Rangers at Blues tonight

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And we get to see the Big Man, maybe! That always makes me happy.

I’m going to be very interested to see how guys who logged so much tough ice time last night — Staal, Girardi, Dubinsky — do against a young, rugged team in a different city, in the second of back-to-backs and the third in four nights. And against a team that has handled them pretty well the last two seasons.

Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:

NEW YORK RANGERS at ST. LOUIS BLUES
Saturday, Jan. 8, 8:00 p.m.
Scottrade Center • St. Louis, MO
Rangers: 24-15-3 (51 pts)
Blues: 20-13-6 (46 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Jan. 7

TONIGHT’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center (8:00 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back road set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 24-15-3 (51 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Dallas Stars, 3-2, in the shootout Friday at American Airlines Center, to improve to 7-2-2 in their last 11 games.  New York has now registered a point in 19 of their last 27 games (17-8-2). The Blues enter the contest with a 20-13-6 (46 pts) record to rank eighth in the Western Conference, and have registered a point in six of their last seven games (5-1-1). Following he contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up.
BROADCAST INFORMATION:

*       TV: MSG Network
7:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
8:00 p.m. – Rangers at Blues
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
*       Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
7:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
8:00 p.m. – Rangers at Blues
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. BLUES:

*       All-Time: 74-39-16-0 overall (45-12-6-0  at home, 29-27-10-0 on the road)
*       2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks their second and final meeting this season. The Blueshirts own a 0-1-0 record thus far, following a 2-0 loss at MSG on Nov. 7.
*       Last Season: New York was 0-2-0 overall and 0-1-0 on the road
*       The Rangers rank first with a 14-7-1 (29 pts) record on the road; the Blues rank third with a 14-5-2 (30 pts) mark at home
*       The Rangers are 2-2-0 vs. the Central Division; the Blues are 4-0-0 against the Atlantic Division
*       Henrik Lundqvist is 0-2-0 with a 3.05 goals against average in two career regular season appearances vs. St. Louis; Martin Biron has posted a record of 0-7-0-2 with a 2.52 goals against average in 10 career regular season games against the Blues
*       Alex Frolov has registered 12 goals and nine assists for 21 points in 26 career regular season contests vs. St. Louis
*       New York lists no former Blues on their roster
*       St. Louis lists no former Rangers on their roster

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-six rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for seventh in the league.

*       Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in four power play opportunities (7:32) last night at Dallas. New York is tied for 18th overall (25-150, 16.7%) and ranks 15th on the road (13-74, 17.6%). The Rangers are 1-5 (5:01) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/24 at TBL), and 0-2 (2:23) when four-on-three (last – 12/3 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss).
*       Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Stars in four shorthanded situations (7:54) last night at Dallas, and are now 79-91 (86.8%) over the last 30 games. New York ranks 10th overall (119-144, 82.6%) and 13th on the road (69-84, 82.1%). The Rangers are 4-6 (5:08) in three-on-five situations (last – 10/30 at TOR), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (9): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko).
*       Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (5:00) last night at Dallas, and are now plus-three in 32, four-on-four situations (60:57). Four-on-four goals for (5): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson).

BACK-TO-BACKS
The Rangers will conclude their 11th of 18 back-to-back sets tonight at St. Louis. New York is 6-4-1 (1-0-0 at home, 5-4-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs, following a 3-2 shootout win at Dallas last night. The Blueshirts are 9-1-0 (4-0-0 at home, 5-1-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 31-12, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 18-3-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 8-1-1 mark at MSG and 10-2-1 on the road over the span.

COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered four more wins and six more points compared to last season through 42 games (20-17-5, 45 points in 2009-10), having tallied 13 more goals (124 this season, 111 last season) while allowing 11 fewer goals against (106 this season, 117 last season).  New York has also shown a five-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (nine this season, four last season).

WINNING HABIT
New York is currently nine games over .500 with a 24-15-3 record.  New York was never more than six games over .500 last season, having last been at least nine games over on April 12, 2009 (43-30-9).

AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in shorthanded goals (nine) and road wins (14), are tied for fifth in wins (24), rank eighth in points (51) and goals (124), and sixth with a plus-18 goal differential.

STARTING STRONG
The Blueshirts have tallied the first goal of the game in 23 of their 42 games, posting a record of 17-5-1 in those contests, and own a record of 10-1-1 when leading after the first period.

COMEBACK KIDS
New York leads the NHL with 13 points when trailing after two periods, having registered a 5-9-3 mark in those games. The Blueshirts’ five wins are tied for first in the league. New York won back-to-back games on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh (4-1) and Dec. 16 vs. Phoenix (4-3, SO), despite trailing by a goal entering the third period in both games. The last time the Rangers won consecutive games when trailing after two periods was during the 2008-09 season, on Nov. 15 vs. Boston (3-2) and Nov. 17 vs. Ottawa (2-1). Both games required the shootout.

TEAM EFFORT
The Rangers have had 15 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is the most in the NHL.

LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
The Rangers currently lead the NHL with 1,205 hits and rank second with 664 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 121 blocked shots and Brian Boyle ranks 10th in the NHL with 126 hits.

