TONIGHT'S GAME The Rangers play their 66th game of the 2016-17 season and begin a back-to-back set tonight, Mar. 6, against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m. ET - TV: MSG+; Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). The Rangers begin a stretch of four consecutive road games tomorrow. The Blueshirts have won 10 of their last 15 games (10-4-1), as well as 13 of their last 20 contests (13-6-1). The Rangers have posted a 41-22-2 record this season.
RANGERS VS. LIGHTNING
All-Time: 46-35-5-7 (26-16-2-4 at home; 20-19-3-3 on the road)
2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the second of three meetings between the Rangers and Lightning, and the only meeting between the two teams in Tampa Bay. The Blueshirts have posted a 1-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road) and defeated the Lightning, 6-1, on Oct. 30 at MSG. Michael Grabner tallied a hat trick and posted a plus-four rating in the contest, while J.T. Miller (one goal, two assists) and Kevin Hayes (three assists) each registered three points and a plus-four rating. Antti Raanta stopped 31 of 32 shots he faced to earn the win. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Lightning will play against each other on the following date: Mar. 13 (at MSG).
The Rangers have won each of their last three games against Tampa Bay (dating back to Dec. 30, 2015) and have outscored the Lightning, 14-5, in the three contests.
The Blueshirts have registered at least three goals in five of their last six games against the Lightning (21 goals over the span).
Tampa Bay has two former Rangers on its roster: Ryan Callahan (2006-07 - 2013-14) and Anton Stralman (2011-12 - 2013-14).
Alain Vigneault and Lightning Associate Coach Rick Bowness were members of the same coaching staff in Ottawa and Vancouver. Vigneault was an Assistant Coach on Bowness' staff with the Senators for parts of four seasons (1992-93 - 1995-96), and Bowness was an Assistant Coach on Vigneault's staff for seven seasons with the Canucks (2006-07 - 2012-13).
· Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and Tyler Johnson helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. LIGHTNING
Henrik Lundqvist - 38 GP, 19-13-6, 2.38 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last two games against Tampa Bay, posting a 2.00 GAA and a .937 SV% (59 saves on 63 shots) in the two contests.
Derek Stepan - 21 GP, 8-10-18 - Stepan has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in his last seven games against the Lightning.
Rick Nash - 23 GP, 10-9-19 - Since joining the Rangers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Nash has registered 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 13 games against the Lightning.
Michael Grabner - 17 GP, 9-3-12 - Grabner has tallied a goal in seven of 17 career games against Tampa Bay.
Ryan McDonagh - 15 GP, 0-11-11 - McDonagh has tallied at least one point in eight of 15 career games against Tampa Bay.
WINNING WAYS The Rangers' 41 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the fifth-most the team has earned through the first 65 games of one season in franchise history. The only seasons in which the Blueshirts earned more than 41 wins through the first 65 games of a season were 1971-72 (44), 1972-73 (42), 1993-94 (42), and 2011-12 (42). The Rangers are tied for third in the NHL - and rank second in the Eastern Conference - in wins this season.
ROAD WARRIORS New York leads the NHL in road wins this season (22) and also leads the NHL in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (94). The Rangers have won each of their last three road games, seven of their last eight road contests (7-1-0), and 15 of their last 18 road games (15-3-0). The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in six of their last eight road games (14 goals against over the span; 1.75 goals against per game). The Rangers' 22 road wins in 2016-17 are tied for the sixth-most the team has recorded in one season in franchise history.
BOUNCE BACK Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 34-9-1 record in the game following a loss (regulation or overtime/shootout). New York has posted a 17-5-1 record in games following a loss in 2016-17.
ONE AND WON Since Jan. 7, 14 of the Rangers' 24 games have been decided by one goal. The Rangers have earned at least one point in each of the last 11 games they have played which were decided by one goal, dating back to Jan. 22 (10-0-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 19-7-2 record in one-goal games this season and rank second in the NHL in winning percentage in one-goal games in 2016-17 (.679).
SWEET 16 Three Rangers rookies have registered 16 or more points this season (Skjei, Vesey, and Buchnevich). Prior to this season, the last time three Rangers rookies tallied at least 16 points in the same season was 2005-06 (Prucha, Tyutin, and Moore).
THREE'S COMPANY Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, and Mats Zuccarello all tallied a point on the Rangers' only goal on Mar. 4 vs. Montreal. The trio recorded 62 points (23 goals, 39 assists) over a 21-game span from Dec. 1, 2016 to Jan. 17, 2017, and each player tallied at least 20 points during the stretch. Zuccarello has notched an assist on 15 of Kreider's 24 goals in 2016-17.
ON POINT Blueshirts defensemen have tallied 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) over the last 11 games and a Rangers defenseman has recorded a goal in six of the 11 contests. Six different defensemen have recorded a goal over the span (Klein, Girardi, Holden, McDonagh, Clendening, and Skjei). A Rangers defenseman has notched a point on eight of the team's last 10 goals.
THIRD PERIOD TALLIES The Blueshirts lead the NHL in third period goals in 2016-17 (87). The Rangers' 87 goals in the third period are the most a team has registered in any period this season.
STAYING DISCIPLINED New York has recorded the third-fewest penalty minutes in the NHL this season (441). The Rangers have been shorthanded three times or fewer in each of the last nine games and in 20 of the last 22 contests.
