Update: 3:01PM: Pierre LeBrun writes about Gretzky today and even though he said he would consider it, LeBrun doesn't think that Gretzky will change his mind.

It sounds like Sather and Mike Keenan reached out to Gretzky.

Original Post: 9:33PM: Thursday: Pierre LeBrun says at the end of TSN's Insider Training segment that Glen Sather talked with Wayne Gretzky about playing in the Winter Classic Alumni game and that Gretzky is gonna "mull it over."

Gretzky, according to LeBrun, thought it was "classy" of Sather and the Dolan family to reach out to Gretzky about playing.

I am trying not to get too excited about this since there isn't confirmation that he will play, but I might be breaking out the old 99 jersey soon. Look for a post with a bunch of candidates for the game this weekend.

[jbutton color="red" link="http://www.snyrangersblog.com/category/chris-kreider/chris-kreider-scouting-report/" size="xsmall"]CLICK HERE[/jbutton] for more on the Alumni game.

Gretzky had said previously that he wasn't going to play in the game.

Tags: Alumni Game, Adam Rotter

Dec 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) checks New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) into the boards during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) checks New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) into the boards during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Throughout the season, Alain Vigneault has talked about different things that he would like to do or employ with the Rangers "in an ideal world."

In December, Vigneault was asked about the idea of giving Dan Girardi a rest as a precaution and said that it was one of those scenarios that would work "in an ideal world."

He said that the Metro is very tight and that "you need to play your best lineup and what you feel is your best lineup and that is what we are trying to do, we are trying to win games. "

On Saturday, Vigneault was again asked about the idea of resting Girardi and said that he is only looking at things one game at a time.

Tags: Dan Girardi
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Dec 12, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone (26) looks on at the face-off circle against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 12, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone (26) looks on at the face-off circle against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

In Newsday, Steve Zipay lists a number of defensemen that the Rangers could target at the trade deadline to boost their roster.

Zipay notes that, in addition to Kevin Shattenkirk, other pending UFAs like Michael Stone of Arizona, Brendan Smith of Detroit, Roman Polak of Toronto, Ron Hainsey of Carolina, Cody Franson of Buffalo, Dennis Wideman of Calgary and Johnny Oduya could be options. (Newsday)

Of those players, Wideman, Franson, Polak and Stone are right handed shots.

Zipay notes that it's unlikely that the Rangers could "pry away a skilled defenseman" like a Ryan Ellis of Nashville without having to surrender one of their young forwards. (Newsday)

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Prior to the Rangers loss to the Islanders on Thursday, Larry Brooks wondered if the Rangers were in need of acquiring a forward to play in their top-six for the stretch run and playoffs.

Brooks suggested Vancouver's Alex Burrows as a potential option because of his past with Alain Vigneault and his ability to be an agitator. (NY Post)

Burrows, 35, is in the final year of his contract and has a no-trade clause.

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Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault behind the bench against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault behind the bench against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Saturday after Rangers practice and said (NYR):

  • On the PP, "we had a long video session prior to practice today. It's definitely an area we are putting a lot of focus and attention on. You don't want the players to go out there and overthink, if you are thinking too much on the ice then you are playing slow and not moving the puck quick. Prior to practice, and we talked about and I really liked the work we did on the ice at practice. Puck movement was better and our attempts were better, retrieving the puck was better and I thought it was a good day."
  • "right now, points being so valuable and so important, all the games have been real tight, whether it be 5 on 5 or PP or PK, the plays that you have to make with puck become so important, taking care of the puck the right way, and that is on the PP also. Obviously, last game, that critical goal against that we gave up with five guys looking and not reacting. When they are in our zone, even if we are on the PP, we are defending and we need the five guys to defend. That is something we talked about this morning and I am confident we will respond better in the next game."
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 (Getty Images (@nyrangers on twitter))
(Getty Images (@nyrangers on twitter))

5:04PM: The Rangers have confirmed that Ratelle's number will be retired next season.

1:08PM: The Rangers will retire Jean Ratelle's #19 next season, Larry Brooks reports.

Brooks says that the Rangers will honor Ratelle as part of his recognition as one of the top 100 NHL players ever as well as the 50th anniversary of the current Madison Square Garden. (NY Post)

Ratelle said that he is looking forward to being back at MSG and that having your jersey retired is the "greatest honor a player can receive.

