|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00 BRT, January 28, 2022
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Attendance: 18,006
On Henrik Lundqvist's night, Rangers meet Wild
Minnesota Wild at New York Rangers
- The Wild seek to extend their point streak against the Rangers to seven games as they meet for the first time since 2019-20. Despite being swept in the 2019-20 season series, the Wild salvaged points in both meetings and are 4-0-2 in the last six matchups.
- The Wild are 5-0-0 against Metropolitan Division teams and 10-1-2 versus the Eastern Conference this season. Minnesota's .846 winning percentage facing Eastern Conference teams leads the NHL for teams against a single conference in 2021-22.
- Kirill Kaprizov has six goals and 10 assists during a career-high nine-game point streak. With two assists in Minnesota's last game, Kaprizov the fastest player in Wild history to 100 points by needing just 92 games.
- When scoring first at home this season, the Rangers are 8-0-0, one of two teams to win all such games in 2021-22 (Edmonton, 7-0-0). Additionally, they are 17-2-2 (.857) overall when scoring first this season. The team has only had a higher points percentage in such games for a whole season three times (1926-27, 1971-72 and 2012-13).
- Chris Kreider, who leads the NHL with 30 goals, carries a four-game home goal streak and a six-game point streak at Madison Square Garden into this contest. All five of his career goals and all but one of his seven points against the Wild have come at home.
- Hendrik Lundqvist, whose No. 30 will be raised to the rafters pre-game, was 7-7-0 with a 3.15 goals-against average in 14 career starts and 15 overall appearances against Minnesota. The Wild are one of only two teams Lundqvist did not have a sub-3.00 GAA against for his career, with Vegas (4.02 GAA in three starts) being the other.
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Henrik Lundqvist went from a seventh-round pick out of Sweden in 2000 to a franchise icon for the New York Rangers.
On Friday, he will get his No. 30 raised to the rafters at Madison Square Garden before the Rangers host the high-scoring Minnesota Wild.
Lundqvist made his debut in 2005-06 after the Rangers had missed the postseason in seven straight seasons. He went on to post 459 wins, a .918 save percentage, a 2.43 goals-against average and 64 shutouts while helping turn things around for the team.
The Rangers made the playoffs in 11 of his first 12 seasons, including a run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
His standout career will earn him an honor bestowed on Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, Mark Messier, Mike Richter, Rod Gilbert, Ed Giacomin, Andy Bathgate, Harry Howell, Jean Ratelle and Vic Hadfield.
The team watching Lundqvist's jersey getting hung to the rafters is being included in the conversation about championship contenders as the Rangers enter with 60 points in a three-way tie atop the Metropolitan Division with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
New York is 9-4-0 in its past 13 games but is coming off a rare dud in a 5-3 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. New York coach Gerard Gallant said he was happy with the performance of just three of his players.
Artemi Panarin and Barclay Goodrow scored in the opening 4:44 to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. However, New York then allowed four straight goals before Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal in a 20-shot third period.
"We didn't play the way we should have played for 60 minutes, and it cost us two points tonight," Gallant said.
The Rangers haven't taken consecutive losses since Dec. 17-29, and they have not gone consecutive games without earning a point since Dec. 12-14. They also are on a five-game home winning streak but may be without standout defenseman Adam Fox, who sustained a minor upper-body injury in the third period Thursday.
The Wild have two familiar faces to Lundqvist, Mats Zuccarello and goalie Cam Talbot. Zuccarello debuted with the Rangers in December 2010 and scored 113 goals in 509 regular-season games during nine seasons with New York. Talbot was Lundqvist's backup during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
Zuccarello enters with 12 goals and 38 points for an offense that has tallied 145 goals, the sixth-highest total in the NHL. He scored Monday when the Wild rolled to an 8-2 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens that gave them six wins in seven games following a five-game skid (0-4-1) from Dec. 11 to Jan. 1.
"It's huge for him and his family," Zuccarello said Thursday of Lundqvist's honor. "It's going to be cool for me to experience that and be a part of that."
Talbot, who is 16-8-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average in 25 games this season, missed six games with a lower-body injury before stopping 14 shots Monday. He left after the second period for precautionary reasons but could make the start after enjoying the ceremony for Lundqvist.
"He was the face of that franchise for the better part of 15 years, so there's no one more deserving to have their number up there than him," Talbot said of Lundqvist.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 28, 2022