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Rangers News and Notes: GameDay Edition

Here is your daily dose of New York Rangers News and Notes for the day. Remember it is a 7 O'clock start tonight against the Maple Leafs.

Steve Zipay confirmed in his blog yesterday that Henrik Lundqvist would get the nod tonight:

Henrik Lundqvist will be back in goal against Toronto and G Vesa Toskala, who is expected to play on Monday.

Really no surprise here. Nice to see Stephen Valiquette get a shutout in his first start of the year. Tortorella is going to have to lean on him this year, so games like this are nice to see.

Steve Zipay also has a few random stats for the Rangers:

The Rangers are 2-0 at home and have a six game regular-season home winning streak going back to last year.

Going 2 for 4 on the power play put the Blueshirts at 5 for the last 14, a blistering 35.7 percent rate.

Ales Kotalik has three goals in his last three games; Anisimov's goal was the first of his career. He had his first assist against Washington.

Marian Gaborik had an assist on Kotalik's goal: He is 4-3-7. Mike Del Zotto (2-3-5) and Prospal extended their point streaks to four games. 

I highlighted the stat that I was most impressed with. If anything tells you this is a different team than last year its the power play numbers.

Check after the jump for more.


Rick Carpiniello had this interesting stat on Rangers home games:

New York has sold out 158 consecutive regular season games, dating back to November 5, 2005 against New Jersey; the last regular season non-sellout was October 31, 2005 vs. Montreal (17,697); including the playoffs, the Rangers sellout streak is now at 172 games.

And our friend Andrew Gross over at Ranger Rants has a few interesting comments from last nights game.

On Sean Avery:

Sean Avery was his typical self during the game, prompting Ducks coach Randy Carlyle to say after the game it’s really hard to believe some of the stuff that comes out of Avery’s mouth.

This should surprise no one, although I always wish that I could mic him up and listen to what he says on the ice ...

On Ales Kotalik:

Obviously, Avery’s return through the lineup into a little bit of flux. The top two lines remained fairly consistent but John Tortorella admitted after the game he’s struggling to find ways to get Ales Kotalik ice time.

This is surprising to me. What this tells me is that John Tortorella is happy enough with Enver Lisins play, to the point where he doesn't want to take him off the third line. Yes, Tortorella messed with the lines a little during the game but it would appear that we have too much talent to fit into the top three lines. These are good problems to have my friends.

On this team:

I know the Rangers also got off to a good start last season (5-0) but I’m starting to think this Rangers’ team, assuming Marian Gaborik’s health, is going to surprise a lot of the "experts" this season. Sure they played a dog-tired Ducks team, skating on fumes at the end of a four-game road trip and off yesterday’s emotional 3-2 shootout win at Philadelphia. But I really liked the victory at Washington and I’m impressed the players seem to have a fairly good grasp of what Tortorella is teaching this quickly. The key, to me at least, is the defense getting the puck into the neutral zone and into the opponent’s zone quickly. Tonight was a good example of that. Granted, they had some rough moments, even usually-steady Marc Staal who nearly put a goal on Todd Marchant’s stick. But in the first and third period, the Rangers’ defense was as good as it’s been all season.

I have been waving this flag for a long time now, and although it is early in the season I think it still holds some truth that this team looks great. What excites me is that in a year or two Del Zotto, Gilroy and Anisimov will be well seasoned and the Rangers will have at least Evgeny Grachev, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh in the wings.

Jim will have your Leafs preview later. Make sure to come by the open game thread, we have hit 700 comments two games in a row and want that to continue!