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Pavel Buchnevich is skating on the fourth line at practice today as well as on the PP. (Cyrgalis)

He is skating with Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast.

Buchnevich is on the PP with Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. (Cyrgalis)

Brady Skjei is skating with Derek Stepan, JT Miller, Jimmy Vesey and Rick Nash are the other PP unit. (Cyrgalis)

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Nov 15, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (93) skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Rogers Arena. The New York Rangers won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
Nov 15, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (93) skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Rogers Arena. The New York Rangers won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Since returning from his broken leg, Mika Zibanejad has played in 13 games and has 2 goals and 4 assists.

Zibanejad has not scored since netting two in his first game back and only has 1 assist in the past five games.

He said that his issues right now are mental and not physical and that he expects to provide and create offense for the Rangers.

He said that he knows that he has to be better and that he is sometimes hesitating for "a half-second" when he has a chance to make a play.

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
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Feb 16, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) plays the puck against New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 16, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) plays the puck against New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Rangers were 1 for 4 on the PP last night and had the man advantage for 7:55.

They had a 4 on 3 for 1:15 in the second period and 3:51 of PP time to start the third period.

The Rangers had a total of 5 shots on goal on the PP and attempted 12 shots.

  • Ryan McDonagh played 4:54 on the PP and attempted 3 shots with 1 on goal
  • Chris Kreider played 4:20 on the PP and attempted 0 shots
  • JT Miller played 4:13 on the PP and attempted 2 shots with 0 on goal
  • Kevin Hayes played 4:02 and attempted 0 shots on goal
  • Mika Zibanejad played 4:02 and attempted one 1 with 0 on goal
  • Derek Stepan played 3:53 and attempted 0 shots on goal
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Feb 16, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) plays the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 16, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) plays the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In the two seasons since the Islanders have moved their home games to Brooklyn, the Rangers are 0-3-1.

The Islanders have out-scored the Rangers 13 to 7 but the Rangers have out-shot the Islanders 134 to 123.

The Rangers have not scored more than 2 goals in a game in Brooklyn and Alain Vigneault said last night that the Rangers "seem to have issues" in Brooklyn and that right now there is nothing they can do about that.

Henrik Lundqvist said that the Rangers wanted to get a win in Brooklyn and noted that a win would have provided an "extra good feeling" but that losing the game is not a "big deal."

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Following last night's game, Ryan McDonagh said that he felt that the Rangers didn't match the intensity that the Islanders brought. (MSG)

He said that the Rangers had the puck in the Islanders zone for a lot of the first period but that they controlled the puck more in the second and third and were "chasing a bit." (MSG)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers had a good first period but only recorded 5 shots on goal and didn't capitalize enough on the zone time they had.

He said that in the second the Rangers made two decisions with the puck "that were wrong and it ended up in the back of our net."

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Feb 16, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 16, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

About 3 minutes into the third period, with the Rangers on the PP, the following sequence occurred:

  • 2:54: Nikolay Kulemin blocked a shot from Ryan McDonagh
  • 2:58: Kulemin takes the puck away
  • 3:01: Kulemin puts a shot on Henrik Lundqvist
  • 3:03: John Tavares puts a shot on Lundqvist
  • 3:03: Kulemin scores off a feed from Tavares
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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on against the Dallas Stars during the first period at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on against the Dallas Stars during the first period at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Islanders and said (NYR):

  • On the shorthanded goal, "there is no doubt, we had 5 guys standing around and looking at two of their players making plays in front of our net. Without a doubt that put us behind the 8-ball early in the third. I thought we came out good in the first period but we only got 5 shots. We spent a lot of time in their end but didn't get much for it. In the second period we made two puck decisions that were wrong and it ended up in the back of our net. Then you give this team a two-goal lead with that shorthanded goal we gave up there. It makes it real hard and they deserve to win, we didn't make enough plays with the puck."
  • On the PP, "they got a goal that they shouldn't have got, like I mentioned, 5 guys just looking at them do what they want in front of our net. We got one right back after, just had a hard time making plays in their end. You gotta give them credit, they played a good game. We seem to have issues in this building right now, nothing we can do about that, we gotta get ready for our next game. Practice Saturday and the best team in the league on Sunday."
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Dec 31, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) looks on during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Dec 31, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) looks on during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Isles and said:

