The end of a three-game homestand, the first of back-to-backs (at Toronto tomorrow) and the second of four in six nights.
The Rangers have won one of their first four home games.
Here are tonight’s pre-game notes from the Rangers for the game against the former Whalers. To read more, click “more.”
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Friday, Oct. 29, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 4-3-1 (9 pts)
Hurricanes: 4-4-0 (8 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Oct. 27
The Rangers will conclude their three-game homestand when they will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Atlanta Thrashers, 6-4, last night at MSG to end their three-game winning streak, and are now 4-3-1 (9 pts) on the season. The Hurricanes enter the contest with a 4-4-0 (8 pts) record, following a 3-0 loss to the Capitals last night in their home opener. Tonight’s contest will begin the second of 18 back-to-back sets this season for the Blueshirts, who will travel to Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 30, to face-off against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m.).
- TV: MSG Plus
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Hurricanes
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 vs. Hurricanes
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. HURRICANES:
- All-Time: The Rangers are 53-46-7-2 all-time against the Hurricanes’ franchise: 33-16-4-2 at home and 20-30-3-0 on the road
- 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes this season, and the first of two meetings at Madison Square Garden
- Last Season: New York was 2-1-1 against Carolina in 2009-10, including a 0-1-1 mark at MSG
- New York has out-scored Carolina, 353-310, in 108 contests between the two clubs
- Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Ward have started in net against each other in 13 of the last 15 meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes
- Lundqvist posted a record of 2-1-1 with a 2.22 goals against average in three contests vs. Carolina last season, and is now 8-6-1 with a 2.31 goals against average and one shutout in 15 career games against the Hurricanes
- Brandon Dubinsky tied for the team lead with two goals, and added two assists for four points in four games vs. Carolina last season
- Ruslan Fedotenko has registered 14 goals and 21 points in 43 career contests vs. Carolina; Todd White has recorded 13 assists in 29 career games vs. the Hurricanes
- First NHL Goal: Michal Rozsival recorded his first NHL goal on Dec. 15, 1999 at Carolina (Irbe)
- New York lists no former Hurricanes on their roster
- Carolina lists no former Rangers on their roster
- Power Play: The Rangers did not convert in one power play opportunity (2:00) on Wednesday vs. Atlanta, and now ranks 21st in the NHL with a 12.1% (4-33) success rate. The Rangers did not convert on one five-on-three chance (0:30) on Oct. 9 at HSBC Arena, and are now 0-1 on five-on-three attempts (0:30). New York is 0-1 (1:05) with a four-on-three advantage this season. Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
- Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Thrashers in three shorthanded situations (3:28) on Wednesday at MSG, and now rank 25th in the NHL with a 78.4% (29-37) success rate. The Rangers held Atlanta scoreless in one, three-on-five situation (0:50) on Wednesday at home, and are 3-5 on three-on-fives (4:37) this season. The Blueshirts yielded one goal in three, three-on-four situations on Oct. 15, and are now 2-3 (1:10) in those situations this season. Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky).
- Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Wednesday vs. Atlanta, and are now even in eight, four-on-four situations (11:28) this season. Four-on-four goals for (1): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).
Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has faced off against his older brother, Carolina forward Eric Staal, 12 times in his career, amassing a 6-5-1 record with four points (one goal and three assists), 10 penalty minutes and a plus-two rating. Eric has registered a 6-5-1 mark behind four goals and four assists, along with six penalty minutes and an even plus-minus rating in those 12 games.
The Blueshirts and Hurricanes are currenlty tied for second in the NHL in blocked shots per game, with both clubs averaging 16.6 blocked shots per contest. Dan Girardi leads the team and is tied for fourth in the league with 25 blocked shots on the season, and Ryan Callahan is tied for third among NHL forwards with 12 blocked shots. Atlanta ranks first in the league with 17.3 blocked shots per game.
THE HOT LIST:
- Henrik Lundqvist has won each of his last two games, registering a 1.50 goals against average and .954 save percentage over the span
- Ryan Callahan enters tonight’s contest on a four-game scoring streak, recording six points (two goals and four assists) over the span, including a goal in each of the last two games and an assist in each of the last four
- Brandon Dubinsky enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak, registering four points (one goal and three assists) over the span
- Ruslan Fedotenko has registered five points (one goal and four assists) in the last six games
- Michal Rozsival has registered four points (one goal and three assists) in the last four games
- Sean Avery has tallied three points (one goal and two assists) in the last two games
- Artem Anisimov has tallied three points (two goals and one assist) in the last four games
Rookie Derek Stepan (three goals) and Alex Frolov (one assist) both registered their first point as a Ranger in the 6-3 season-opening win on Oct. 9 at Buffalo. Three new Blueshirts tallied their first point as a Ranger in home opener on Oct. 15 vs. Toronto, with Ruslan Fedotenko, Derek Boogaard and Steve Eminger each recording one assist in the contest. In addition, Sean Avery registered two assists in the game to record his 100th point as a Ranger. On Oct. 18 vs. Colorado, Frolov notched his first goal as a Ranger with a four-on-four tally assisted by Stepan, who picked up his first career assist on the play. Fedotenko tallied his first goal as a Ranger to open the game’s scoring on Oct. 21 at Toronto, and Martin Biron backstopped the Blueshirts to a 2-1 win in the contest with a 24-save performance to record his first win as a Ranger in his first appearance with the team.
YOUTH IS SERVED
Based on opening day rosters, the Rangers have the ninth youngest team in the NHL with an average age of 27 years and 44 days, and the second youngest defensive corp in the league, trailing only Los Angeles with an average age of 25 years and 51 days.
- Entering the season, 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: 3 games from 500 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Derek Stepan: 1st career NHL game and 1st career NHL goal/point (10/9 at BUF)
- Derek Stepan: 1st career NHL assist (10/18 vs. COL)
- Michael Sauer: 1st career NHL assist/point (10/23 at BOS)
- Ryan Callahan: 100th career NHL point (10/23 at BOS)
- Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 8
- Marian Gaborik (IR – separated shoulder on Oct. 15, 2-4 weeks) – 5
- Chris Drury (IR – fractured finger on Oct. 15, 6 weeks) – 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 22
- Oct. 24: Recalled forward Jeremy Williams from Hartford
- Oct. 25: Assigned forward Jeremy Williams to Hartford
- Oct. 28: Recalled forward Evgeny Grachev from Hartford