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Islanders-Rangers tonight (?)
Posted By Carp On December 27, 2010 @ 10:44 am In Hockey,New York Rangers | 212 Comments
… Though we wonder if the weather might cause a change in plans since roads are still a mess, businesses and events are closed and postponed, and even the Metro North Railroad service is suspended and suggesting that people stay home, if possible, today.
If not, Marian Gaborik is expected to return to the lineup, and Mats Zuccarello is expected to play, and Michael Del Zotto is expected to be prucha’d. We’ll see.
Here are the pre-game notes, from the Rangers (these notes do not include the Islanders’ win over Montreal last night, which leaves the Isles 4-0-1 in five, and a much better team than the one with which the Rangers struggled the first three times):
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Monday, Dec. 27, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden . New York, NY
Rangers: 20-14-2 (42 pts)
Islanders: 8-18-6 (22 pts)
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-five rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for 10th in the league.
The Rangers registered their 20th win of the season with a 4-3 shootout win vs. Phoenix on Dec. 16, reaching the mark in just 34 games which is tied for 12th fastest in franchise history (full list below).
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Compared to last season, the Blueshirts have shown a three wins, five points improvement, having tallied nine more goals (including a five-goal improvement while shorthanded) while allowing seven fewer goals against through 36 games.
The Rangers completed their ninth of 18 back-to-back sets with a 4-3 shootout win vs. Phoenix on Dec. 16. The Blueshirts improved to 9-0-0 (4-0-0 at home, 5-0-0 on the road) in the second game of back-to-backs this season, having out-scored their opponent, 31-9, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 18-2-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 8-1-1 mark at MSG and 10-1-1 on the road over the span.
The Blueshirts have started games off strong this season, tallying the first goal of the game in 21 of their 36 games and posting a record of 15-5-1 in those contests. The Rangers own a record of 10-1-1 when leading after the first period, having out-scored their opponent, 25-19, in the opening frame.
The Rangers have had 12 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season which is tied for second in the NHL, trailing Washington by one and tied with Atlanta.
LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
The Rangers currently lead the NHL with 1,038 hits and rank second with 586 blocked shots. Ryan Callahan ranked second in the league with 128 hits and led all NHL forwards with 40 blocked shots prior to his injury on Dec. 15, while Dan Girardi currently leads the league with 104 blocked shots and Brian Boyle ranks 12th in the NHL with 102 hits.
THE HOT LIST:
WORLD JUNIOR ROSTERS SET
Rangers’ prospects Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque will represent Team USA at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York. This will be their second trip to the elite tournament, having both represented the gold medal-winning Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Championship. Roman Horak (Czech Republic) and Jesper Fasth (Sweden) will also represent their native country in the tournament. This will be Horak’s second appearance at the World Junior Championship, having represented the Czech Republic in last year’s tournament, while Fasth will be making his first appearance in the tournament.
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
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