  • On their intensity in the second, "we had a stretch in the second where they came hard and we made it hard on ourselves with a couple of turnovers that cost us. Overall it's a good game, I feel that the third one is a killer, it's our PP and sometimes when you have an extra man you might rely on someone else to do the job and I think that is what happened. We didn't communicate enough in front of the net, we had the guys back but we didn't sort it out. That was the difference. Overall it was a good game, we worked hard and had some chances but when we gave that one up it was a tough hill to climb."
  • How close were you to covering up the puck, "it was right there, he kept hacking and whacking and the puck kept bouncing. It was right there and when it ended up behind I thought we had the coverage. We had 4 guys back but we didn't sort it out and it cost us. In a game like this where we had some good looks 5 on 5, special teams can decide the game and it did."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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GEICO SportsNite: Isles best NYR 00:00:24
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh discusses the Rangers 4-2 loss to the Islanders on the road at Barclays Center.

Andrew Ladd scored twice and the Islanders extended their unbeaten streak at the Barclays Center to 10 games with a 4-2 win over the Rangers, who came into the game having won six straight. >> Read more


First period:

  • 6:23 NYR Nick Holden; Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Brady Skjei

Second period:

  • 2:43 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Josh Bailey, John Tavares
  • 6:24 NYI Andrew Ladd; Assists: Stephen Gionta

Third period

  • 3:03 NYI Nikolay Kulemin (short handed); Assists: John Tavares
  • 3:46 NYR Jimmy Vesey (power play); Assists: Brady Skjei, Rick Nash
  • 18:50 NYI Andrew Ladd (empty net); Assists: Jason Chimera
Tags: Brady Skjei, Jimmy Vesey, Mats Zuccarello, Nick Holden, Rick Nash
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

5:45PM: Alain Vigneault said before the game (NYR):

  • "The only game-time decision that we have is Kleiner. He isn't feeling well right now, he is here, Adam is coming in and we will probably decide here in the next 45 minutes."
  • The flu, "yea."
  • On being in Brooklyn, "we haven't won in this building yet. We need to play a good game tonight, they are coming off a loss to Toronto, they were playing some real solid hockey before that. We are going to have to play a real solid game here and manage the puck real well and that is what we will try and do tonight here."
  • On the forward combos, "Any coach will tell you that you would like to be consistent and keep the same lines. It depends on how certain guys are performing and if other players on a certain night have more jump or better decision making, you make some in-game decisions but every coach will tell you that if you can be consistent he would like to do that."
Tags: Kevin Klein
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Henrik Lundqvist will start for the Rangers Thursday night against the Islanders after getting a rest in the Rangers 3-2 win over Columbus on Monday.

In the five games he played prior to getting the night off, Lundqvist was 5-0-0, stopping 174 of 184 shots for a save percentage of .946.

Lundqvist said Wednesday that it was good for him to get in a bunch of games and that it allowed him to find the right level of focus. (NYR)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) and Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) faceoff during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) and Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) faceoff during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

2/16/17 | 12:07PM: Ryan McDonagh said Wednesday that the Rangers need to make one or two passes and then get the puck and bodies toward the net. (NYR)

He said that the Rangers have been struggling to get set up on the power play and even when they do they are making too many passes and looking for open lanes. (NYR)

McDonagh said that when the Rangers are going well on the power play they are making plays quickly but now they are "struggling to find" their confidence. (NYR)

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Jan 19, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich (89) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. New York defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Jan 19, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich (89) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. New York defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Pavel Buchnevich will be a healthy scratch Thursday night against the Islanders for the first time this season.

In the 14 games since Buchnevich returned, he has two goals, five assists, a minus-1 rating, 15 shots on goal and an average of 12:19 per game.

In the past six games, Buchnevich has one assist, a plus-1 rating, five shots on goal and an average of 9:16 per game.

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers 00:00:45
Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist speak to the media after practice as the Rangers prepare for the game with the Islanders at Barclays Center.

Jan 4, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) shoots the puck in the game against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 4, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) shoots the puck in the game against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

2/15/17 | 9:07PM: On NBCSN, Darren Dreger said that the asking price for Kevin Shattenkirk, as a rental, is "incredibly high" and features a prospect and a first round pick.

Dreger added that a third piece may even need to be added depending on the draft pick or prospect.

