Another big weekend for your heroes, at another arena that changes names every five minutes.
Let’s see if they can win a game against a team that just beat them on Tuesday, a game sandwiched between games against the best team in the West and the best team in the East (tomorrow).
Of course, these are the road warriors, as you know.
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the New York Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Saturday, Jan. 15, 7:00 p.m.
Bell Centre • Montreal, Quebec
Rangers: 26-16-3 (55 pts)
Canadiens: 24-17-3 (51 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Jan. 13
The Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens in an Original Six match-up at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m.), to begin a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 26-16-3 (55 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Vancouver Canucks, 1-0, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden to end the Canucks’ 17-game point streak, and are now 9-3-2 in their last 14 games. New York has registered a point in 21 of their last 30 contests (19-9-2), and is 9-4-1 in their last 14 games at home. The Canadiens enter the contest with a 24-17-3 (51 pts) record to rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have registered a point in five of their last six games (4-1-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, Jan. 16, 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 Canadiens
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
- Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Canadiens
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. CANADIENS:
- All-Time: 188-316-94-3 overall (124-122-54-1 at home, 64-194-40-2 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the second of four meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Bell Centre. The Rangers are 0-1-0 following a 2-1 loss vs. the Canadiens on Tuesday at MSG.
- Last Season: New York was 1-2-1 overall and 0-1-1 at Montreal. Marian Gaborik led the Rangers with five points (two goals, three assists) in the season series.
- The Rangers rank first with a 15-7-1 (31 pts) record on the road; the Canadiens rank fourth with a 14-6-3 (31 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers are 6-3-1 vs. the Northeast Division; the Canadiens are 7-5-0 against the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 10-7-2 with a 2.93 goals against average and one shutout in 20 career regular season games vs. Montreal; Martin Biron has posted a record of 14-10-0-1 with a 2.41 goals against average and two shutouts in 27 career regular season games vs. Montreal
- Chris Drury has registered a team-high, 14 goals, 19 assists and 33 points in 42 career regular season contests vs. Montreal
- New York lists no former Canadiens on their roster
- Montreal lists two former Rangers on their roster: Scott Gomez (2007-08 –2008-09); Alex Auld (2009-10)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-seven rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for sixth in the league.
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in three power play opportunities (4:29) on Thursday vs. Vancouver. New York ranks 22nd overall (26-160, 16.2%) and ranks 19th on the road (13-79, 16.5%). The Rangers are 1-5 (5:01) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/24 at TBL), and 0-2 (2:23) when four-on-three (last – 12/3 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss).
- Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Canucks scoreless in three shorthanded situations (5:13) on Thursday at MSG, and are now 90-102 (88.2%) over the last 33 games. New York ranks ninth overall (130-155, 83.9%) and ninth on the road (75-90, 83.3%). The Rangers are 6-8 (6:05) in three-on-five situations (last – 1/13 vs. VAN), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (9): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko).
- Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Thursday vs. Vancouver, and are now plus-three in 35, four-on-four situations (65:50). Four-on-four goals for (5): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson).
ORIGINAL SIX SINCE 2005-06
New York has posted a record of 42-22-12 (96 pts) against Original Six opponents since the 2005-06 season, including a 10-8-3 mark vs. Montreal over the span. The Rangers’ .632 winning percentage ranks second, trailing Detroit (.713%, 36-13-5) and ahead of Montreal (.625%, 62-35-11), Boston (.523%, 48-43-17), Toronto (.519%, 47-43-18), and Chicago (.447%, 22-28-7).
A NORTHEAST FEAST
The Rangers have posted a record of 6-3-1 (13 pts) in 10 games vs. Northeast Division opponents this season, and are now 17-9-4 (36 pts) vs. the Northeast Division since the start of 2009-10 after posting an 11-6-3 (25 pts) mark against the Northeast Division in 20 games last season.
With his 31-save shutout in a 1-0 win vs. Vancouver on Thursday, Henrik Lundqvist moved into a tie with John Ross Roach for third on the Rangers’ all-time regular season shutouts list with 30, and fourth with Mike Richter on the team’s all-time shutouts list (including playoffs) with 33.
