Post-game notes, quotes


From the Rangers:

December 16, 2010 – New York Rangers 4, Phoenix Coyotes 3 SO (Game No. 34, Home No. 17)

• The Rangers defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, in a shootout tonight at Madison Square Garden, to improve to 20-13-1 overall and 8-8-1 at home.  New York has won 13 of their last 19 games (13-6-0), including each of their last three, and is now tied for third in the NHL with 20 wins and ranks fourth overall with 41 points.

• The Blueshirts improved to 9-0-0 in the second game of back-to-back sets, having out-scored their opponent 31-9 in those games, and have posted a 4-0-0 mark when the second game is at MSG.  Over the last two seasons, the Rangers have posted a record of 18-2-2 in the second game of back-to-backs, including a 8-1-1 mark at home over the span.

• Dan Girardi notched the Rangers’ first goal of the game with a power play tally at 12:07 of the first period, added a shorthanded assist and was credited with a game-high, seven blocked shots.  Girardi extended his scoring streak to three games, registering five points (one goal, four assists) over the span.

• Brandon Prust tallied a shorthanded goal with six seconds remaining in the second period, and has now registered six points (four goals, two assists) in the last eight games.  Prust’s three shorthanded goals are currently tied for the NHL lead, while his five shorthanded points rank first in the league.

• Derek Stepan registered his first goal at Madison Square Garden with 5:43 remaining in regulation to tie the score at three.  Stepan entered the contest ranked fifth among NHL rookies with seven goals, and tied for fourth in scoring with 17 points.

• Martin Biron stopped 30 of 33 shots through regulation and overtime, and turned aside all three shots faced in the shootout to improve to 6-2-0 overall with a 4-2-0 mark at MSG.  Biron has posted a 13-4-2 record in his last 20 starts dating back to last season (4-3 win on Feb. 9, 2010 vs. Nashville), and is now 5-1-0 with a 2.41 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in his last eight games.

• Erik Christensen tallied the game-deciding goal in the first round of the shootout, improving to 20-37 (54.1%) all-time in the shootout with 10 game-deciding goals.  Christensen’s 10 game-deciding goals is tied for fifth in the NHL all-time and his 20 shootout goals is tied for 10th, while he ranks eighth all-time with a 54.1% career shooting percentage in the shootout.

• Chris Drury recorded his first point of the season with the primary assist on the game-tying goal at 14:17 of the third period.

• Marc Staal registered a power play assist to extend his scoring streak to four games (two goals, three assists), and led all skaters with 30:01 of ice time.  Staal has now registered 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the last 12 games.

• Ruslan Fedotenko tallied the primary assist on Dan Girardi’s power play goal, and logged a season-high, 20:24 of ice time.  The Rangers improved to 8-2-1 when he records a point.

• Sean Avery recorded an assist on Derek Stepan’s game-tying goal, and has now recorded five assists in the last eight games.  Avery now ranks second on the team with 14 assists on the season.

• The Blueshirts’ practice schedule for tomorrow, Dec. 17, is 12:00 p.m. at the MSG Training Center.

• The Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Dec. 18, at Wells Fargo Center (1:00 p.m.).  The game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio and
John Tortorella on Brandon Prust… “He is part of our core.  He is not home grown from our minor league team but he has grown into us.  He has been killing penalties, he will fight anybody.  He is a big part of who we are.  You look at a Ryan Callahan you look at Prust, that is who we are trying to be as a Ranger team.  Little by little we are creating an identity.”        
Marty Biron on tonight’s game… “After that second goal, Dru (Chris Drury) skated by and slapped me in the pad and said ‘show them what you got.’  I felt pretty good that the Captain skated by me and gave me a vote of confidence.  That helped me a lot to get back in the game.”
Brandon Prust on the team’s attitude… “Never give up attitude.  We just keep coming no matter what the score is.  We are going to win a lot of games if we keep doing that stuff.”

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