RANGERS TO MIX IT UP WITH CHEESESTEAKS IN MSG

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, 8:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 31-16-1 (63 pts)
Flyers: 23-19-6 (52 pts)

 BY: The New York Rangers

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their 49th game of the 2016-17 season tomorrow, Jan. 25, against the Philadelphia Flyers in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m. ET – TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). The Rangers enter the contest on a three-game winning streak and have outscored their opponents, 9-4, over the three games. The Rangers have posted a 31-16-1 record this season.

RANGERS VS. FLYERS

  • All-Time: 129-113-37-8 (67-48-23-4 at home; 62-65-14-4 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow’s game is the third of four meetings between the Rangers and Flyers, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 2-0-0 record (0-0-0 at home; 2-0-0 on the road), and the Blueshirts defeated the Flyers, 5-2, in the last meeting between the two teams on Jan. 4 in Philadelphia. The Rangers have outscored the Flyers, 8-4, thus far in the season series. Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner, and J.T. Miller have each recorded three points in two games, while Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 2.00 GAA and a .946 SV% in two appearances. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers and Flyers will play against each other on the following date: Apr. 2 (at MSG).
  • The Rangers have earned a win in five consecutive games against Philadelphia (dating back to Jan. 16, 2016). The Blueshirts have also earned at least one point in 10 of their last 12 games against the Flyers, dating back to Mar. 26, 2014 (9-2-1).
  • The Rangers have won 11 of their last 12 home games against the Flyers, dating back to Mar. 6, 2011 (11-1-0).

RANGERS-FLYERS CONNECTIONS

  • Michael Del Zotto played parts of five seasons with the Rangers (2009-10 – 2013-14).
  • Dale Weise played 10 games with the Rangers during the 2010-11 season.
  • J.T. Miller, Jimmy Vesey, and Shayne Gostisbehere helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Rick Nash, Steve Mason, and Jakub Voracek were all teammates with the Blue Jackets for three seasons (2008-09 – 2010-11). Scott Arniel served as Blue Jackets Head Coach when all three players were on the roster during the 2010-11 season.
  • Flyers Assistant Coach Ian Laperriere skated in 28 games with the Rangers during the 1995-96 season.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. FLYERS

  • Henrik Lundqvist – 52 GP, 33-13-4, 2.39 GAA, .920 SV%, 4 SO – Lundqvist has earned at least one point in each of his last eight appearances against Philadelphia (7-0-1 record, 1.70 GAA, .947 SV%). In his last 23 appearances against the Flyers (dating back to Mar. 6, 2011), Lundqvist has posted a 19-3-1 record, along with a 1.81 GAA, .942 SV%, and 2 SO.
  • Derek Stepan – 31 GP, 9-20-29 – Stepan has registered 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last 10 games against the Flyers, as well as 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in his last 22 contests against Philadelphia.
  • Rick Nash – 23 GP – 9-9-18 – As a member of the Rangers, Nash has registered 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 16 games against Philadelphia.
  • Chris Kreider – 14 GP, 6-4-10 – Kreider has tallied a point in nine of 14 career games against Philadelphia.

GOALS GALORE

New York ranks second in the NHL in goals (167 – includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins) and also ranks second in the NHL in goals per game (3.44) this season. The Rangers have recorded 52 goals over the last 13 games, registering at least four goals in nine of the 13 contests. The Blueshirts have also tallied five or more goals in six of the last 11 games.

WINNING WAYS

The Rangers’ 31 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the second-most the team has earned through the first 48 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 31 wins through the first 48 games of a season five times in franchise history (1971-72, 1972-73, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17), and the only season in which the Rangers earned more than 31 wins through the first 48 contests was 1993-94 (32).

MAKING THE DIFFERENCE

The Blueshirts enter the contest with a plus-40 goal differential this season (167 goals for; 127 goals against). The Rangers are one of four NHL teams that have posted a plus-40 goal differential or better this season (along with Washington, Columbus, and Minnesota).

TAKING THE METRO

The Rangers have posted a 10-5-0 record against Metropolitan Division opponents this season, including a 5-1-0 record at MSG against teams in the Metropolitan Division. Beginning with tomorrow’s game, 15 of the Rangers’ final 34 regular season contests are against teams in the Metropolitan Division.

HOME COOKING

In their last 100 regular season games at Madison Square Garden (since Nov. 3, 2014), the Rangers have posted a 63-28-9 record (.675 points percentage).

TWO GOOD

The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last three games (four goals allowed over the span). In addition, the Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in 29 of 48 games this season and have posted a 25-3-1 record in those 29 contests.

AV SQUAD

Alain Vigneault coached his 1,100th career game as a National Hockey League head coach on Jan. 23 vs. Los Angeles. Vigneault became the seventh active NHL head coach to reach the milestone (Quenneville, Ruff, Hitchcock, Trotz, Maurice, and Sutter), as well as the 18th head coach in league history to accomplish the feat. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only NHL head coach who earned more wins than Vigneault through his first 1,100 games coached in the league was Scotty Bowman (651 – Note: 48 of Vigneault’s 597 wins were in games which his team won in a shootout).

