Hurricanes-Rangers tonight


The end of a three-game homestand, the first of back-to-backs (at Toronto tomorrow) and the second of four in six nights.

The Rangers have won one of their first four home games.

Here are tonight’s pre-game notes from the Rangers for the game against the former Whalers. To read more, click “more.”

Friday, Oct. 29, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 4-3-1 (9 pts)
Hurricanes: 4-4-0 (8 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Oct. 27

The Rangers will conclude their three-game homestand when they will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Atlanta Thrashers, 6-4, last night at MSG to end their three-game winning streak, and are now 4-3-1 (9 pts) on the season. The Hurricanes enter the contest with a 4-4-0 (8 pts) record, following a 3-0 loss to the Capitals last night in their home opener. Tonight’s contest will begin the second of 18 back-to-back sets this season for the Blueshirts, who will travel to Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 30, to face-off against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m.).


  • TV: MSG Plus
    6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig
    7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Hurricanes
    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 vs. Hurricanes
    Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)


  • All-Time: The Rangers are 53-46-7-2 all-time against the Hurricanes’ franchise: 33-16-4-2 at home and 20-30-3-0 on the road
  • 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes this season, and the first of two meetings at Madison Square Garden
  • Last Season: New York was 2-1-1 against Carolina in 2009-10, including a 0-1-1 mark at MSG
  • New York has out-scored Carolina, 353-310, in 108 contests between the two clubs
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Ward have started in net against each other in 13 of the last 15 meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes
  • Lundqvist posted a record of 2-1-1 with a 2.22 goals against average in three contests vs. Carolina last season, and is now 8-6-1 with a 2.31 goals against average and one shutout in 15 career games against the Hurricanes
  • Brandon Dubinsky tied for the team lead with two goals, and added two assists for four points in four games vs. Carolina last season
  • Ruslan Fedotenko has registered 14 goals and 21 points in 43 career contests vs. Carolina; Todd White has recorded 13 assists in 29 career games vs. the Hurricanes
  • First NHL Goal: Michal Rozsival recorded his first NHL goal on Dec. 15, 1999 at Carolina (Irbe)
  • New York lists no former Hurricanes on their roster
  • Carolina lists no former Rangers on their roster


  • Power Play: The Rangers did not convert in one power play opportunity (2:00) on Wednesday vs. Atlanta, and now ranks 21st in the NHL with a 12.1% (4-33) 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 to the Thrashers in three shorthanded situations (3:28) on Wednesday at MSG, and now rank 25th in the NHL with a 78.4% (29-37) success rate. The Rangers held Atlanta scoreless in one, three-on-five situation (0:50) on Wednesday at home, and are 3-5 on three-on-fives (4:37) 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 did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Wednesday vs. Atlanta, and are now even in eight, four-on-four situations (11:28) this season. Four-on-four goals for (1): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has faced off against his older brother, Carolina forward Eric Staal, 12 times in his career, amassing a 6-5-1 record with four points (one goal and three assists), 10 penalty minutes and a plus-two rating. Eric has registered a 6-5-1 mark behind four goals and four assists, along with six penalty minutes and an even plus-minus rating in those 12 games.

The Blueshirts and Hurricanes are currenlty tied for second in the NHL in blocked shots per game, with both clubs averaging 16.6 blocked shots per contest. Dan Girardi leads the team and is tied for fourth in the league with 25 blocked shots on the season, and Ryan Callahan is tied for third among NHL forwards with 12 blocked shots. Atlanta ranks first in the league with 17.3 blocked shots per game.


  • Henrik Lundqvist has won each of his last two games, registering a 1.50 goals against average and .954 save percentage over the span
  • Ryan Callahan enters tonight’s contest on a four-game scoring streak, recording six points (two goals and four assists) over the span, including a goal in each of the last two games and an assist in each of the last four
  • Brandon Dubinsky enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak, registering four points (one goal and three assists) over the span
  • Ruslan Fedotenko has registered five points (one goal and four assists) in the last six games
  • Michal Rozsival has registered four points (one goal and three assists) in the last four games
  • Sean Avery has tallied three points (one goal and two assists) in the last two games
  • Artem Anisimov has tallied three points (two goals and one assist) in the last four games

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 Oct. 18 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 Oct. 21 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.

