It starts tonight with the Avalanches (WARNING, WARNING: IT’S A VERSUS GAME; the good news is that Sam Rosen does play-by-play), then road games in Tor0nto Thursday and Boston Saturday, and a homer with the Devils on Sunday.
I’ll be at the two home games.
Here are tonight’s game notes from the Rangers. To read more, click “more.” Duh.
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE
Monday, Oct. 18, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden . New York, NY
Rangers: 1-1-1 (3 pts)
Avalanche: 3-2-0 (6 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Oct. 16
The Rangers will face-off against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their first match-up against a Western Conference opponent this season. The Rangers enter tomorrow’s contest having been defeated by the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3, in overtime on Friday at Madison Square Garden, in their 2010-11 regular season home opener. The Avalanche enter the contest with a 3-2-0 (6 pts) record, including a 2-2-0 mark on their current five-game road trip. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers return to action on Thursday, Oct. 21, when they will face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up.
* TV: Versus
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Avalanche
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Darren Eliot (Analyst), Bob Harwood (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 970 The Apple
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game with Kenny Albert
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Avalanche
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. AVALANCHE:
* All-Time: The Rangers are 34-28-7-4 all-time against the Avalanche: 20-10-4-2 at home and 14-18-3-2 on the road.
* 2010-11: This is the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Avalanche this season, and the only meeting at Madison Square Garden.
* Last Season: New York was 1-0-0 against the Avalanche in 2009-10, winning their only meeting, 3-1, at Colorado on Jan. 31. Marian Gaborik tallied all three New York goals to record his first hat trick as a Ranger.
* The Rangers have won their last two games against the Avalanche, out-scoring Colorado, 9-2, over the span
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a record of 1-0-1 with a 2.48 goals against average in two career regular season appearances vs. the Avalanche; Martin Biron is 5-4-0 with a 2.76 goals against average in nine career regular season contests vs. Colorado
* Marian Gaborik led the Rangers in scoring with three goals in one game vs. the Avalanche last season; Marc Staal and Vinny Prospal each tallied a team-high, two assists in last season’s meeting vs. Colorado
* Staal’s two assists in last season’s meeting vs. the Avalanche marked a career-high for most assists in a single game
* Marian Gaborik has tallied a team-high, 19 goals and 34 points in 39 career regular season contests vs. Colorado; Alex Frolov has registered 12 assists and 18 points in 24 career regular season games vs. the Avalanche
* New York lists one former Avalanche on their roster: Chris Drury (1998-99 – 2001-02)
* Colorado lists no former Rangers on their roster
* Power Play: The Rangers did not convert in five power play opportunities (9:10) on Friday vs. Toronto, and are now tied for 13th in the NHL with a 16.7% (2-12) success rate. The Rangers did not convert on one five-on-three chance (0:30) on Oct. 9 at HSBC Arena, and are now 0-1 on five-on-three attempts (0:30). New York is 0-1 (1:05) with a four-on-three advantage this season. Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal in seven shorthanded situations (10:19) to the Maple Leafs on Friday at MSG, and are now ranked 23rd in the NHL with a 76.5% (13-17) success rate. The Rangers held the Maple Leafs scoreless in one three-on-five situation (1:10) on Friday at MSG, and are 1-2 on three-on-fives (1:45) this season. The Blueshirts yielded one goal in three, three-on-four situations on Friday, and are now 2-3 (1:10) in those situations this season. Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky).
* Four-on-Four: New York allowed one goal in two, four-on-four situations (4:48) on Friday vs. Toronto, and has now skated in four, four-on-four situations (6:38) this season. Four-on-four goals for (0). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).
Three new Blueshirts tallied their first point as a Ranger in Friday’s home opener vs. Toronto, with Ruslan Fedotenko, Derek Boogaard and Steve Eminger each recording one assist in the contest. In addition, Sean Avery registered two assists in the game to record his 100th point as a Ranger.
STEPAN’S NEW TRICK
Derek Stepan notched three goals while making his NHL debut in the Rangers’ 6-3 season-opening win on Oct. 9 at Buffalo. He registered the Rangers’ first goal of the season, opening the game’s scoring at 10:53 of the first period. His second and third goals were recorded in a 3:12 span late in the second, with his third goal at 18:20 of the middle frame standing as the game-winner. Stepan’s hat trick established the following Rangers’ and NHL marks:
* He is the first Ranger in franchise history to record a hat trick in his NHL debut.
* His three goals tied the Rangers’ franchise record for most goals in an opening-night game, becoming just the second player in team history to record a hat trick in the season opener. Ron Murphy also tallied a hat trick in the 1955-56 season opener on Oct. 7, 1955 at Chicago.
* The last Ranger rookie to register a hat trick was Jan Hlavac on Feb. 11, 2000 vs. Boston.
* Stepan is the 26th Ranger to record a hat trick in their rookie season.
* The last Ranger to register a hat trick at Buffalo was Petr Nedved on Feb. 25, 2000.
* The last NHL player to record a hat trick in their NHL debut was Fabian Brunnstrom of the Dallas Stars on Oct. 15, 2008 vs. Nashville.
* Stepan is just the fourth player in NHL history to register a hat trick in their NHL debut.
YOUTH IS SERVED
Based on opening day rosters, the Rangers have the ninth youngest team in the NHL with an average age of 27 years and 44 days, and the second youngest defensive corp in the league, trailing only Los Angeles with an average age of 25 years and 51 days.
The Rangers had six new players dress in their season opener on Oct. 9 at Buffalo: Martin Biron, Derek Boogaard, Steve Eminger, Ruslan Fedotenko, Alex Frolov, and Derek Stepan. Stepan (three goals) and Frolov (one assist) both registered their first point as a Ranger in the contest.
* Entering the season, the Rangers have posted a record of 276-266-90 all-time in the month of October, including a 175-114-47 mark at home and a 101-152-43 record on the road. New York is scheduled to play 10 games during the season’s opening month in 2010-11, with five games being contested at MSG and five scheduled on the road.
* Legendary Rangers’ defenseman Brian Leetch holds the franchise record for most points in the month of October, having registered 43 goals and 130 assists for 173 career points in the season’s opening month.
* The Blueshirts’ all-time leader for most career wins in the month of October is Mike Richter, who registered 40 career wins during the season’s opening month.
* Last season, New York tied the franchise record for longest winning streak in the month of October, winning seven consecutive games from Oct. 3, 2009 vs. Ottawa to Oct. 17, 2009 at Toronto. The Rangers also won seven straight October games in 1988-89, beginning on Oct. 16 vs. Vancouver and ending on Oct. 30 vs. Pittsburgh. Their seven-game winning streak last season was also the team’s longest since they won seven straight from Feb. 1, 2006 vs. Pittsburgh to Mar. 2, 2006 at Philadelphia.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Ryan Callahan: 2 points from 100th NHL career
* Chris Drury: 4 power play goals from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Derek Stepan: 1st career NHL game and 1st career NHL goal/point (10/9 at BUF)
* Vinny Prospal (IR – Sept. 24) – 3
* Erik Christensen (injured – Oct. 11) – 1
* Marian Gaborik (injured – Oct. 15)
* Chris Drury (injured – Oct. 15)
Total Man-Games Lost: 6
* Oct. 13: Assigned forward Tim Kennedy to Hartford