2/3 | 1:23PM: Darren Dreger writes that the feeling from coaches and GMs around the league is that Shattenkirk is a second pairing defenseman "at best" on a contending team. (TSN)

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Brian Compton, Adam Rotter, and Nick Licalzi discuss the Rangers' winning streak in this abbreviated version of Rangers Blue Line. Later, the guys take to Twitter to answer questions from fans.

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Alain Vigneault met with the media on Wednesday after practice and said (NYR):

  • On Puempel going back in, "Buch had a so-so game last game. Part of the growing process of a young player. Puemps is a young player and I just feel that it's time to get him in and get him a game."
  • On the Islanders, "System wise, I have watched a couple of their games, I haven't seen a lot of difference but a lot of their players have picked up their games. Their goalie started off real well for them and without getting into specific names there are some players who are playing some pretty good hockey. They didn't particularly play well last night so I figure that they will be highly motivated, they always are against us. Should be a good game."
  • On only having played them twice so far, "the schedule is laid out the way it is and I can't really comment on why this is happening at this time but both teams are fighting hard to get into the playoffs so it should be a hard fought game."
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Dec 29, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Rangers left wing Matt Puempel (12) celebrates after scoring his third goal of the game for a hat trick during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Dec 29, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Rangers left wing Matt Puempel (12) celebrates after scoring his third goal of the game for a hat trick during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

2:25PM: Alain Vigneault announced today that Matt Puempel will return to the Rangers lineup against the Islanders tomorrow and take the place of Pavel Buchnevich. (NYR)

Vigneault said that Puempel is a young player and that he wants to get him back into the lineup. (NYR)

Puempel last played for the Rangers on 2/5 against Calgary and has been a healthy scratch the past four games.

He has six goals and 1 assist in 18 games with the Rangers.

Tags: Matt Puempel , Pavel Buchnevich
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12:31PM: The Rangers PP units today are (Cyrgalis):

  • McDonagh, Zuccarello, Vesey, Stepan and Nash
  • Brady Skjei, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, JT Miller and Chris Kreider

12:06PM: At Rangers practice today, the lines being used are (Cyrgalis):

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes, JT Miller
  • Matt Puempel, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast
  • Jimmy Vesey, Derek Stepan, Rick Nash

Pavel Buchnevich is reportedly skating as an extra defenseman today, an indication he could be scratched tomorrow against the Islanders.

The defense pairs are McDonagh and Girardi, Staal and Holden, Skjei and Klein.

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Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) carries the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) trails the play during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) carries the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) trails the play during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

In the four games since returning from a lower body injury, Kevin Hayes has 2 goals, 5 assists , a plus 5 rating, 9 shots on goal and an average of 17:35.

In 51 games this season Hayes has 15 goals and 27 assists.

Tags: Kevin Hayes
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Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and defenseman Dan Girardi (5) celebrates win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and defenseman Dan Girardi (5) celebrates win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

In his return to the lineup after missing two games with a foot injury, Dan Girardi played 16:22 and saw 4:05 on the PK in the Rangers win over Columbus.

He played 5:12 in the first, 6 minutes in the second and 5:10 in the third while also blocking three shots.

Girardi scored a shorthanded goal 12 seconds into the second period that bounced off of two Columbus sticks and into the net.

Tags: Dan Girardi
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Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta (32) makes a save against Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta (32) makes a save against Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

In his first start in nearly a month and his first appearance in about two weeks, Antti Raanta stopped 30 of 32 shots including 24 of shots in the final 40 minutes.

In the stretch following Jimmy Vesey's game winning goal, Columbus 2 shots on goal, 2 shot attempts blocked and 2 shot attempts that missed the net.

Raanta said that he felt good from the start and carried over the hard work he had been putting in during practice. (MSG)

Tags: Antti Raanta
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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

With their win against Columbus Monday night, the Rangers extended their win streak to a season-high six games.

