Get your game notes: Ducks at Rangers

The red-hot Ducks visit the resurgent Rangers tonight on NBCSN, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— The Rangers and Ducks have the two longest road trips of the 2013-14 NHL season, among all teams. The Rangers began with a franchise record-tying, nine-game road trip (3-6-0 record, Oct. 3-26), while the Ducks will complete a season-high, eight-game road trip (4-2-1 record, Oct. 22-Nov. 4) tonight.

— The Ducks have not won at Madison Square Garden since Feb. 7, 2008 (0-3-0 since), the fourth-longest active drought by any NHL team at MSG, in terms of time duration. (Elias Sports Bureau)
1. Columbus Blue Jackets – Feb. 24, 2007 (six years, 253 days)
2. Phoenix Coyotes – Dec. 16, 2007 (five years, 323 days)
3. Los Angeles Kings – Feb. 5, 2008 (five years, 272 days)
4. Anaheim Ducks – Feb. 7, 2008 (five years, 270 days)

— The Ducks rank fifth in the NHL in goals/game (3.27). However, of their 49 goals, a league-high 42 have come during five-on-five situations. Their special teams have been far from special: they have converted on only four of 58 power play opportunities (6.9%), which ranks last in the NHL, and have killed off only 36 of 49 opportunities on the man-disadvantage (73.5%), which ranks 2nd-worst.

— The Rangers fired a combined 84 shots on goal in their last two games (46 in a 2-0 shutout of Buffalo on Oct. 31, and 38 more in a 5-1 victory over Carolina on Nov. 2). The last time the Rangers had more shots on goal in a two-game stretch was Dec. 23-27, 2010, when they had 89 combined.

— Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, the Ducks’ Corey Perry is one of only two players with at least 200 goals (228) and 500 penalty minutes (750) during that span. The other is the Hurricanes’ Eric Staal (260 goals, 509 penalty minutes), whose younger brother Marc will have the task of stopping Perry tonight.

— Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello assisted on all three of Derek Stepan’s goals in the Rangers’ 5-1 win vs. Carolina on Saturday. The last time the same three players accounted for all the points on a hat trick was Feb. 27, 2013, when the Ducks’ Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf assisted on all three goals scored by Kyle Palmieri, in a 5-1 win vs. Nashville. (Elias Sports Bureau)

— Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (47 shutouts in 521 games) needs two blank sheets to tie Ed Giacomin (49 shutouts in 538 games) for the franchise career mark. Since his rookie season (2005-06), Lundqvist has the most shutouts (47) in the NHL (Martin Brodeur – 46, Roberto Luongo – 41).

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau ranks second among all active NHL coaches, in terms of points percentage, i.e. total points won divided by maximum two points per game. (Minimum 100 games.)

1. Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh, 449 pts./334 games (668 maximum pts.) = .672 points%
2. Boudreau, Washington/Anaheim, 593 pts./450 games (900 max pts.) = .659 points%
3. Todd McLellan, San Jose, 511 pts./390 games (780 max pts.) = .655 points%
4. Mike Babcock, Anaheim/Detroit, 1,019 pts./801 games (1,602 max pts.) = .636 points%

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, Montreal/Vancouver/N.Y. Rangers, ranks tenth on the list among actives, with 952 pts./819 games (1,638 max pts.) = .581 points%

Video: Price takes out his frustration, as the Habs were crushed again

Getty
Leave a comment

It’s gone from bad, to worse, to an absolute nightmare for the Montreal Canadiens.

A three-game trip through California is never fun for opposing teams, but this was misery for the Habs. They were outscored a combined 16-5 in three games against the Sharks, Kings and Ducks, with few, if any positives beyond the second period in a 6-2 loss in Anaheim on Friday.

Montreal hasn’t won since its season opener on Oct. 5, and is now on a seven-game losing skid, unable to generate much offensively with a league worst 10 goals scored through seven games before tonight, while giving up plenty of goals at the other end.

That is a recipe for disaster and even though it’s still early in the season, this has to be a major concern for coach Claude Julien and, in particular, general manager Marc Bergevin.

Read more: Is there a trade to be made between the Penguins and Canadiens?

Down by three after the first period, Montreal had 30 shots on goal during the middle frame and managed to trim Anaheim’s lead down to one heading into the third period. And then, just when it seemed like maybe they were on a path toward an inspirational comeback on the road, it all fell apart.

