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Thursday - December 5th

Per Elliot Friedman of Sportsnet:

Prior to the December 1st deadline, the Oikers apparently tried again to move Jesse Pujljujarvi, and the Rangers were reportedly one of the teams interested.

The trade would have involved Lias Andersson going the other way, but ultimately they could work out a deal.



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September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

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GREG GILBERT
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Still Unbeaten...Just
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ - October 11, 2008

by Toby Ivey

The Rangers left Philadelphia tonight with a 4-0 record on the season, but not before almost giving up what appeared to be an unassailable 4-0 lead after one period. In an uneven performance, the visitors allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to storm back with three goals, before finally locking the doors and securing a valuable two points.

Stephen Valiquette continued his dominance against the Flyers, extending his record to 5-1-1 against the Rangers' Atlantic Division rivals, while Nikolai Zherdev picked up the first star of the game thanks to a goal and an assist that broke the game open early.

Turning Point
With the Flyers coming on strong, the Rangers were faced by over a minute of 5 on 3 power play to defend late in the third. Michal Rozsival turned in the best shift of this short season as he joined with the other Rangers PKers to deny the home team with the game on the line at 4-3. Stephen Valiquette then helped secure the victory down the stretch to give the Rangers the win.

Forwards
For the second straight game, the top line for the Rangers failed to make much of an impression on the game. Chris Drury was easily the best of the three, getting the most chances, while Markus Naslund had a solid, if not spectacular night. Both Naslund and Gomez hit posts with quick shots, but Gomez in particular looked far from his best in the game...perhaps as a result of the cold he was reportedly suffering from.

Brandon Dubinsky and Adam Voros had a relatively quiet night (aside from Dubinsky's fight and a Voros screen that lead to the first goal), but Nikolai Zherdev stepped up and was clearly one of the best Rangers on the ice. Zherdev scored the first, sitting on the open side and picking up a deflection off of Voros, and then setup Betts for the second Rangers goal.

Patrick Rissmiller made his first start of the season, and replaced Nigel Dawes on the third line, which was the least effective of any of the lines tonight. Rissmiller had a couple of good shots early, but then was pretty much a non-factor. Lauri Korpikoski had a couple of good shifts forechecking, while Ryan Callahan probably had his quietest game so far this season.

Aside from Zherdev, the big story on the night was the two goals that the fourth line scored. Blair Betts had a strong game as did Fredrik Sjostrom, each of them scoring their first of the season following some hard work. Betts got knocked down in front, but got to his feet just in time to deflect a Zherdev pass from the behind the net, through Martin Biron's feet, while Sjostrom outskated the defense to a loose puck and wrapped the puck around the net before Biron knew what was going on.

Defense
For the most part, the Rangers defense did a fair job keeping the Flyers to the outside, and breaking up the cycle. Wade Redden made a couple of handling errors that lead to turnovers, as did Dmitri Kalinin, but they fortunately did not result in goals.

Dan Girardi hasn't been particularly sharp early in the season, and last night he looked only at about 70% of his top form that we saw last season. Paul Mara took one poorly timed roughing call, but was steady, along with his partner Marc Staal, who continues to impress with his coolness under pressure.

Michal Rozsival perhaps could be considered the pick of the Rangers defenders tonight, particularly his shift on the five on three, when he made two or three key plays to help kill off the penalties.

Goaltending
Stephen Valiquette started the game looking a little rusty, but really stepped up his play with the game on the line. The first goal that beat him was a rocket of a shot to the top shelf on a shorthanded draw in the Rangers zone. It's possible that Valiquette misjudged the angle a little, but Valiquette appeared to be square to the shooter.

On the second Flyers goal, Valiquette was victimized by what appeared to be obvious contact from Mike Richards that pulled the Rangers netminder to the ice, allowing Simon Gagne to score into the open net.

The third Flyers goal was also a difficult shot, with Mike Richards driving onto a cross ice pass with a third Flyer driving to the net.

After the third goal though, Valiquette really locked the door, and made several key saves that kept the game alive for the Rangers.

Special Teams
The Rangers PP was slow to develop tonight, but got going as the rest of the offense took over. Michal Rozsival's score from the blueline was the type of goal that Renney had been preaching for years under the Jagr regime, a shot through a screen that simply beat the goalie.

Later PPs also generated chances, but Antero Niittymaki, having replaced Martin Biron in the first, positioned himself well, and the Rangers (Chris Drury in particular) failed to convert...finishing 1 for 6 on the night.

The PK once again shone for the Rangers, particularly in the third period when facing a 1:34 two man advantage. Michal Rozsival, Blair Betts and Fredrik Sjostrom all made important plays, and Stephen Valiquette stepped up under pressure to preserve the lead.

Power Play: 1 for 6
Penalty Kill: 6 for 6

Injury Notes
Fredrik Sjostrom and Patrick Rissmiller both took bumps in the game. Rissmiller fell awkwardly, and appeared to tweak his leg, but returned soon after, while Sjostrom was checked heavily into the boards, and also returned later in the game.

Fight Card
Colton Orr and Riley Cote didn't take too much time to drop the gloves, with a bout just 1:48 into the game. It appeared as if Cote was at a disadvantage and took Orr down so that he could get a couple of punches in. The result was a short fight with Orr perhaps getting a slight advantage before being pulled down.

Brandon Dubinsky and Mike Richards squared off late in the first, with the Rangers leading 4-0. Not known for his fighting, Dubinsky looked as if he'd taken lessons over the summer, and got the best of his more experienced opponent.

Milestones and Notes
The Rangers are 4-0 for the first time since the 1983-84 season. Their best start in franchise history is 5-0 from the same 1983-84 season, where they went on to a 9-1-0 mark in their first ten games.

The Rangers have killed off 18 straight penalties through their first four games, and have now scored a PP goal in three of their first four games.

Patrick Rissmiller made his Rangers debut, finishing -1 with two shots on goal. Nigel Dawes was a healthy scratch for the first time this season.

Blair Betts picked up his second career two point game. It was also his first goal since December of 2007.

Streaks
Goals
Nikolai Zherdev - 2 games (2)

Points
Markus Naslund - 4 games (1-3-4)
Adam Voros - 3 games (1-3-4)
Zherdev - 2 games (2-2-4)

Wins
Henrik Lundqvist - 3

Team
Four game winning streak
Three game home wining streak
Two game road winning streak
Two games with at least four goals
Two games with at least three goals
Seven games with at least two goals
Seven games with at least one goal

Starting Lines
Naslund - Gomez - Drury
Voros - Dubinsky - Zherdev
Rissmiller - Korpikoski - Callahan
Sjostrom - Betts - Orr

Redden - Rozsival
Staal - Mara
Girardi - Kalinin

Lundqvist
Valiquette

Nigel Dawes - Healthy Scratch
Dan Fritsche - Healthy Scratch
Petr Prucha - Healthy Scratch

Next Game
The Rangers return home for their first meeting of the season with the New Jersey Devils Monday (7:00pm - MSG)


Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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