Blueshirts open season on January 14 against NY Islanders
NEW YORK, December 23, 2020 – The New York Rangers announced their 2020-21 regular season schedule today. The Blueshirts will begin their 94th NHL season on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 against the NY Islanders at MSG.
The Rangers will play 56 games during the 2020-21 regular season. The Blueshirts are a member of the East Division for the 2020-21 season and will face each of their seven East Division opponents, Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, eight times apiece during the season. The Rangers are playing seven teams at least eight times in the same season for the first time in franchise history; the Blueshirts had previously played eight games apiece against six teams in a season four times (1938-39, 1939-40, 1940-41, 1941-42 – Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, NY Americans, Toronto). Prior to the 2020-21 season, the last time the Rangers faced any opponent eight or more times in a season was 2007-08 (eight games apiece against New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh).
The Rangers are playing in a division named East Division for the second time in franchise history; the Blueshirts also played in the East Division from 1967-68 – 1973-74. Excluding the seasons in which the Rangers did not play in a Division (1938-39 – 1966-67; note – the NHL did not have divisions with seven teams in the league from 1938-39 – 1941-42 or with six teams in the league from 1942-43 – 1966-67), the 2020-21 season will mark the first time in franchise history that the Rangers will play every regular season game against a team in their division. In addition, their 56 games against division opponents in 2020-21 are the most in one season in franchise history; prior to the 2020-21 season, the most games the Blueshirts played against teams in their division in one season was 50 in 1967-68 (in the first season of the East Division, the Rangers played 50 of their 74 regular season games against teams in their division). In addition, for the first time since 1973-74, the Rangers will not be a member of a conference; the Blueshirts were a part of the Campbell Conference from 1974-75 – 1980-81, the Wales Conference from 1981-82 – 1992-93, and the Eastern Conference from 1993-94 – 2019-20.
The Blueshirts will play 56 or fewer games in a regular season for the 23rd time in franchise history. Last season, the Rangers posted a 30-22-4 record over their final 56 regular season games (Nov. 10, 2019 vs. Florida to Mar. 11, 2020 at Colorado). From Nov. 10, 2019 through Mar. 11, 2020, the Rangers ranked third in the NHL in goals per game (3.34), tied for fourth in the NHL in regulation/overtime wins (29), tied for fifth in
the NHL in wins (30), tied for 10th in the NHL in points (64), and ranked 13th in the NHL in points percentage (.571).
In addition to playing the Islanders in their season opener, the Rangers will also face the Islanders in their second game of the season on Saturday, Jan. 16 at MSG. The Blueshirts open the season with two games against the same opponent for the first time since the 2008-09 season (two games against Tampa Bay in Prague, Czech Republic), and the team also opens its season with two games against the same opponent at MSG for the first time in franchise history. The Rangers will open the regular season against the Islanders for the third time in franchise history (also in 1997-98 and in 2016-17, both times at MSG). The Rangers are beginning the regular season at home for the fifth consecutive season and for the 29th time in franchise history. The last time the Rangers began five or more consecutive seasons with a home game was a seven-season stretch from 1981-82 – 1987-88.
The Blueshirts will play four consecutive team games against New Jersey from Apr. 13 to Apr. 18 (Apr. 13 at New Jersey, Apr. 15 at MSG, Apr. 17 at MSG, Apr. 18 at New Jersey), which will be the most consecutive team games against one opponent in franchise history; entering 2020-21, the most consecutive team games the Rangers played against one opponent was three (three times – Boston on Jan. 20, 1954, Jan. 23, 1954, and Jan. 24, 1954; Boston on Dec. 30, 1954, Jan. 1, 1955, and Jan. 2, 1955; Detroit on Nov. 15, 1964, Nov. 17, 1964, Nov. 22, 1964).
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