Three straight goals for Anaheim, with journeyman forward Derek Grant scoring the first two goals of his NHL career — in game No. 93.

As you can probably tell from the clip below, Carey Price was visibly irritated, as he whacked his goalie stick against the post after the sixth Anaheim goal.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS:

Canucks defeat the Sabres, as the losing continues in Buffalo

Getty
1 Comment

The Buffalo Sabres remain stuck on just a single win to begin the season. Jack Eichel is sick of losing, but the losing continues.

Returning home from a four-game road trip out west, the Sabres had an opportunity ahead of them to get back into the win column. The Vancouver Canucks, hardly a powerhouse in any way, were in town. They had played — and lost — the night before in Boston. And then the Sabres went out and were thoroughly outplayed in a 4-2 loss that, one could argue, flattered the hosts.

They weren’t able to take advantage of an early lead after Justin Bailey was allowed access to the net off the rush. They couldn’t hold the lead after Eichel dangled Ben Hutton and then scored on a shot Jacob Markstrom should’ve stopped. They gave up yet another short-handed goal, putting that number at six for the Sabres just eight games into the season.

Instead, Buffalo spent most of the night in its own end, giving up 37 shots through two periods. Hard to pin this, in any way, on goalie Chad Johnson.

“First of all, I thought we didn’t defend well and close quick enough in our defensive zone. We were a little bit slow there tonight. We need to be more aggressive and on the puck,” said head coach Phil Housley after the game.

While the Sabres were badly outplayed, one of the deciding moments in this game was a controversial video review in the second period. Vancouver took the lead on a goal from Daniel Sedin, although Housley challenged for a potential offside after it looked like Jake Virtanen didn’t have control of the puck as he entered the zone.

The linesmen looked over the play for a lengthy review before officials came to the conclusion that Virtanen did have control of the puck as he broke in over the blue line. The goal stood and the Canucks controlled the remainder of the game.

“I disagree with the call, totally,” said Housley. “In my opinion, he knocks the puck out of the air. He never has possession.

“But I call that 10 out of 10 times offside and I would continue to challenge that again.”

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS:

Roberto Luongo leaves game with apparent injury, as Panthers fall to Penguins

Getty
Leave a comment

The Florida Panthers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. Making matters worse was the fact their goalie Roberto Luongo left the game in the third period with an apparent hand injury.

The injury occurred after a collision in the crease with Penguins forward Conor Sheary.

Luongo immediately went down to the ice in pain. A replay from above the net showed Luongo’s right hand getting caught in an awkward position against the post after coming into contact with Sheary as he cut through in front of the crease in pursuit of the puck.

The injury forced James Reimer off the bench and into the game with the Panthers trailing by a goal. MacKenzie Weegar tied the game for Florida before Sheary scored the eventual winner about eight minutes later, on a night when the Penguins fired 48 shots on the two Panthers goalies.

Luongo gave up three goals on 36 shots before leaving the game. The Panthers now head out on the road. They’ll visit the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS:

Video: More offside drama had Sabres coach Phil Housley up in arms

Getty
4 Comments

Just hours after the NHL admitted to an offside challenge error, there was another controversy during the Sabres-Canucks game on Friday.

Vancouver appeared to take the lead on a Daniel Sedin goal. However, Buffalo coach Phil Housley challenged the play for offside, after replays showed Jake Virtanen may not have had complete control of the puck as he broke in over the blue line.

The following challenge resulted in a brutally long review. For Buffalo, it was also unsuccessful as, surprisingly, officials deemed Virtanen did have control of the puck as he entered the zone. The goal counted, Vancouver took the lead.

Housley was not happy about it.

Not only was the challenge unsuccessful, but the Sabres were penalized for delay of game as a result.

From the NHL:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Linesman, NHL Hockey Operations staff confirmed that Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen had possession and control of the puck as he entered the attacking zone prior to the goal. According to Rule 83.1, “a player actually controlling the puck who shall cross the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered ‘off-side,’ provided he had possession and control of the puck prior to his skates crossing the blue line.”

Therefore the original call stands – good goal Vancouver Canucks.

It took 4:27 to come to a decision, too.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

MORE FROM NHL ON NBC SPORTS: