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The champs come to town

Posted By On November 1, 2010 @ 7:00 am In Hockey,New York Rangers | 90 Comments

The Black Hawks are at the Garden tonight, but I won’t be. Byfuglien.

Oh, Byfuglien won’t be there, but, ah, never mind.

Something came up with my, you know, other job, so I’m probably going to be unable to make it to the city in time for the game.


Hey, did you guys notice fewer Trick-Or-Treaters last night. We had three — the neighbor’s kid, and two other kids who were going house to house in their parents’ car. Then we had a bunch of jackwagons ring the doorbell and set off some of those whistling bottle-rocket things on the front lawn. And that was it. So we were left with a giant basket of candy. And I can’t eat candy. Double byfuglien.


I also have another Halloween/Rangers story for you, but it’s way too long to try to tell on a game day. So somebody remind me when we have one of those stretches of two or three days with no games.

Meanwhile, here are tonight’s game notes from the Rangers. To read more, click “more.”

Monday, Nov. 1, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 5-4-1 (11 pts)
Blackhawks: 7-5-1 (15 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Oct. 30

The Rangers will play their fourth game in six nights when they will face-off against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up. The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-0, on Saturday at Air Canada Centre, and are now 5-4-1 (11 pts) on the season. The Blackhawks enter the contest with a 7-5-1 (15 pts) record, following a 3-1 win on Saturday at Minnesota. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, Nov. 4, at the Wells Fargo Center (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set against Atlantic Division opponents.

TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Mike Keenan
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Blackhawks
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. Blackhawks
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

* All-Time: The Rangers are 235-241-98-2 all-time against the Blackhawks: 119-113-55-0 at home and 116-128-43-2 on the road.
* 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the first and only meeting between the Rangers and Blackhawks this season.
* Last Season: New York was 0-0-1 against Chicago in 2009-10 after falling to the Blackhawks, 2-1, in overtime on Dec. 9 at the United Center.
* The Rangers have won their last two contests vs. the Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden, out-scoring Chicago, 6-3, during the stretch. The Blueshirts last home loss to the Blackhawks was on Dec. 11, 2002 (3-4).
* Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 0-0-1 with a 1.88 goals against average and .951 save percentage in one contest vs. Chicago last season, and is now 3-0-2 with a 1.76 goals against average in five career games against the Blackhawks.
* Alex Frolov has registered a team-high, eight goals, 11 assists and 19 points in 26 career regular season contests vs. Chicago; Brandon Dubinsky has recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in two career games vs. the Blackhawks
* Frolov posted a career-high, five points (two goals, three assists) vs. Chicago on Jan. 1, 2008.
* New York lists one former Blackhawk on their roster: Todd White (1997-98 – 1999-00)
* Chicago lists no former Rangers on their roster

* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play opportunity (2:00) on Saturday at Toronto, and are now 4-20 with the man advantage over the last five games for a 20.0% success rate. New York ranks 17th in the NHL with a 15.4% (6-39) success rate, and are tied for 20th at home with a 13.0% (3-23) success rate at MSG. 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 three shorthanded situations (5:29) on Saturday at Toronto, and now rank 26th in the NHL with a 77.3% (34-44) success rate. The Rangers held the Maple Leafs scoreless in one, three-on-five situation (0:31) on Saturday at Toronto, and are 4-6 on three-on-fives (5:08) 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 Saturday at Toronto, 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).

New York has posted a record of 41-20-12 (94 pts) against Original Six opponents since the 2005-06 season, including a 3-0-2 mark vs. Chicago over the span. The Rangers’ .644 winning percentage ranks second, trailing Detroit (.721%, 35-12-5) and ahead of Montreal (.619%, 57-33-11), Boston (.525%, 46-41-15), Toronto (.519%, 45-41-18), and Chicago (.445%, 21-27-7).

The Blueshirts currently lead the NHL in blocked shots per game, averaging 19.0 blocked shots per contest, and rank second with 190 blocked shots on the season. Dan Girardi leads the team and ranks second in the league with 35 blocked shots, and Ryan Callahan is tied for fourth among NHL forwards with 14 blocked shots. New York registered a season-high, 35 blocked shots on Saturday at Toronto, and have now recorded 65 blocked shots in their last two contests at the Air Canada Centre after posting 30 blocked shots on Oct. 21 at Toronto.

Henrik Lundqvist posted his first shutout of the season with a 36-save performance on Saturday at Toronto and, in the process, passed Mike Richter, Chuck Rayner and Lorne Worsley for fourth on the Rangers’ all-time regular season shutouts list with 25 career regular season shutouts.

* Ryan Callahan enters tonight’s contest with a six-game scoring streak (four goals, five assists over the span), including a goal in each of the last four contests and multiple-point efforts in three of the last four
* Henrik Lundqvist is 3-1-0 in his last four starts, registering a 1.78 goals against average, .951 save percentage and one shutout over the span
* Brandon Dubinsky has registered five points (two goals, three assists) in the last five games
* Brian Boyle has notched two goals in the last three games
* The Rangers have tallied four power play goals in the last five games, registering a 20.0% (4-20) success rate over the span
* Michal Rozsival has registered five points (one goal, four assists) in the last six games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in the last six games, including three assists in the last four
* Ruslan Fedotenko has recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in the last eight games
* Sean Avery has tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in the last four games

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 andSteve 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. Rookie Evgeny Grachev made his NHL and Rangers debut on Friday vs. Carolina, after being recalled from Hartford (AHL) on Thursday.

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.

* Sean Avery: 1 game from 500 NHL career

* Michael Sauer: 1st career NHL assist/point (10/23 at BOS)
* Ryan Callahan: 100th career NHL point (10/23 at BOS)
* Evgeny Grachev: 1st career NHL game (10/29 vs. CAR)

* Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 10
* Marian Gaborik (IR – separated shoulder on Oct. 15, 2-4 weeks) – 7
* Chris Drury (IR – fractured finger on Oct. 15, 6 weeks) – 7
Total Man-Games Lost: 29

* 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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