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last three appearances, posting a 1.32 GAA, a .952 SV% (80 saves on 84 shots), and 1 SO over the three contests. He earned his 20th win of the 2016-17 season on Jan. 22 at Detroit. Lundqvist is the first goaltender in NHL history who has registered at least 20 wins in each of his first 12 seasons in the league. In addition, Lundqvist is the 10th goaltender in NHL history who has earned at least 20 wins in 12 or more seasons, and his 12 consecutive 20-win seasons are tied for the most in NHL history (Brodeur and Esposito).

WELCOME MATS

Mats Zuccarello has registered 18 points (one goal, 17 assists) over the last 15 games (since Dec. 18), and he leads the NHL in assists over the span. He ranks second in the NHL in even strength assists this season (24), only trailing Connor McDavid (25). Zuccarello leads the Rangers in assists (29), points (38), even strength assists, and even strength points (31) this season. He enters the contest with a six-game point streak (one goal, seven assists), and he has recorded 23 points (two goals, 21 assists) in the last 23 games.

IT’S MILLER TIME

J.T. Miller has tallied a point on the game-winning goal in each contest during the Rangers’ three-game winning streak, and he has registered the game-winning goal in two of the three contests. He has recorded a point in 10 of the last 11 games (seven goals, six assists), including a goal in four of the last six contests (four goals). Miller is tied for the team lead in games with a goal (14) and games with a point (27) this season.

UP FOR GRABS

Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (20), is tied for seventh in goals (21), and ranks eighth in plus/minus rating (plus-23) this season. He is the only NHL player who has registered at least 20 goals and a plus-20 rating in 2016-17. Thus far this season, 28 of Grabner’s 29 points have either been a goal or a primary assist. Grabner has registered 13 points (10 goals, three assists) and a plus-11 rating in 14 games he has played against Metropolitan Division opponents this season. 

PAVEL’S PARTY

Pavel Buchnevich has notched a point in 10 of his 16 career NHL games (six goals, eight assists). Among NHL players who have skated in at least 10 games this season, Buchnevich is tied for fourth in points per 60 minutes of ice time (3.47).

STEP-AN UP

Derek Stepan has recorded 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in the last 30 games, including 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in the last 24 contests and 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in the last 15 games. He is tied for ninth in the NHL in primary assists in 2016-17 (18).

CAPTAIN MAC

Ryan McDonagh was selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. He is tied for first among NHL defensemen in primary assists (16), is tied for third in even strength assists (17), is tied for fifth in assists (26), and is tied for 12th in points (28) in 2016-17.

DAN’S THE MAN

Dan Girardi enters the contest with 769 career games played as a Ranger, and he is three games away from tying Adam Graves for ninth place on the franchise’s all-time games played list. Girardi ranks second in the NHL in blocked shots this season (122).

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Rangers are one of five teams that have a 21.0% power play efficiency and an 82.0% penalty kill efficiency or better this season.

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-3 (4:37) on Jan. 23 vs. Los Angeles.
  • New York has tallied a PPG in six of the last 12 games (10-for-42; 23.8%).
  • The Blueshirts rank 10th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (21.1%; 31-for-147).

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 2-for-2 (2:37) on Jan. 23 vs. Los Angeles.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for 10th in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (82.6%; 109-for-132).
  • New York has not allowed a power play goal over the last three games (7-for-7 on the penalty kill over the span).
  • New York ranks second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (seven).

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Ryan McDonagh – 2 points away from 200 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
  • Alain Vigneault – 3 wins away from 600 as a head coach in the NHL
  • Mika Zibanejad – 3 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Brandon Pirri – 4 points away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Henrik Lundqvist – 5 wins away from 400 in his NHL career/as a Ranger 

INJURIES (126 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Marc Staal (upper-body injury) – has missed eight games
  • Antti Raanta (lower-body injury) – has missed four games
  • Jesper Fast (upper-body injury) – has missed three games
  • Kevin Hayes (lower-body injury) – has missed one game

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • None

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Jan. 24, 1999 – While skating in his final NHL All-Star Game, Wayne Gretzky recorded three points (one goal, two assists) and was selected as the game’s MVP.
  • Jan. 24, 2008 – The Rangers retired Brian Leetch’s No. 2 in a pre-game ceremony at MSG.
  • Jan. 25, 1942 – Grant Warwick established a single-game rookie franchise record by tallying five points as the Rangers defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 11-2, at MSG.
  • Jan. 25, 1967 – Four days after Harry Howell became the first player to appear in 1,000 games with the Rangers in franchise history, the Rangers held “Harry Howell Night” at MSG.
  • Jan. 25, 1994 – Sergei Zubov tied a single-game franchise record for defensemen (at the time) with four assists, and Steve Larmer tallied four points (two goals, two assists) as the Rangers defeated the San Jose Sharks, 8-3.

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