Games Notes: Rangers vs. Montreal
The Rangers face-off against the Montreal Canadiens tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.). The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 24-14-3, and fourth in the Eastern Conference with 51 points. The Rangers enter tonight's contest having defeated the Penguins, 4-0, on Monday at Madison Square Garden, and have recorded a point in six of their last nine games (5-3-1). Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will travel to Buffalo to face-off against the Sabres on Friday, January 9, at HSBC Arena (7:30 p.m.), in the first game of a five-game road trip. The Canadiens, 22-10-6, currently rank fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with 50 points, and have won six of their last eight games.
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Tune In Tonight!
Today's game will be televised on MSG. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York and on satellite radio at XM 204.
Rangers vs. Canadiens Pre-Game Notes
* The Rangers are 14-7-2 at home this season; The Canadiens have posted a 10-6-2 record in 18 road contests.
* The Rangers are 3-4-0 against the Northeast Division this season; The Canadiens have posted a 5-2-2 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.
* The Blueshirts are off to their second-best start at the halfway point since the NHL adopted an 82-game season in 1995-96, with 24 wins (most since 1995-96) and 51 points (most since 2005-06).
* New York has won six of the last nine contests vs. Montreal, notching four or more goals in seven games over the span.
* The Rangers have tallied six power play goals in their last three games vs. the Canadiens for a success rate of 50.0 percent (six of 12).
* The Blueshirts are 17 of 19 in shorthanded situations (89.5%) in their last four meetings with the Canadiens.
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 7-3-1 record, along with a 2.76 goals against average and one shutout in 12 career regular season appearances vs. Montreal.
* In the season series, Nigel Dawes and Markus Naslund lead the Rangers with one goal apiece, while Nikolai Zherdev, Paul Mara, Chris Drury, and Scott Gomez have each tallied one assist in one game.
* Gomez has registered 35 points (six goals and 29 assists) in 31 career games vs. the Canadiens; Drury has notched 26 points (10 goals and 16 assists) in 34 career games vs. Montreal; Wade Redden has recorded 30 points (eight goals and 22 assists) in 59 career contests vs. the Canadiens.
* With a shutout win on Monday vs. Pittsburgh, Lundqvist became just the fifth goaltender in NHL history to begin his career with four straight 20-win seasons (Mike Liut, 1979-84; Bill Durnan, 1943-50; Frankie Brimsek, 1938-43; George Hainsworth, 1926-32); He also joined three other Rangers netminders who have posted four consecutive 20-win seasons (Mike Richter, 1995-01; Ed Giacomin, 1965-73; Dave Kerr, 1937-40).
* Dawes tallied two points (one goal and one assist) while skating in his 100th NHL game on Monday vs. the Penguins, and has now registered six points (three goals and three assists) in the last five games.
* Derek Stepan, the Rangers' second round selection (51st overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has registered five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 22 games with the University of Wisconsin Badgers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA); The freshman has recorded 11 points (three goals and eight assists) in his last 10 games, and currently ranks third on the Badgers in scoring (17 points) and is tied for second on the team in assists (12).
* The Rangers list no former Canadiens on their roster.
* Montreal's roster lists one former Ranger; Alex Kovalev (1992-93 to 1998-99 and 2002-03 to 2003-04).
All Time – Rangers vs. Canadiens
At MSG: 122-119-54-1
At Montreal: 63-193-40-1
2008-09 - Rangers vs. Canadiens
Dec. 4 Rangers 2, Canadiens 6 at Montreal
Jan. 7 Rangers vs. Canadiens at MSG
March 17 Rangers vs. Canadiens at Montreal
April 7 Rangers vs. Canadiens at MSG
Upcoming Regular-Season Schedule
Jan. 7 Rangers vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9 Rangers at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 Rangers at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 Rangers at Islanders, 7 p.m.
Jan. 16 Rangers at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 2-2-1
Last 10 NYR games: 5-4-1
* The Rangers have lost 10 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.
Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:
The Wolf Pack got back in the win column on Tuesday night with a 6-3 triumph over the Manitoba Moose (Vancouver affiliate) in Winnipeg, in the first game between themselves and the Moose in nearly six years. The teams go back at one another tonight (8:30). The six goals tied a Wolf Pack season high, and the Pack also equaled a season best with three power-play goals in the game (3/6). The Wolf Pack scored their six tallies on only 21 shots, outshot in the game by a count of 28-21. The Pack had split a pair of home games over the weekend, defeating Grand Rapids (Detroit affiliate) 4-1 on Friday night before dropping a 6-2 decision to league-leading Hershey on Saturday. The Wolf Pack now have at least a point in nine of their last 13 games (8-4-0-1). After tonight’s game in Winnipeg, the Pack move on to Springfield (Edmonton) on Friday (7:30) and visit Bridgeport (Islanders affiliate) Saturday (7:00).
For more Wolf Pack news, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com.