Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Detroit Red Wings at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• NYR has lost its past two games, both in shootouts (1-0 vs. WPG last Saturday and 4-3 on Monday against STL). The Rangers have several key absences to their blueline, as 4 of their 6 opening night defensemen were out of the lineup for Monday’s game against STL.
• Captain D Ryan McDonagh separated his shoulder in last Saturday’s loss to WPG. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.
• Veteran D Dan Boyle broke his hand in the first game of the season and remains sidelined.
• D Kevin Klein was also injured in the Jets game. Klein suffered a foot contusion blocking a shot and is considered day-to-day.
• D John Moore will serve the 3rd game of his 5-game suspension after last week’s illegal hit on MIN F Erik Haula.
• This has forced many NYR defensemen into new roles:
— D Conor Allen, 24, was recalled from Hartford (AHL) on Nov. 2 and played in his 4th career NHL game on Monday, logging 13:03 TOI. Allen signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013 following his career at the University of Massachusetts.
— D Dylan McIlrath, 22, was also recalled last Sunday, and played 8:02 against STL – his 3rd career game. He was NYR’s 1st round pick (10th overall) in the 2010 Entry Draft.
— D Mike Kostka has more NHL experience (66 career GP), but also began the season in the AHL. Kostka also played at UMass, and is now on his 4th NHL team in his 3rd season.
— D Matt Hunwick began the season as the Rangers’ 7th defensemen, but has played over 24 minutes in each of NYR’s last two games. This is Hunwick’s 8th NHL season – and his 1st in NYR – after stints in BOS and COL.
• DET will be playing on back-to-back nights following last night’s 3-1 loss in Ottawa.
• Like NYR, the Red Wings have dropped their past two games – 3-2 (SO) to BUF on Nov. 2 and 3-1 to OTT yesterday. DET has not lost three straight games or two consecutive regulation games yet this season.
• G Jimmy Howard stopped 29 of 31 shots last night, but lost his second straight start. The Red Wings will turn to backup G Jonas Gustavsson for tonight’s game against NYR.
• Gustavsson shut out TOR in his first start on Oct. 18 but gave up 3 goals on 16 shots in his only other start, a 4-2 DET loss in PHI on Oct. 25.
• 579th regular-season meeting
• 1st of 3 meetings this season. Final 2 games (Dec. 6 and Mar. 4) are in DET.
• Last season, NYR went 3-0-0 against DET, including shutouts in both games at MSG (1-0, 3-0).
• The Rangers have won 4 straight overall against DET. They have not won 5 straight against DET since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
• DET last win at NYR: 3-1 on Dec. 6, 2009 (0-2-1 since).
•NYR has held DET scoreless for the past 144:58 dating back to last season.
• NYR: D Matt Hunwick is a Warren, MI native and played 4 seasons in the NCAA for the Michigan Wolverines.
• Both DET and NYR enter tonight on 2-game losing streaks.
• DET: 17-7-6 record in back-to-back games last season (7-5-3 in the 2nd game of back to backs).
• NYR: Including playoffs, the Rangers have sold out 138 consecutive games at MSG.
• NYR: Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be coaching his 900th career game tonight.
• DET: D Kyle Quincey (ankle) has missed two straight games and is day-to-day.
• NYR: Captain D Ryan McDonagh (separated shoulder) will be out for 3-4 weeks.
• NYR: C Derek Stepan (broken leg) has been IR all season. He has been cleared for contact but has yet to participate in a contact practice.
• NYR: D Dan Boyle (hand) was injured on opening night and is now skating in a non-contact jersey.
HEAD TO HEAD
• DET: C Pavel Datsyuk has 3 goals, 5 assists, and a +3 rating in 10 career games vs. NYR.
• DET: LW Henrik Zetterberg, RW Johan Franzen, RW Gustav Nyquist, and Datsyuk all went scoreless against NYR last season.
• NYR: G Henrik Lundqvist had shutout victories in both of his starts against DET last season.
• NYR: LW Rick Nash has 25 goals and 47 points in 55 career games vs. DET. His 25 goals are tied for the most he has against any other NHL team (w/ CHI).
DETROIT TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• The Red Wings’ first line of Captain LW Henrik Zetterberg (15 points), C Pavel Datsyuk (10 points), and RW Justin Abdelkader (10 points) are the top 3 scorers for DET this season.
• Datsyuk began the season on injured reserve with a separated shoulder, but has put up 5 goals and 5 assists in 7 games since rejoining the lineup. His 5 goals and 10 points are both T-2nd on DET.
• Datsyuk had opened his season with points in 6 straight games before being held off the score sheet on Tuesday in the loss to Ottawa.
• Zetterberg has 4 goals and 11 assists through 12 games. His 11 assists and 15 points are tops on the Red Wings, and he is currently T-5th in NHL scoring.
• Abdelkader has benefitted from time alongside Datsyuk and Zetterberg; the 27-year old has never scored more than 10 goals or 28 points in an NHL season, but already has 5 goals and10 points through 12 games.
• RW Gustav Nyquist leads DET with 7 goals this season. He has also scored 4 of the Red Wings’ 5 PPG this season.
• Last season, Nyquist led DET with 28 goals despite only playing 57 games.
• G Jonas Gustavsson (1-1-0, 1.45 GAA, .935 SV%, 1 SO ) is scheduled to make his third start of the season for DET.
NEW YORK TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• Like Detroit, the Rangers’ top line of LW Rick Nash (12 points), C Derick Brassard (9 points), and RW Martin St. Louis (8 points) are also 1-2-3 in scoring on the team so far this season.
• Nash leads NYR in goals (9) and points (12). He is 2nd in the NHL in goals, trailing only Corey Perry’s 11.
• Nash started with 8 goals through his first 7 games, but has just 1 goal in his past 4 games.
• All of Nash’s 9 goals have come at even strength, tops in the NHL.
• Nash is the only NHL player with an active streak of 10 straight 20-goal seasons.
• D Dan Girardi has been counted on for extra minutes while the NYR defense remains injured. Girardi played at least 32:58 in each of the Rangers’ last two games.
• The last Ranger to log at least 30 minutes of ice time in 3 consecutive games was Brian Leetch, who did so in 8 straight games in Dec. of 2000.
• G Henrik Lundqvist (5-3-1, 2.85 GAA, .902 SV%, 2 SO) has all 5 Ranger wins in net. While Lundqvist already has 2 shutouts this season, he has also given up 3+ goals 5 times in his first 9 games.