During this streak the Rangers:

  • Out-attempted 315 to 215 at 5-on-5 (Natural Stat Trick)
  • Out-shot 152 to 173 at 5-on-5 (Natural Stat Trick)
  • Scored 14 goals while only allowing nine at 5-on-5 (Natural Stat Trick)
  • Have 126 scoring chances, with 145 chances against at 5-on-5 (Natural Stat Trick)
  • Henrik Lundqvist is 5-0-0 with a save percentage of .946 and stopping 174 of 184 shots.
  • JT Miller has two goals and eight assists
  • Kevin Hayes has two goals and five assists
  • Derek Stepan has zero goals and three assists
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Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) shoots against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) shoots against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

2/15/17 | 5:21PM: Alain Vigneault said on Wednesday that Vesey has been handling the learning curve of the NHL "very well," adding "I look at the last game where he got off to, he was skating real well, playing the body and seemed like he had some good energy. Jimmy had his legs and had some jump and sparks and he was physical. He is doing exactly what we expected, that any young player does." (NYR)

2/14/17 | 12:14PM: Jimmy Vesey scored the game-winner Monday night for the Rangers -- his first goal in five games -- and has six goals and three assists in the past 35 games.

Vesey had two shots on goal and was moved up to skate with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash because Alain Vigneault said that he was skating better than Pavel Buchnevich at the time.

Tags: Jimmy Vesey
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Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) makes a save as New York Rangers defenseman Nick Holden (22) looks for the rebound during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) makes a save as New York Rangers defenseman Nick Holden (22) looks for the rebound during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers did what they had to do to win Monday night in Columbus.

He said that the Rangers "found a way to win" and that being able to do that when top guys don't have their best game is "usually a sign of a good team. When you can win a game and not really be at your best execution wise, it's not a bad sign."

John Tortorella said that he felt the Blue Jackets gave the Rangers some "free stuff" in a game that was hard fought and his team played really well. (CBJ)

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Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault behind the bench against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault behind the bench against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers win over Columbus:

  • On the win, "it wasn't a lot of room in the game as far as space and time and lanes to get shots through. We did what we had to do, we found a way to win and a few of our guys maybe not have their top game but that is usually a sign of a good team. When you can win a game and not really be at your best execution wise, it's not a bad sign."
  • On Jimmy Vesey, "it was a great shot and a great play. I thought that in the third we were able to get some good looks and Grade A chances where a lot of their opportunities came more from the side. From that standpoint we played a pretty solid third period."
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Dec 17, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates with teammates after a goal in the shootout against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The Rangers won 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Dec 17, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates with teammates after a goal in the shootout against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The Rangers won 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Jimmy Vesey scored the game winning goal for the Rangers tonight at 13:28 of the third period.

From the Rangers Game Notes: "Jimmy Vesey recorded the game-winning goal, tied for the game-high with two hits, registered two shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating. He is tied for second among NHL rookies in game-winning goals this season (four), and he also ranks second on the Rangers in game-winning goals in 2016-17. He is the first Ranger who has registered four game-winning goals in his rookie season since Nigel Dawes in 2007-08. In addition, Vesey has tallied each of his last two goals against the Blue Jackets."

Tags: Jimmy Vesey
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New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Vesey's go-ahead goal midway through the third period propelled the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday at Nationwide Arena. >> Read more


First period:

  • 8:12 COL Brandon Dubinsky; Assists: Brandon Saad, Seth Jones

Second period:

  • 0:12 NYR Dan Girardi (short handed); Assists: Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller

Third period:

  • 4:49 NYR Hayes; Unassisted
  • 11:53 COL Nick Foligno; Assist: David Savard
  • 13:28 NYR Jimmy Vesey; Assists: Derek Stepan, Nick Holden  
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Nick Holden, Oscar Lindberg
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Alain Vigneault spoke with the media prior to tonight's game against Columbus and said (NYR):

  • Why Raanta, "he's played real well for us and it's time to get him back in. He's had some real good practices, I wanted to make sure that he had quality practice time, which he has, and I am sure he will give us a good game tonight."
  • On switching the lines up, "it has more to do with the opposition tonight and their line combos. Step with Kreids and Mats had been playing real well and then I decided to make some changes there. It has more to do with the opposition than anything else."
  • Do you want more time for Buchnevich 5 on 5, "I think he has played well. He missed a lot of hockey, he has played fairly well since he came back. He's one of the young players that we feel has a tremendous amount of upside. Tonight we will start that way and we will see who it turns out."
  • Is Buchnevich on the right, "no he will play the left."
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New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Rangers face the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road Monday at Nationwide Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Rangers beat the Avalanche, 4-2, at home on Saturday night, winning their season-high tying fifth straight tilt with the triumph. Including each of its last four victories, New York has tallied four or more goals 28 times in 2016-17 -- most of any team in hockey.
  • Columbus defeated Detroit, 2-1, at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night, snapping its two-game home losing streak in the process. With their victory over the Wings, the Blue Jackets now have 35 wins on the season -- one more than they had all of 2015-16.
  • The Jackets have taken two of three from the Blueshirts this season, scoring four or more times in each contest. With a victory tonight, Columbus will have more single-season wins over New York than in any other campaign all-time.

