NEW YORK RANGERS vs. BUFFALO SABRES
Thursday, Oct. 31, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 4-7-0 (8 pts)
Sabres: 6-5-0 (12 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight, Oct. 31, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), to begin a four-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently rank seventh in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 13th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 4-7-0 (8 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Islanders, 3-2, on Tuesday at Long Island, to wrap-up their second back-to-back set of the season. The Blueshirts have now won two of their last three games, including two straight on the road. The Sabres enter the contest with a 2-11-1 (5 pts) record to rank 16th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost five of their last six games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in a Metropolitan Division matchup.
RANGERS vs. SABRES:
All-Time: 62-73-25-5 overall (35-28-15-3 at home; 27-45-10-2 on the road)
2013-14: tonight is the first of three meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Madison Square Garden.
Last Season: New York was 2-1-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Rangers' power play was 2-6 (33.3%) in the series, while the penalty kill was 12-14 (85.7%) with one shorthanded goal. Rick Nash and Derek Stepan each tallied two goals and two assists for a series-leading four points apiece, while Brad Richards led all skaters with three goals. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 2.95 GAA and .888 Sv% in three games.
The Rangers and Sabres have been separated by one goal in nine of their last 15 meetings, including five that required overtime (two in the shootout)
Brad Richards notched his first career hat trick in the Rangers' 8-4 win at Buffalo on Apr. 19
New York is 0-1-0 at home; Buffalo is 2-4-0 on the road
New York is 1-1-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents; Buffalo is 1-2-0 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
Buffalo lists one former Ranger on their roster: John Scott (2011-12)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. SABRES:
Henrik Lundqvist – 24 GP, 12-10-2, 1 SO, 2.43 GAA
Brad Richards – 37 GP, 12-19-31
Ryan Callahan – 23 GP, 8-5-13
Rick Nash – 13 GP, 8-4-12
Michael Del Zotto – 13 GP, 0-6-6
The Rangers' power play is 3-12 (25.0%) in the last three games
The Blueshirts' penalty kill is 32-37 (86.5%) in the last eight games
Power Play: The Rangers were 2-4 (5:15) on Tuesday at NY Islanders. New York ranks 16th in the NHL overall (7-36, 19.4%), and 29th at home (0-5, 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 3-3 (5:18) on Tuesday at NY Islanders. New York ranks 13th in the NHL overall (37-45, 82.2%), and is tied for 14th at home (5-6, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-2 (1:59) in three-on-five situations (last – 10/16 at WSH), and 1-1 (0:12) when three-on-four (last – 10/29 at NYI). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).
Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two four-on-four situations (2:30) on Tuesday at NY Islanders, and are now -1 in 14 four-on-four situations (23:20) 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 Blueshirts have erased a 2-1 deficit heading into the third period in two of their last three games, and each of the last two road games. Their two third-period comebacks are tied for first in the league this season.
The Rangers defeated the Sabres, 8-3, in their last meeting on Apr. 19 at Buffalo. The eight goals marked a season high for New York, and were the most by the Rangers since Nov. 14, 2010 (W, 8-2 vs. EDM). The Rangers also established a franchise record for fastest five goals, tallying five goals in a span of 2 min. 58 sec. from 18:42 of the first period to 1:40 of the second period. The previous franchise record for fastest five goals was 3 min. 22 sec. in an 8-7 win vs. Edmonton on Feb. 15, 1985 at MSG.
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. Including the preseason schedule, the Rangers were on the road for 28 of 39 days, visiting 14 cities and traveling 15,263 miles. The Blueshirts' home opener on Monday against Montreal was their latest home opener in a non-lockout shortened season since the 1947-48 season (Oct. 29).
The Rangers have posted a record of 289-280-94 all-time in the month of October, including a 177-119-49 mark at home and a 112-161-45 record on the road. New York (4-7-0) is scheduled to play 12 games during the season's opening month in 2013-14.
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. Henrik Lundqvist has recorded 37 career wins during the month of October.
New York has posted two, seven-game winning streaks in the month of October, winning seven consecutive games during the season's opening month in 2009-10 (Oct. 3 vs. Ottawa to Oct. 17 at Toronto) and 1988-89 (Oct. 16 vs. Vancouver to Oct. 30 vs. Pittsburgh).
NEW (AND FAMILIAR) FACES
Benoit Pouliot and Jesper Fast (NHL debut) made their Rangers debut in the season opener on Oct. 3 at Phoenix, while Justin Falk made his Rangers debut on Oct. 12 at St. Louis and Cam Talbot made his NHL debut on Oct. 24 at Philadelphia. In addition, Dominic Moore returned to the Rangers lineup after skating with the Blueshirts from 2003-04 to 2005-06, and Derek Dorsett made his regular season debut after skating in 11 playoff contests with the Rangers last season.
COUNTDOWN TO 6K
The Rangers have played in 5,953 regular season games throughout the franchise's 88 seasons, just 47 games shy of 6,000 all-time. The Blueshirts are scheduled to play their 6,000th game all-time on February 6 against the Edmonton Oilers at Madison Square Garden.
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 Rangers out-shot the Capitals, 36-22, on Oct. 16 at Washington, including a 21-6 advantage in the second period. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 21 shots in the second were the most for the Blueshirts in a single period since Mar. 15, 2011 (21 shots in the first period vs. NYI).
MOVING ON UP
With the Rangers' 3-2 win on Tuesday at Long Island, Head Coach Alain Vigneault moved into a tie with Jacques Demers for 28th on the NHL's all-time head coaching points list, earning 948 points in 817 career games coached (426-295-35-61).
THE KING'S REIGN:
Henrik Lundqvist is one of four active NHL goalies to reach the 20-win mark in eight consecutive seasons (Brodeur, 12; Luongo, 9; Vokoun, 9), and is the only goaltender with an active streak of eight straight 20-win seasons
Was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, the fifth time in his eight-year career he has been voted a finalist for the award which he won in 2012
Finished last season tied for the league lead with 24 wins, becoming the first Rangers goaltender to lead the league in wins since Mike Richter in 1993-94 (42)
Passed Ed Giacomin as the franchise leader in career total shutouts (regular season + playoffs) with a 20-save shutout in last season's finale against New Jersey, the 51st total shutout of his career
The Blueshirts' netminder has captured Rangers’ MVP honors for a franchise record, seven consecutive years. His seven Rangers’ MVP awards are also a franchise record, passing Brian Leetch (six) for the most in franchise history.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
Dan Girardi – 1 game from 500th NHL career
Marc Staal – 1 point from 100th NHL career; 1 game from 400th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
Benoit Pouliot – 300th career NHL game (10/26 at DET)
Rick Nash (IR - 10/14; head injury - 10/8, out indefinitely) – 8
Ryan Callahan (IR - 10/21; broken thumb - 10/16, 3-4 weeks) – 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 27
Oct. 29 – Assigned forward Jesper Fast to Hartford (AHL)
Oct. 27 – Assigned goaltender Jason Missiaen to Hartford (AHL)
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