Henrik Lundqvist tied the NHL record for longest assist streak by a goaltender (Tom Barrasso – 1984-85, 1988-89; Ed Belfour – 2001-02) and became the first Rangers goalie to record an assist in three straight games (goalie games played) on Jan. 5 vs. Carolina, Jan. 7 at Dallas and Jan. 11 vs. Montreal. *courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau
YOUTH IS SERVED
The Rangers have the sixth youngest team in the league with an average age of 26 years and 210 days, and the youngest defensive corp in the league with an average age of 24 years and 328 days. *based on NHL rosters on Jan. 11
The Rangers will begin their 12th of 18 back-to-back sets tomorrow at Montreal. New York is 6-4-1 (1-0-0 at home, 5-4-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs, following a 3-2 shootout win at Dallas on Jan. 7. The Blueshirts are 10-1-0 (4-0-0 at home, 6-1-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 33-13, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 19-3-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 8-1-1 mark at MSG and 10-2-1 on the road over the span.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered four more wins and five more points compared to last season through 45 games (22-17-6, 48 points in 2009-10), having tallied eight more goals (128 this season, 120 last season) while allowing 13 fewer goals against (109 this season, 122 last season). New York has also shown a five-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (nine this season, four last season).
The Rangers rank first among Eastern Conference teams in winning percentage (.692), tied for first in wins (nine) and second in points (18) vs. Western Conference teams this season, having posted a 9-4-0 record in 13 games.
New York is currently 10 games over .500 with a 26-16-3 record. New York was never more than six games over .500 last season, having last been at least 10 games over on April 12, 2009 (43-30-9).
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in shorthanded goals (nine) and road wins (15), are tied for fifth in wins (26), seventh in points (55), rank sixth in goals against (109), 11th in goals for (128), and sixth with a plus-19 goal differential.
The Blueshirts lead the league with a .684 winning percentage in one-goal games, posting a record of 13-3-3 in those contests. Their 13 wins are tied for third in the NHL.
New York ranks second in the NHL with 13 points when trailing after two periods, having registered a 5-9-3 mark in those games. The Blueshirts’ five wins are tied for first in the league. New York won back-to-back games on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh (4-1) and Dec. 16 vs. Phoenix (4-3, SO), despite trailing by a goal entering the third period in both games. The last time the Rangers won consecutive games when trailing after two periods was during the 2008-09 season, on Nov. 15 vs. Boston (3-2) and Nov. 17 vs. Ottawa (2-1). Both games required the shootout.
The Rangers have had 17 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is the most in the NHL.
LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
The Rangers currently lead the NHL with 1,304 hits and rank third with 719 blocked shots. Ryan Callahan ranked second in the league with 128 hits and led all NHL forwards with 40 blocked shots prior to his injury on Dec. 15, while Dan Girardi currently leads the league with 129 blocked shots and Brian Boyle is tied for eighth in the NHL with 135 hits.
The Rangers registered their 20th win of the season with a 4-3 shootout win vs. Phoenix on Dec. 16, reaching the mark in just 34 games which is tied for 12th fastest in franchise history.
THE HOT LIST:
- Henrik Lundqvist is 12-5-2 with a 1.70 goals against average, a .938 save percentage and four shutouts in his last 19 games
- Brandon Dubinsky enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak (one goal, three assists), and has tallied 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in the last 19 games, with 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the last 10
- Matt Gilroy has registered five points (three goals, two assists) in his last nine games, and has posted a plus-10 rating in his last 20
- Derek Stepan has registered 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in the last 29 games
- Brian Boyle has recorded 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the last 18 games
- Brandon Dubinsky: 1 assist from 100 NHL career
- Matt Gilroy: 2 games from 100 NHL career
- Henrik Lundqvist: 4 wins from 200 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Henrik Lundqvist: 30th career NHL shutout (1/13 vs. VAN)
- Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 45
- Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 15
- Ryan Callahan (broken hand on Dec. 15) – 12
- Erik Christensen (sprained knee on Dec. 29) – 7
Total Man-Games Lost: 145
- Jan. 10 – Acquired forward Wojtek Wolski from Phoenix in exchange for defenseman Michal Rozsival