 

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets, Kevin Klein
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Feb 7, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 7, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Henrik Lundqvist will be the backup tonight as the Rangers play the Blue Jackets.

Lundqvist spoke after the morning skate on Monday and said (NYR):

  • "You can feel that you played 4-5 games in a short matter of time and it's nice to get the night off tonight and work yesterday in practice and today and focus on the next game."
  • Have you reflected on 400, "Saturday night I did, I spent a couple of hours, took it all in and enjoyed that moment. Then you move on, you don't want to get stuck, yesterday it was back to work and work on your game and get better but I definitely spent Saturday night taking it all in and answering all my buddies, lots of text messages so I spent half the night just answering people. It was a great moment, for that game and how it ended and the love that the fans showed me was special to me. It never gets old either, to have that feeling at the Garden and to win a big game and enjoy it with your friends and teammates."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Dec 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

2:49PM: Girardi spoke with the media this morning and said (NYR):

  • On the skate this morning, "obviously get a couple of more reps, only 4 guys out there so a lot of shots and a lot of skating and it was nice to get out there and do that."
  • On when it first happened, "I knew it would be sore the next day but it got pretty big and the next day I couldn't even really get my foot in my skate and that was a no-go. I tried to put it in the next day at practice and couldn't really walk, so that was a no-go. I skated Saturday morning a bit which wasn't too great but practice yesterday with the team was better and today it felt fine. I wanted to take some time and let it heal properly and I'm ready to go now."
  • Is there extra protection, "I'll probably but something down there just to be safe but you can't really be thinking about it there. You just gotta play and if it gets hit again it gets hit again."
  • Did you have to be convinced to sit out, "The convincing was that my skate wouldn't go on. Your feet is a big part of the game, all the other stuff you can battle through but skating is a big part and if you can't skate you can't play."

12:06PM: Girardi said that he is good to go and that the swelling around his foot has gone down. (Zipay)

Girardi practiced in full on Sunday and noted that his feet are pretty important part of his game. (NY Post)

Tags: Dan Girardi
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Dec 31, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal with center Derek Stepan (21) and right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Dec 31, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal with center Derek Stepan (21) and right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

During practice yesterday, Alain Vigneault moved around some of the Rangers lines including (NY Post):

  • Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad, Rick Nash
  • Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello
  • Jimmy Vesey, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast

Vigneault kept the JT Miller, Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes line together. (Zipay)

Kreider, Stepan and Zuccarello were the Rangers top line for a stretch a few weeks ago.

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

In the Rangers first three home games this past week, the line of Derek Stepan between Rick Nash and Jimmy Vesey had:

  • Rick Nash: 1 goal, 9 shots on goal, a minus one rating and 16:20 per game
  • Derek Stepan: 1 assist, 5 shots on goal, minus one rating and 18:20 per game
  • Jimmy Vesey: 5 shots on goal, minus one rating and 14:29 per game.

On Saturday, Rick Nash converted a Derek Stepan pass 5:36 into the third period to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

Derek Stepan said that he felt that his line had played better in the Rangers first three home games than they did on Saturday but were not rewarded. (Game Notes)

Tags: Rick Nash
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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A fan holds up a sign in honor of the 400th NHL win by New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (not pictured) against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; A fan holds up a sign in honor of the 400th NHL win by New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (not pictured) against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Derek Stepan said that between the second and third periods last night that Henrik Lundqvist spoke up and said that the Rangers would not lose this game. (Newsday)

Mats Zuccarello said that Lundqvist wants to win every night and that his teammates "like to win for him as well." (NY Times)

JT Miller said that the Rangers were playing for two points but they also wanted to get win 400 for Lundqvist at MSG, saying "he's our leader. He's been this team's leader for 12 years. (NY Post)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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The following is a list of where the Rangers have had their scouts recently:

2/16/17 | Avs/Sabres in Buffalo (Frei)

Two scouts at Arizona/LA in LA (Bernstein)

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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Kevin Klein scored the Rangers first two goals last night in their win over Colorado and had a plus 3 rating.