AV SQUAD Since Alain Vigneault was named the Rangers' Head Coach prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, the Blueshirts lead the NHL in wins (185). Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (498).
KING HENRIK Henrik Lundqvist earned his 400th career NHL win on Feb. 11 vs. Colorado. Lundqvist, who earned his 400th career NHL win in his 727th career NHL appearance, became the fastest goaltender in NHL history to accomplish the feat. He also became the second goaltender in NHL history to earn all of his first 400 career wins with one franchise (Brodeur - NJD). Lundqvist has posted an 11-5-1 record, along with a 2.28 GAA, a .928 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 18 appearances. In addition, Lundqvist has been selected as the game's First Star 13 times this season, and he is tied for first among NHL players in First Star selections in 2016-17.
Lundqvist enters the contest with 29 wins this season and 403 wins in his NHL career. He is one win away from...
passing Grant Fuhr for sole possession of 10th place on the NHL's all-time wins list
passing Martin Brodeur for the most wins by a goaltender in his first 12 seasons in NHL history
becoming the first goaltender in NHL history to earn 30 or more wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons, and the third goaltender in NHL history to earn at least 30 wins in 11 or more seasons (along with Brodeur and Patrick Roy).
SKJEI HEY KID Brady Skjei has registered 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) and a plus-12 rating in the last 20 games (since Jan. 19), and he is the only NHL defenseman who has recorded at least 14 points and a plus-12 rating over the span. He has also notched 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in the last 16 games, including 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in the last 14 games. Skjei has registered 28 assists in 2016-17, and his 28 assists are tied for the most a Rangers defenseman has notched in his rookie season since Brian Leetch established a franchise record for assists by a rookie with 48 in 1988-89.
STEP-AN UP Derek Stepan enters tomorrow's contest with 499 career games played in the NHL. Since he joined the Rangers at the start of the 2010-11 season, Stepan leads the team in goals (123), assists (226), and points (349).
IT'S MILLER TIME J.T. Miller has registered a point in 19 of the last 28 games, tallying 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) over the span. He has established career-highs in assists (29), points (48), and game-winning goals (six) in 2016-17.
OSCAR-WORTHY PERFORMANCE Oscar Lindberg has tallied a goal/point in three of the last seven games (three goals), and he has recorded six points (four goals, two assists) in the last 13 contests. He has also won at least 50.0% of faceoffs he has taken in five of the last six games (57.4%; 35-for-61).
The Rangers did not have a power play opportunity on Mar. 4 vs. Montreal.
New York ranks sixth in the NHL in power play efficiency on the road this season (21.8%; 19-for-87).
The Rangers were 1-for-1 (2:00) on Mar. 4 vs. Montreal.
The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in SHG in 2016-17 (eight).
Derek Stepan - 1 game away from 500 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
Mar. 1 - Assigned Steven Kampfer to Hartford (AHL); Acquired Taylor Beck from Edmonton in exchange for Justin Fontaine
Feb. 28 - Recalled Steven Kampfer from Hartford (AHL); Acquired Brendan Smith from Detroit in exchange for a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and a third round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft; Acquired Daniel Catenacci from Buffalo in exchange for Mat Bodie; Assigned Pavel Buchnevich to Hartford (AHL)
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
Mar. 5, 1961 - The Rangers tallied two goals in a span of five seconds, as well as three goals in a span of 40 seconds, and defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 8-3, at MSG. Camille Henry recorded a hat trick in the contest, and Andy Bathgate notched four points (one goal, three assists).
Mar. 5, 2014 - The Rangers acquired Martin St. Louis in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Mar. 6, 1974 - Emile Francis became the first head coach to earn 300 wins with the Rangers as the Blueshirts defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 9-2, at MSG. Rod Gilbert registered four points (two goals, two assists) as the Rangers earned their eighth consecutive win in the contest.
Mar. 6, 1990 - The Rangers acquired Mike Gartner in a trade with the Minnesota North Stars.
Posted 2017-03-06 7:51 PM (#668146 - in reply to #668075) Subject: Re: Game 66: New York Rangers @ Tampa Bay Lightning 3/6/17 - 7:30pm - MSG+/SN/TVAS
When Fast is ready to come back, I say Pirri sits and Glass stays in. We will need the toughness in the playoffs. If Pirri were helping on the PP then I would keep him in. But the PP can't be any worse without him.
Posted 2017-03-06 9:42 PM (#668181 - in reply to #668075) Subject: Re: Game 66: New York Rangers @ Tampa Bay Lightning 3/6/17 - 7:30pm - MSG+/SN/TVAS
Raanta better slow down or we are going to lose him in June. If he's back next year and playing this well when do you start thinking about the bounty of assets trading Lundqvist could bring? His call of course he's earned that.
Vesey likes physical games. It's funny because He looks like he's 15 years old sitting on the bench. He's going to come in next season with a lot of confidence and a hard summer of training behind him. He's a very smart kid, listening to him he knows exactly where he's at and where he's going, and how to get there. When you move up the ladder league wise the first two things are figuring out if you can handle the physical play, and can you keep up. He does both, the skill is evident and he's getting more and more confident every game. Unless your a phenom it takes time to start being a consistent producer. He's had some toe stubs but all in all he's been a welcome addition and nothing but bright lights coming for that kid.
Didn't take long for Smith to get bumped from the right side with McDonagh after 2 games and bumped from the right side period with him on the left and Holden on the right tonight. His best game so far.