15 games against the Hurricanes.
Ryan McDonagh – 22 GP, 5-9-14 – McDonagh has recorded a point in seven of his last nine games against the Hurricanes (three goals, four assists).
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 23-4-1 record in the game following a loss (regulation or overtime/shootout). New York has posted a 6-0-1 record in games following a loss in 2016-17. The Rangers have not gone two consecutive games without earning at least one point this season.
This season, the Rangers have earned at least 15 wins in their first 23 games of a season for the 10th time in franchise history. The Blueshirts’ 15 wins are tied for the fifth-most they have earned through 23 games of one season in franchise history. New York ranks second in the NHL in wins this season (15). The Rangers are the only NHL team that has earned at least seven wins at home and seven wins on the road in 2016-17.
The Rangers have registered 85 goals through the first 23 games of the 2016-17 season. New York has recorded at least 85 goals in the first 23 contests of a season for the first time since 1993-94. The Rangers lead the NHL in goals per game this season (3.70).
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
The Rangers lead the NHL in goal differential this season (plus-28; 85 goals for, 57 goals against).
New York has posted an 8-4-1 record at home this season and has outscored its opponents, 48-34, in the 13 contests. The Rangers lead the NHL in goals for at home in 2016-17 (48). The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 70 of their last 93 home games, dating back to Oct. 16, 2014 (60-23-10 record).
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation/overtime in 15 of their last 20 games, dating back to Oct. 19 vs. Detroit. New York ranks 11th in the NHL in goals against per game this season (2.43).
FINISHING THE JOB
The Blueshirts have posted a 13-0-0 record in games which they have held a lead entering the third period this season. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, the Rangers have posted a 180-3-8 record in 191 regular season games in which they have held a lead entering the third period.
Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei have tallied 11 or more assists through the first 23 games of the season. Two Rangers defensemen have recorded 11 or more assists within the first 23 games of a season for the first time since 1994-95 (Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov). In addition, three Rangers defensemen (McDonagh, Skjei, and Nick Holden) have recorded nine or more assists within the first 23 games of a season for the first time since 1991-92 (Leetch, James Patrick, and Per Djoos).
Alain Vigneault leads NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (472). Entering tonight’s game, Vigneault has coached 269 games with the Rangers and is tied with Colin Campbell for ninth place on the franchise’s all-time games coached list.
Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves in his last appearance on Nov. 25 at Philadelphia. In his last 13 starts, Lundqvist has posted a 9-3-1 record, along with a 2.22 GAA, a .926 SV%, and 1 SO. He is one of 10 goaltenders in NHL history who have earned at least 350 career wins and 60 career shutouts. In addition, he is one of five goaltenders in NHL history who have appeared in at least 700 games with one franchise (Brodeur – NJD; Esposito – CHI; Sawchuk – DET; Kolzig – WSH). Lundqvist enters the contest with 384 career NHL wins, and he is one win away from tying Mike Vernon for 13th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list.
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (12) and plus/minus rating (plus-20), and he is tied for third in the NHL in goals (12) in 2016-17. Grabner has registered 13 points (10 goals, three assists) and a plus-18 rating in the last 15 games. He leads Rangers forwards in shorthanded ice time this season (42:13), and the Rangers have only allowed two power play goals against when he has been on the ice during a penalty kill this season.
Ryan McDonagh ranks second among NHL defensemen in primary assists (nine), is tied for second in even strength assists (10), and is tied for third in assists (13) this season. He has led the Rangers in ice time in 22 of the team’s first 23 games this season.
IT’S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has recorded a point in 14 of the Rangers’ 15 wins in 2016-17, and the Blueshirts have posted a 14-0-0 record in games which he has tallied a point this season. He has registered 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in the last 19 games, and he is tied for the team lead in points (19), even strength assists (10), and even strength points (16) in 2016-17.
HEY HEY HAYES
Kevin Hayes tallied his 100th career NHL point on Nov. 25 at Philadelphia. He is the only NHL player who has registered at least 19 points and a plus-15 rating this season. Of Hayes’ first 100 career NHL points, 85 were primary points.
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei is tied for first among NHL rookies in assists this season (11). In addition, Skjei is tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in assists in 2016-17.
In the four games since Mika Zibanejad suffered a broken fibula, Derek Stepan has tallied two goals and has won 62.7% of faceoffs taken (47-for-75).
The Blueshirts are one of four NHL teams that have a 20.0% power play efficiency or better and a 85.0% penalty kill efficiency or better this season (along with Carolina, Nashville, and St. Louis).
The Rangers were 0-for-4 (7:50) on Nov. 27 vs. Ottawa.
The Blueshirts are tied for ninth in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (20.3%; 14-for-69 – tied with Carolina).
New York has recorded a power play goal in 11 of 23 games in 2016-17.
The Rangers were 1-for-2 (3:26) on Nov. 27 vs. Ottawa.
The Blueshirts rank ninth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (85.0%; 51-for-60).
The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal against in nine of the last 12 games. The Blueshirts have killed off 28 of their opponents’ last 31 power play opportunities (over a 13-game stretch), dating back to Nov. 3 (90.3%).
New York is tied for second in the NHL – and leads the Eastern Conference – in shorthanded goals this season (three).
J.T. Miller – 5 points away from 100 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
INJURIES (45 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
Pavel Buchnevich (back) – has missed eight games
Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula) – has missed four games
Nov. 21 – Claimed Matt Puempel off waivers
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
· Nov. 28, 2014 – Martin St. Louis recorded his 1,000th career NHL point by tallying a goal as the Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-0.
· Nov. 29, 1991 – Brian Leetch began a franchise record 15-game assist streak by tallying two points (one goal, one assist) in a 5-4 win against the Buffalo Sabres.
· Nov. 29, 1998 – In the Rangers’ first game against the Nashville Predators, Wayne Gretzky tallied three points (one goal, two assists) as the Rangers earned a 5-1 win at MSG.