Klein played 19:49, had 4 shots on goal, 1 shot that missed the net, 5 hits and 1 takeaway.

He played 6:04 in the first period, 6:09 in the second period and 7:36 in the third period.

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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Derek Stepan said that between the second and third periods last night that Henrik Lundqvist spoke up and said that the Rangers would not lose this game. (Newsday)

The Rangers were down 2-1 heading into the third and Lundqvist stopped 17 shots and the Rangers scored thrice in the third to take the lead and win.

Stepan said that the Rangers didn't play well in the second period but found their game in the third by simplifying things and getting pucks to the net. (Game Notes)

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Dec 8, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts on the bench during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)
Dec 8, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts on the bench during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers win over Colorado:

  • On Henrik and the fans, "there is no doubt, for our whole group, our guys came out strong. I liked our first period, we didn't give them much. In the second our execution slipped and they came on and Hank had some saves to make. In the third guys got back to playing with speed and more authority on the ice and we were able to get a couple and win this one and get him his 400th at home."
  • Does Henrik ever surprise you, "all his teammates know that his prep and his focus is with the top players that I have coached. He wants to do well, he wants this team to do well and we got a great role model there as far as competing and working. Happy that he got this done tonight."
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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) salutes the fans after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) salutes the fans after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Henrik Lundqvist wore the Broadway Hat and spoke with John Giannone on MSG after the game:

  • "The key for us was, just like last game, not get hurt again after they scored their second. You could see how much confidence they gained and they gave us some trouble towards the end of the second period. Sitting here, going into the third, we are a confident group, we believe in each other and that we can raise our game when we really have to and we did. Guys had a lot of jump and came out and played a really strong third period and it won us the game."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) waves to the fans after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) waves to the fans after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Madison Square Garden. The win was Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Rangers trailed the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in the final period but came from behind to win 4-2, earning their fifth straight victory and Henrik Lundqvist's 400th career win. >> Read More

First Period:

  • 2:26 NYR Kevin Klein; Assists: Brady Skjei, Oscar Lindberg
  • 19:44 COL Gabriel Landeskog; Assists: Nathan MacKinnon, Fedor Tyutin

Second Period:

  • 3:01 COL John Mitchell; Assists: Blake Comeau, Jarome Iginla 

Third Period:

  • 2:50 NYR Kevin Klein; Assists: Jesper Fasts, Oscar Lindberg
  • 5:36 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh
  • 18:22 NYR Kevin Hayes (empty net); Assists: Michael Grabner, J.T. Miller
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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media earlier prior to tonight's game against Colorado (NYR):

  • On Girardi, "Danny skated this morning, It's coming along and hopefully he will practice with the team tomorrow and it won't be much longer."
  • On Henrik starting, "he has played well and like I mentioned yesterday, he has a real special relationship with our fans and to do this here at home is something special for him and our team and we will try everything we can for him to get this done."
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Dec 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 7-2.Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 7-2.Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

In his first full season with the Rangers, Brady Skjei has two goals, 22 assists, a plus 8 rating, 76 shots on goal and an average of 16:37 per game.

Skjei joins Brian Leetch, Sergei Zubov and Michael Del Zotto as the only Ranger defensemen to record at least 20 assists in their rookie season.

Prior to the Rangers trip to Arizona in late December, Alain Vigneault said of Skjei "I see so much potential there as far as that skating ability and being able to skate the puck away from pressure. (NYR)

He continued, "I really believe that he has improved as far as his decisions with the puck and that when he plays with that bite and jam he is tough to play against one on one because of the mobility and skating." (NYR)

Tags: Brady Skjei
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Dec 17, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the first period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Dec 17, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the first period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Henrik Lundqvist will start tonight against the Avs and with a win he will record his 400th career win.

Lundqvist is currently 12th on the all-time list with 399 wins and could move into 9th all time with 9 more wins this season.

Alain Vigneault said that Lundqvist has a special relationship with Ranger fans and that trying to get win 400 at MSG would likely mean a lot to him and to the fans.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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