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.


  • 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.


  • Sean Avery: 3 games from 500 NHL career


  • 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)
  • Michael Sauer: 1st career NHL assist/point (10/23 at BOS)
  • Ryan Callahan: 100th career NHL point (10/23 at BOS)


  • Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 8
  • Marian Gaborik (IR – separated shoulder on Oct. 15, 2-4 weeks) – 5
  • Chris Drury (IR – fractured finger on Oct. 15, 6 weeks) – 5

Total Man-Games Lost: 22


  • Oct. 24: Recalled forward Jeremy Williams from Hartford
  • Oct. 25: Assigned forward Jeremy Williams to Hartford
  • Oct. 28: Recalled forward Evgeny Grachev from Hartford

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  1. They both have the same record because it will be five regulation wins each plus one OT/shootout win each. That makes it 6-5-1 for both (or 6-6 in old money…)

  2. The NHL really needs to do something about the scheduling. How in the world can you allow 18 back-to-back games? That is 36 and almost half of their games are back-to-back.

    I rather them spread the games out, so they play more per week. I hate it when they play 3 games in 4 nights and have the next 6 days off.

  3. Gift of GAB-orik on

    I’ll be at the Garden tonight!! Heading there with a few of my buddies for some pre-bachelor party hockey. Any of youse going??

  4. Gift of GAB-orik on

    I watched the Phaneuf/Horton fight from the other night… and i noticed 2 things. First… i like old school hockey fights where they take the helmet off.

    Second, Phaneuf threw a punch while on his back, which incensed Horton who wanted to pummel him for it. WHen you go down, stop punching. ESPECIALLY when you’re lying on your back. That’s a cheap move.

  5. Steve Zipay is reporting on Twitter that Evgeny Grachev will play tonight so either the Boogey-Man or Erik Christensen should be Sauer’d.

  6. Joekuh - Slashing behind the play... on

    The hurricanes IIRC dont have a fighter, so it’ll probly be Boogey out.

  7. Have fun tonight Gift of Gab!

    Is anyone else just tired? I mean like you’ve just had the carcillo kicked out of you or your aasen beaten 100 times over? The long emotionally draining baseball season has taken everything out of me once again. :NAP TIME:

    By the way, i just remembered reason number 2 why i dont play video games. reason 1 is theyre too complicated. Reason 2 is ive now got a blister on my thumbs! :OUCH:

  8. Carp –

    I already know your position on Boogaard. We are in agreement.

    I have just one question for a man of your knowledge and experience within the game.

    If you – as a team – want to protect your your goalie and your starts, does it do any good to have Boogaard or any team’s goon fight the opposing team’s goon?

    I cant for the life of me figure out why people think that the above situation helps matters.

  9. No, it doesn’t. I can see the allure of having the biggest, baddest dude, and being able to beat up the other team’s tough guy … and once in a while that will fire up the team/crowd. But it proves nothing, prevents nothing. You have to be team tough, which is what the Rangers have been to a degree so far, with guys coming to each other’s aid.

    When the goalie gets run, or another player cheap-shotted, it has to be handled immediately. Or by you going after their goalie/star … which never happens.

  10. >>… i like old school hockey fights where they take the helmet off.

    I think those fighters should make it part of “The Code” to take their helmets off before a fight.

  11. Exactly, Carp! Someone should’ve jumped Armstrong right there. And the very next shift someone should’ve gone after Kessel. And it would not be Boogart. The chance of him catching Kessel isn’t great…And don’t worry about the penalties. Most of them are killed anyway, and even if they score, the Rangers would have a much better chance to win….

  12. team also needs to “engage”. I guess Tort-rettes are better than Renney’s BS like ” we sure gave nashville something to think about tonight

  13. karma got armstrong.
    finger injury out four to six weeks.

    not the same as team toughness going after him…

  14. I think Boogart has a much better chance of catching some action if he just stays put at the red line…Like a broken clock- right twice a day. I’m telling you, he makes Brashear look like Apolo Ohno…

  15. Orrsie – What happened with Armstrong?

    I hope we’re not a sucky home team. If you cant raise your performance level for the Garden fans, then there’s something wrong inside!

