Does it strike you odd that the Rangers are in Boston for a Saturday night game? Isn’t it almost always a matinee?
I’m glad. I have another football playoff game today — assuming I thaw out. Played golf yesterday and actually got hit my snow/sleet for a while, had winds whipping around on top of hills above the Hudson River, felt like 30 degrees. Then I drove directly to my night football game, on an open, windy cold field.
But enough of my complaining …
I hope to be back in the old armchair, with sandwich and non-alcohol beer, by faceoff. And I will have the usual game thread up for youse.
Here, meanwhile, are the game notes from the NYR. To read more, click “more.”
NEW YORK RANGERS at BOSTON BRUINS
Saturday, Oct. 23, 7:00 p.m.
TD Garden • Boston, MA
Rangers: 2-2-1 (5 pts)
Bruins: 4-1-0 (8 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Oct. 21
The Rangers will face-off against their Original Six rival, the Boston Bruins, at TD Garden (7:00 p.m.), to begin their first of 18 back-to-back sets on the season. The Rangers enter tomorrow’s contest having defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1, on Thursday at Air Canada Centre, and are now 2-2-1 (5 pts) on the season. The Bruins enter the contest with a 4-1-0 (8 pts) record to rank fifth in the Eastern Conference. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers return to action tomorrow, Oct. 24, when they will face-off against their Atlantic Division rival the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to close out their back-to-back set.
- TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Bruins
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
- Radio: 970 The Apple
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game with Don LaGreca
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Bruins
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. BRUINS:
- All-Time: The Rangers are 241-280-97-2 all-time against the Bruins: 140-117-55-0 at home and 101-163-42-2 on the road.
- 2010-11: This is the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Bruins this season, and the first of two meetings at TD Garden.
- Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 against Boston in 2009-10, including a 1-1-0 mark at TD Garden. Three of their four meetings were decided by one goal.
- The Rangers’ 241 wins and 581 points all-time against the Bruins are the most against any team in franchise history
- Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 3-1-0 with a 1.26 goals against average and one shutout in four contests vs. Boston last season, and is now 13-4-2 with a 1.39 goals against average and four shutouts in 19 career regular season games against the Bruins
- Brandon Dubinsky led the Rangers with four assists and five points in four games vs. the Bruins last season, while Michael Del Zotto and Erik Christensen both tallied a team-high, two goals in the season series
- Ruslan Fedotenko has notched eight goals and 17 points in 33 career regular season contests vs. Boston; Todd White has recorded 11 assists and 16 points in 28 career regular season games vs. the Bruins
- New York lists no former Bruins on their roster
- Boston lists two former Rangers on their roster: Marc Savard (1997-98 – 1998-99); Trent Whitfield (2001-02)
- Power Play: The Rangers did not convert in two power play opportunities (3:19) on Thursday at Toronto. New York is now tied for 19th in the NHL with a 10.5% (2-19) success rate, and rank ninth with a 22.2% (2-9) success rate on the road. 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 held the Maple Leafs scoreless in five shorthanded situations (9:19) on Thursday at Toronto, and are now tied for 26th in the NHL with a 75.0% (18-24) success rate. The Rangers held Toronto scoreless in one three-on-five situation (1:10) on Oct. 15 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 Oct. 15, 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 skated in one, four-on-four situation (0:41) on Thursday at Toronto, and are now even in seven, four-on-four situations (11:19) this season. Four-on-four goals for (1): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).
Tonight’s contest will begin the Rangers’ first of 18 back-to-back sets this season. Last season, New York posted a record of 5-8-0 in the front-end of back-to-back sets, including a 2-6-0 mark when the first game of the set was away from MSG. The Rangers were 9-2-2 in the second game of back-to-back sets last season.
ORIGINAL SIX SINCE 2005-06
New York has posted a record of 39-20-12 (90 pts) against Original Six opponents since the 2005-06 season, including a 14-4-2 mark vs. Boston over the span. The Rangers’ .634 winning percentage ranks second, trailing Detroit (.721%, 35-12-5) and ahead of Montreal (.619%, 57-33-11), Toronto (.529%, 45-39-18), Boston (.525%, 45-40-15), and Chicago (.445%, 21-27-7).
A NORTHEAST FEAST
Last season, the Rangers posted a record of 11-6-3 (25 pts) against the Northeast Division in 20 games, with the New York penalty kill surrendering just seven goals in 71 shorthanded chances for a 90.1% success rate.
Rookie Derek Stepan (three goals) and Alex Frolov (one assist) both registered their first point as a Ranger in the 6-3 season-opening win on Oct. 9 at Buffalo. Three new Blueshirts tallied their first point as a Ranger in home opener on Oct. 15 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. On Monday vs. Colorado, Frolov notched his first goal as a Ranger with a four-on-four tally assisted by Stepan, who picked up his first career assist on the play. Fedotenko tallied his first goal as a Ranger to open the game’s scoring on Thursday at Toronto, and Martin Biron backstopped the Blueshirts to a 2-1 win in the contest with a 24-save performance to record his first win as a Ranger in his first appearance with the team.
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 have had seven new players dress so far this season: Martin Biron, Derek Boogaard, Steve Eminger, Ruslan Fedotenko, Alex Frolov, and Derek Stepan each skated in the season opener on Oct. 9 at Buffalo. Todd White made his Rangers debut on Monday vs. Colorado at Madison Square Garden, and Biron saw his first game action with a 24-save effort in a 2-1 win on Thursday at Toronto.
- 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: 1 point from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Derek Stepan: 1st career NHL game and 1st career NHL goal/point (10/9 at BUF)
- Derek Stepan: 1st career NHL assist (10/18 vs. COL)
- Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 5
- Marian Gaborik (IR – separated shoulder on Oct. 15, 2-4 weeks) – 2
- Chris Drury (IR – fractured finger on Oct. 15, 6 weeks) – 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 12
- Oct. 13: Assigned forward Tim Kennedy to Hartford