BUFFALO----Grabbing coffee and cruising downtown to HSBC for the NYR morning skate and some interviews. Sabres won't skate, having played---and won, 2-1---last night in Ottawa.
Remember to swing back here later and tonight and follow me at twitter.com/stevezipay for coverage and commentary....and Newsday tomorrow for a game story and a notebook.
Meanwhile, for your breakfast reading, the team's pre-game notes/stats:
This will be the third consecutive year the Blueshirts have started the season on the road.
* The Rangers are 34-36-13 all-time in 83 season-opening games, including a 24-27-8 record in 59 season openers away from MSG.
* New York has out-scored their opponents, 235-233 in season-openers.
* Entering the season, Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella ranked fifth among active NHL head coaches in season openers with a record of 5-2-0 in seven career season-opening games for a .714 winning percentage.
* Blueshirts legend Andy Bathgate holds the franchise record for most assists and points in a season-opening game, having registered four assists and five points on Oct. 7, 1955 at Chicago. His four assists and five points in the 1955-56 season opener are tied for second all-time in the NHL. Former Ranger Walt Tkaczuk also tallied four assists in a season-opening game on Oct. 9, 1974 vs. Washington.
* Ron Murphy, who skated with the Rangers from 1952-53 to 1956-57, holds the franchise record for most goals by a Blueshirt player in a season-opening game, having tallied three goals in the 1955-56 season opener at Chicago on Oct. 7, 1955.
* Former Rangers' captain Jaromir Jagr holds the team record for fastest goal to start a game in a season opener with his goal just 29 seconds into the contest on Oct. 5, 2006 vs. Washington.
* Andy Bathgate, Rod Gilbert and Walt Tkaczuk are tied for the Rangers' record for most career points in season-opening games, with each player having tallied 13 career points in season openers.
* Former Rangers' goaltender Gump Worsley holds the franchise record for most opening night wins with five career wins in season-opening games.
* The Rangers are 0-1-0 in season openers all-time vs. Buffalo, having been defeated by the Sabres, 1-2, in their only previous meeting in a season-opening game on January 20, 1995 at MSG.
RANGERS vs. SABRES:
* All-Time: The Rangers are 55-69-25-5 all-time against the Sabres: 32-26-15-3 at home and 23-43-10-2 on the road.
* 2010-11: This is the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Sabres this season, and the first at HSBC Arena.
* Last Season: New York was 1-2-1 against the Sabres in 2009-10, including a 1-1-0 mark at HSBC Arena. Three of their four meetings were decided by one goal, including a 2-1 overtime loss on Mar. 7 at MSG.
* New York ranked 13th in the NHL on the road with a record of 20-16-5 (45 pts.) in 41 games last season; Buffalo posted a record of 25-10-6 (56 pts.) in 41 home games tying for eighth in the league last season
* The Rangers posted a record of 11-6-3 vs. the Northeast Division last season; the Sabres registered an 11-7-2 mark vs. the Atlantic Division last season
* Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 1-2-1 with a 2.62 goals against average in four appearances vs. the Sabres last season; Lundqvist is 7-6-2 with a 2.45 goals against average in 15 career regular season contests vs. Buffalo
* Marian Gaborik (one goal and two assists) led the Rangers with three points in four games vs. Buffalo last season; Ryan Callahan notched a team-high, two goals in four games against the Sabres, and Gaborik, Michael Del Zotto and Artem Anisimov each tallied a team-high, two assists in the season series
* Ruslan Fedotenko has tallied a team-high 14 assists and 23 points in 33 career regular season games vs. the Sabres; Todd White leads the team with 12 goals in 30 career regular season contests vs. Buffalo
* NHL Debut - Ryan Callahan made his NHL debut at Buffalo on Dec. 1, 2006
* First Goal - Ruslan Fedotenko notched his first NHL goal vs. Buffalo on Nov. 4, 2000
* New York lists three former Sabres on their roster: Martin Biron (1995-96 - 2006-07); Chris Drury (2003-04 - 2006-07); Tim Kennedy (2008-09 - 2009-10)
* Buffalo lists no former Rangers on their roster
* Power Play: Last season, the Rangers ranked 13th in the NHL with an 18.3% (55-301) success rate, including a 12.6% (17-135) success rate on the road to rank 29th in the league. New York registered six goals in 17 five-on-three attempts (13:48), and converted two-of-six (5:16) with a four-on-three advantage. Shorthanded goals allowed (7): 10/26 (V. Fiddler); 12/12 (P. Kaleta); 12/14 (C. Armstrong); 12/26 (B. Comeau); 1/4 (M. Hunwick); 2/2 (A. Kopitar); 3/16 (T. Plekanec).
* Penalty Killing: Last season, the Blueshirts tied for seventh in the NHL with an 84.3% (268-318) success rate overall, and third in the league with an 84.8% (140-165) success rate on the road. The Rangers allowed seven goals in 23 three-on-five chances (17:44), and were 11-of-13 (11:24) in three-on-four situations last season. New York notched a three-on-four shorthanded goal on Jan. 17 vs. Montreal, the first for the team since Oct. 25, 1996 at Florida (Adam Graves). Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/3 (B. Dubinsky); 10/11 (D. Girardi); 11/14 (V. Prospal); 12/23 (M. Gaborik); 1/17 (B. Dubinsky).
* Four-on-Four: New York has skated in 104 (154:32) four-on-four situations last season. Four-on-Four goals for (4): 10/8 (R. Callahan); 10/17 (B. Dubinsky); 2/12 (O. Jokinen); 2/14 (V. Prospal). Four-on-Four goals allowed (8): 10/24 (M. Cammalleri); 12/9 (D. Byfuglien); 12/17 (A. MacDonald); 1/2 (R. Whitney); 1/23 (S. Gomez and M. Cammalleri); 3/7 (P. Kaleta); 3/27 (N. Kulemin).
The Rangers have eight new players on their opening night roster: Martin Biron, Derek Boogaard, Steve Eminger, Ruslan Fedotenko, Alex Frolov, Tim Kennedy, Derek Stepan, and Todd White. Stepan is looking to make his NHL debut.
* The Rangers have posted a record of 276-266-90 all-time in the month of October, including a 175-114-47 mark at home and a 101-152-43 record on the road. New York is scheduled to play 10 games during the season's opening month in 2010-11, with five games being contested at MSG and five scheduled on the road.
* Legendary Rangers' defenseman Brian Leetch holds the franchise record for most points in the month of October, having registered 43 goals and 130 assists for 173 career points in the season's opening month.
* The Blueshirts' all-time leader for most career wins in the month of October is Mike Richter, who registered 40 career wins during the season's opening month.
* Last season, New York tied the franchise record for longest winning streak in the month of October, winning seven consecutive games from Oct. 3, 2009 vs. Ottawa to Oct. 17, 2009 at Toronto. The Rangers also won seven straight October games in 1988-89, beginning on Oct. 16 vs. Vancouver and ending on Oct. 30 vs. Pittsburgh. Their seven-game winning streak last season was also the team's longest since they won seven straight from Feb. 1, 2006 vs. Pittsburgh to Mar. 2, 2006 at Philadelphia.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Sean Avery: 4 points from 100th Ranger career
* Ryan Callahan: 4 points from 100th NHL/Ranger career
* Chris Drury: 4 power play goals from 100th NHL career
* Chris Drury (IR - Sept. 20)
* Vinny Prospal (IR - Sept. 24)
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:00 p.m. - Rangers @ Sabres
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 970 The Apple
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game with Don LaGreca
7:00 p.m. - Rangers @ Sabres
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)