  16. The problem lies in the fact that the players don’t take the game as seriously as the fans do. They are doing a job, collecting a paycheck, they do not want to injure each other or go after other star players. They’d be putting themselves at risk for a fine, to lose salary or become a target of another player taking a run at them. It’s just how it goes, its like a brotherhood with the nhlpa, its not like the old broad street bullies. Everything is detected on tv cameras/youtube these days so they get caught. People like Avery are the only ones who show a real passion such as trying to start fights between the locker rooms after games. Most of the others just look at is as, its just a game, I got paid, I can support my family, wins and losses aren’t a major deal. Its us the fans that get depressed over it and pathetically live and die by what these players do.

  17. Leetchhalloffame on

    1 goal, 1 assist for Grachev in Hartford this year. Has he gone all Jessiman on us?

  18. Gift of GAB-orik on

    They better do some work tonight and get the ‘W’. I’m rollin 7 deep tonight, it’s gonna be my brother in law’s first live hockey game ever… this has the beginnings of Ranger fan birth here…

  19. Seriously…the Grachev bashing needs to stop. He had a losuy camp. It’s not his fault Gernander has him playing 3rd line center minutes. Let’s see what he can do tonight when it counts…

  20. I’ll be there in my usual blue seat perch. Hope they come through with a big effort for you Gabby.

  21. I have to say there is a lot of Dubinsky bashing here but the kid is not a bad player, I think the expectations here are too high. He’s going to be a good top 6 forward, not an all-star. Look at his career numbers, never had more than 30 goals in junior, is not a point per game player, no really flashy numbers. I think he is developing, continuing a more prominent role, improving point totals and last year he even played 13 less games than the previous two years and was a plus 9.

    He’s not a bad player, he is inconsistent but this is how he has always been. Can’t expect him to be a superstar, if he puts in a 60 point effort this year I think that’s great development. We can’t be unhappy with his progress, just can’t compare him to these prospects with higher ceilings. His showing for USA at WC last year was quite good as well.

  22. the problem w/ hartford is their coach. playing a bunch of career ahlers on the first line and not giving the kids enough time to play. grachev has been demoted to the 3rd line and doesnt play nearly as much as he should down there.

  23. As far as Dubinsky goes, he is an effective 2- way player but I don’t know if he has what it takes to be a top-6 guy on a cup contending team. He has size and talent. I think it is a mental/maturity issue with him. I think he can be a 30 goal guy but he has to mature and not get so easily frustrated when things don’t go his way. And he’s got to play a full 60 mins every night.

  24. Grachev might pull a Pavelich, and just pass out. Torts needs to be careful with Grach. Too much ice time could potentially cause him to slip into a coma.

    As for Dublowsky. He has all the talent in the world to be a damn good player. But, he needs to be consistent, which he has never been at this level. We’ll see what he does this summer, as far as his contract is concerned. I just hope he doesn’t pull the same BS that he did two summers ago.

  25. Haha I was just joshin’ NYR…

    I do agree though. He has a tendency to Randy Moss it at times. I would have no problem with his numbers (or lack thereof) if he gave a full effort night in and night out.

    That said, I am a Dubi apologist. I think his intentions are usually in the right place.

  26. Gift of GAB-orik on

    Thanks Coach! I’ll be in the blueseats too… though not sure where… i’ll have my blue Avery jersey on with an NYPD hat, my cousin will have an NYPD hockey jersey, and one guy will be in a white Voros jersey(don’t ask)

  27. So how come this game isn’t dubbed the “Staal-ly Cup”? I thought America loved sibling games with quirky names like “Manning Bowl 2010”

  28. It depends how he plays, Ilb. He wont be on the fourth line, that’s for sure. I’d be shocked if he were.

    I hope he gets a legitimate shot. I always hated how Renney handled situations like this. I remember on Graves night against Atlanta, Artie wasn’t that noticeable, but then he had a few good shifts, and generated some scoring chances, but we didn’t see him at all after that.

  29. I read that court-side seats at the Miami Heat home opener tonight are going for $12,000.

    If I had that kind of money to spend, I wouldn’t even spend it on NYR. I don’t care if they had Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, all the Staals, and any other superstar in this league, as well as Victoria’s Secret Angels officiating the game.

