Boyle, Tanguay to play in 1,000th NHL games tonight

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Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle and Colorado forward Alex Tanguay will both hit the 1,000 games-played mark tonight. Tanguay, 35, will become the 299th player in NHL history to reach the milestone when the Avs take on the Pens; Boyle, 39, will be the 298th when the Rangers play in Detroit.

Boyle, an undrafted free agent that played his way onto the Florida Panthers 16 years ago, has emerged as one of the better offensive defensemen of his era and achieved a remarkably high level of individual and team success, capturing the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2003-04 and a gold medal as a member of Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Boyle’s best statistical season came in 2006-07, when he scored a career-high 20 goals and 63 points for the Lightning, and finished fourth in Norris voting.

Tanguay’s path to the NHL was dramatically different. The 12th overall pick at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Tanguay burst onto the scene as a 20-year-old and scored 51 points in his rookie year, finishing fifth in Calder voting. A year later, he scored 21 points in 23 playoff games as Colorado captured the 2001 Stanley Cup and, during the 2006-07 campaign in Calgary, scored a career-high 81 points.

Both players are relatively well traveled. Boyle spent time with the Panthers, Lightning and Sharks before landing with the Rangers this year; Tanguay began with the Avs, then played for the Flames, Lightning and Habs before returning to Colorado last season.