Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in the home opener tonight.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Monday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 3-6-0 (6 pts)
Canadiens: 6-5-0 (12 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in their 2013-14 regular season home opener. The Blueshirts currently rank seventh in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 14th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 3-6-0 (6 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Red Wings, 3-2, in overtime on Saturday at Detroit. The Canadiens enter the contest with a 6-5-0 (12 pts) record to rank sixth in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the New York Islanders tomorrow, Oct. 29, at Nassau Coliseum (7:00 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. CANADIENS:
All-Time: 191-323-94-3 overall (127-123-54-1 at home; 64-200-40-2 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the first of three meetings this season, and the only meeting at Madison Square Garden.
Last Season: New York was 0-3-0 overall (0-1-0 at home; 0-2-0 on the road). The Rangers out-shot the Canadiens, 76-62, in the series, including a 28-16 advantage in the first period. Anton Stralman notched the Rangers’ lone goal in the series, while Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan each tallied an assist. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 15 of 17 shots in his only appearance.
Only two of the Rangers and Canadiens last eight meetings have been decided by fewer than three goals – a 5-3 win for the Blueshirts on Nov. 5, 2011 at MSG, and a 3-1 loss on Feb. 19, 2013 a MSG
New York is 0-0-0 at home; Montreal is 3-1-0 on the road
New York is 1-0-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents; Montreal is 2-0-0 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
New York lists two former Canadiens on their roster: Dominic Moore (2009-10); Benoit Pouliot (2009-10 – 2010-11)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. CANADIENS: Henrik Lundqvist – 26 GP, 13-10-2, 1 SO, 2.87 GAA; Brad Richards – 37 GP, 9-13-22; Dominic Moore – 25 GP, 4-13-17; Derek Stepan – 11 GP, 0-7-7; Dan Girardi – 26 GP, 3-6-9.
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-3 (4:15) on Saturday at Detroit. New York ranks 19th in the NHL overall (5-27, 18.5%), and is tied for 29th at home (0-0, 0.0%). The Rangers are 2-2 (0:48) in five-on-three situations (last – 10/12 at STL), and 0-1 (0:30) when four-on-three (last – 10/12 at STL). Shorthanded goals allowed (2): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 3-4 (7:05) on Saturday at Detroit, and are now 24-28 (85.7%) in the last six games. New York is tied for 17th in the NHL overall (29-36, 80.6%), and ranks 30th at home (0-0, 0.0%). The Rangers are 2-2 (1:59) in three-on-five situations (last – 10/16 at WSH), and 0-0 (0:00) when three-on-four. Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).
Four-on-Four: New York tallied one goal in two four-on-four situations (4:59) on Saturday at Detroit, and are now -1 in 10 four-on-four situations (17:11) this season. Four-on-four goals for (2): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes).
The Rangers have posted a record of 36-34-16 in 86 home openers all-time at Madison Square Garden
The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in seven of their last nine home openers, posting a record of 4-2-1-2 over the span dating back to the 2003-04 season
New York established franchise records for most goals for and largest margin of victory in a home opener with a 7-0 win vs. Toronto on Nov. 20, 1932
The Blueshirts have posted nine shutouts all-time in home openers, with the last shutout in a home-opening game on Oct. 16, 2003 vs. Atlanta (Mike Dunham, 0-0); Andy Aitkenhead has posted a franchise record, two shutouts in home openers (Nov. 20, 1932 vs. Toronto and Nov. 18, 1934 vs. St. Louis)
ORIGINAL SIX SHOWDOWN:
Tonight’s contest will be the second of 14 scheduled games against Original Six opponents this season (1-0-0).
Last season, the Rangers posted a 4-5-0 record against Original Six opponents. Rick Nash and Derek Stepan tied for the team lead with five assists and seven points apiece, while Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards, and Anton Stralman tied Nash and Stepan for the team-high with two goals each against Original Six opponents. Michael Del Zotto (one goal, two assists), Dan Girardi (three assists), and Marc Staal (one goal, two assists) tied for the team lead in scoring among defensemen with three points apiece. Henrik Lundqvist was 4-3-0 with a 2.65 GAA and .901 Sv% in seven appearances against Original Six opponents.
New York is 59-37-12 against Original Six teams since 2005-06, including a 13-15-3 mark vs. Montreal over the span. The Rangers’ .602 win% ranks third, trailing Detroit (.631, 45-24-11) and Montreal (.607, 84-52-13), and ahead of Chicago (.562, 40-30-11), Boston (.530, 69-60-23), and Toronto (.490, 63-66-21).
ROAD WARRIORS: The Rangers concluded their season-opening nine-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime win at Detroit on Saturday. The trip established a franchise record for longest road trip to start the season, breaking the old record of seven games set in 2011-12. It also tied the franchise mark for longest road trip overall, established during the 1955-56 season. The Blueshirts’ home opener tomorrow against Montreal is their latest home opener in a non-lockout shortened season since the 1947-48 season (Oct. 29).
FINISHING THE JOB: The Blueshirts have registered a point in 94 consecutive regular season games when leading after the second period, dating back to the 2009-10 season, posting a record of 88-0-6 over the span. The Rangers’ last regulation loss in a game when entering the third with the lead was Feb. 4, 2010 (6-5 loss vs. WSH). New York is 2-0-0 when leading after the second period this season.
THE HOT LIST:
Brad Richards – eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last eight games
Derick Brassard – four points (one goal, three assists) in the last five games
Ryan McDonagh – two assists in the last four games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
Dan Girardi – 3 games from 500th NHL career
Marc Staal – 1 point from 100th NHL career; 3 games from 400th NHL career
Carl Hagelin (IR – 9/30; shoulder, out indefinitely) – 9
Rick Nash (IR – 10/14; head injury – 10/8, out indefinitely) – 6
Ryan Callahan (IR – 10/21; broken thumb – 10/16, 3-4 weeks) – 3
Henrik Lundqvist (injured, day-to-day) – 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 22
Photo by Getty Images.