  30. >>i will never understand how people can grovel over the NBA and then call the NHL boring…

    Don’t get me started! People will use all sorts of idiotic excuses to justify their close-mindedness. I love those baseball folks calling hockey boring, or those boxing fans claiming it’s too violent.

  31. If/when the NHL returns to ESPN, you will see a shift in the NBA v. NHL popularity contest. ESPN overhypes the NBA more than it used to because it carries the games. The same should occur if the NHL is shown on their station.

    Right now, the network is reduced to bringing in Barry Melrose and Matt Barnaby once or twice a month and make jokes about Melrose’s hair/goatee/clothes. It’s a joke.

    It wasn’t too long ago when the NHL was fixing it to overtake the NBA in popularity. Then the strike-shortened 1995 season happened. Then the trap happened. And that was that.

  32. Don’t forget the Marty McSorley two-hander to head of Brashear….that was a hockey ratings killer!

  33. Americans don’t care aboot a game full of Canadian and Russian superstars. I don’t think hockey’s popularity will ever grow, with or without ESPN.

    Unless the NBA, MLB, NFL, and any popular sport have a lockout, and all that sports fans are left with is hockey. Then it’s a possibility. It will always be like Pretty In Pink. The NHL is Duckie, and as great and sweet as the NHL is, it just can’t compete with Blane. He’ll always just be friends with Andie. Which basically means, Hockey will only be watched during the Olympics and/or playoffs.

  34. cw looking forward to 2012. . . . with tempered optimism. on

    Who cares how POPULAR hockey is?!? The futile attempt to bring hockey to the masses is RUINING the sport!!! How about contracting the league, raising the quality of the game, and giving something to the regional fans that support the damned league anyway?!? Who cares if a 7′-4″ criminal can dunk into a 10′-0″ basket?!? (Now a dolphin jumping 20′ out of the water and dunking a basketball is impressive. . . .and cheaper than paying an NBA ticket).

    Hockey is a niche sport, and damn it, that’s the way it should be.

  35. more thugs, more jackwagons, more idiots. no more versus. higher ticket prices. higher jersey prices. more late games. no more fights.

  36. >>What do you think will happen to hockey if it becomes more popular?

    They’ll outlaw hitting.

  37. Id like hockey to be more mainstream. Versus is garbage, but then, so is NBC. I guess NBC and Versus are the lesser of two evils, with the main evil being ESPN. But if ESPN got the rights, it might mean no more Milbury or Pierre Maguire. And I despise both of those piggies!

  38. Staal Wart – Versus does sound like a good thing….but always remember, be careful what you wish for. And ESPN is by far, the worst viewing experience on the planet.

  39. Exactly, Carp. Hockey in the US is fine the way it is. It is a game that’s understood by relatively small amount of true fans. It will never be more popular than in Canada. The combination of NA and European players is a perfect blend of skills and grit. If it becomes more popular, here comes expansion….The talent is already diluted, And do you really want to see all these jackwagons/assenhats that attend the football, basketball and baseball games?

  40. Yeah call me crazy, but I’d like to see the NHL become more popular. What can be bad about more visibility? And no more Versus??

    I will take Gary Thorne over Joe B. 10 times out of 10. I also dearly miss the NHL on ESPN music.

  41. Right on Noah. Joe B is awful.. Can’t stand that guy.

    Gary Thorne is a great hockey voice…Not sure why he hasn’t been hired by Versus or NBC??? Is he still under contract by ESPN? I know he still does the play by play for Orioles baseball…

  42. On the eve of coming holiday, I have a Dream…(with fair amount of skepticism )about today scenario: Grach will repete his friend’s heroics and have a hat trick in his first game, Hank will have his first shutout of the season, Boogyman meanwhile, who is not playing today, in a true Halloween spirit , will choke Slats in his luxury suite by his non-infected one hand to semi-conscious state, getting out written promise to retire after second period. Game is over – 10:0 and after that Amirante is singing “…his is a good fellow” , while they raise and hang on the rafters Sather effigy in corporate jacket/jersey, with huge name/number – absolute” 0”.
    Just for generations of next GMs and fans as a reminder. What?…Couldn’t I?

  43. So it has been announced that Grachev is playing with White and EC….maybe he’ll score a hat trick in his NHL debut!

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