SHOOTING GALLERY
The Blueshirts were credited with a season-high, 52 shots in their 7-2 win vs. the Islanders on Dec. 27, their most since they registered 57 shots vs. the Islanders on Mar. 5, 2007 (2-1 win). The Rangers tied their season-high for most shots in a period with 18 in each of the first two periods, and their 36 shots through two periods is the most since recording 37 shots through two vs. Washington on Oct. 12, 2007 (20 in the first, 17 in the second in a 3-1 win). The Blueshirts’ 32-shot advantage over the Islanders on Dec. 27 (52-20) is tied for the second largest in the NHL this season, behind St. Louis’ 39-shot advantage over Anaheim on Oct. 11 (53-14).

20-WINS
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.

THE HOT LIST:

*       Henrik Lundqvist is 11-4-2 with a 1.78 goals against average, a .934 save percentage and three shutouts in his last 17 games
*       Brandon Dubinsky has registered 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in the last 16 contests, including seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last seven
*       Matt Gilroy has registered four points (three goals, one assist) in his last six contests, and has posted a plus-nine rating in his last 17 games
*       Marian Gaborik has recorded 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in his last 24 games
*       Derek Stepan has registered 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in the last 26 contests, with six points (four goals, two assists) in the last nine
*       Brian Boyle has recorded 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the last 15 games, and five points (two goals, three assists) in the last seven
*       Dan Girardi has recorded six points (one goal, five assists) in the last 11 games
*       Marc Staal has tallied 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the last 20 games
*       Mats Zuccarello has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in the last six games

MILESTONES APPROACHING:

*       Alex Frolov: 3 points from 400 NHL career
*       Brandon Dubinsky: 4 assists from 100 NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:

*       Dan Girardi: 100th career NHL point (1/1 at TBL)
*       Ryan McDonagh: 1st career NHL game (1/7 at DAL)

INJURIES:

*       Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 42
*       Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 12
*       Ryan Callahan (broken hand on Dec. 15) – 9
*       Erik Christensen (sprained knee on Dec. 29) – 4
Total Man-Games Lost: 131

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

*       Jan. 3 – Recalled defenseman Ryan McDonagh from Connecticut
*       Jan. 3 – Assigned defenseman Michael Del Zotto to Connecticut

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160 Comments

  1. Carp’ed:
    Gaborik looks to be coasting a lot and not driving with the puck to the middle. That said he has a NTC so trading him is easier said than done. And he still draws the other teams best D pair and shutdown lines. They were a .500 team without him and win something like 62% of available points with him. But yes he needs to start doing something on a more consistent basis especially on the PP.

  2. Grabbywaffles(sir spins alot)-URY on

    if jokinien came over for lunch, id say whered you park your ufo? haha he looks liek one of those pig looking things from return of teh jedi. the ones in jabba the huts dungeon

  3. I am a natural woman :) Off to try and finish byfuglien Saturday Times crossword puzzle. Later all!

  4. Blogmama – “Natural woman” Cant you just seize being so byfuglien hot for one moment?!

  5. I watched the Blues play the Leafs earlier this week and for those with minimal knowledge about the Blues, I will say this: The Rangers will be in tough tonight.

    I hear a lot of noise about how young and talented St Louis is but from where I sit, while I do see some talent, I don’t think there’s as much as some suggest and certainly, given the number of high picks they enjoyed in recent years, not to the extent I think they should.

    However, they are a solid team – they have 4 lines that are rolled relatively consistently, a decent defense and with Halak (when he’s on his game) an excellent goaltender. They also like to play physical (especially Backes).

    In other words, they kinda sound like the Rangers!

    I think because this is the 2nd half of a 2 games/2 nights scenario and last night’s game wasn’t exactly easy, the Rangers will have their work cut out for them. If they don’t come prepared to play, they will not win, I suspect.

  6. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Hey gang!

    I’m beginning to think that Carp could just cut and paste his reviews after most of the games this year. The same positives come out of just about every game, and there are some things we’ve all said all year long (ie= Dubinsky=Monster). Not complaining though, cause I love how they are playing.

    Vaild points about Staal, Girardi and Dubinsky tonight, too. All 3 have played major minutes in the past 2 games, so this will be a tough test for them.

    Can’t wait to get to the arena tonight!

  7. Good afternoon, Carp!

    LMAO @ the 8 inches stuff. You guys are the best/worst.

    Linda’s taking a break from the blog so she can put all her energy into building a shrine to Callahan. It’s a lot of work getting together all those candles and tiny bottles of vodka and also finding a small goat to sacrifice. Hopefully she will decide to join us again soon?

  8. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Also, I think Zuccarello has Sicilian grandparents. I read it somewhere recently, just don’t remember where.

  9. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Hi Tiki!

    Tony, I hope to! Been to 2 games in the past calendar year- one at MSG, one in Nashville- and they won both, so hoping to keep the streak alive.

    Halak in goal for the Blues, and Oshie is still out with the broken ankle. I fear Backes though

  10. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Really Mickey? I thought Zuc looked Italian or Sicilian. I had said that the other night when they were interviewing him.
    LGR tonight!!!!

  11. The West is as tight as…….

    I wish I can finish that sentence. It had something to do with Taylor Swift.

    Anyway, like Jim Morrison used to say, the west is the best.

    Tough conference. A few good teams will miss out on the playoffs, that’s for sure.

  12. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Yep, Julie. I wish I could remember where I read that now. Let me see if me google-foo is good today…

  13. There’s a girl at the Flyers game, and I’ve seen her at a few other Flyers games, she has this jersey that looks like a rip off of the NYR heritage jersey, same colors, expect it has “Flyers” across the front, and the team logo.

    What the fugg?

  14. Zuccarello is barely italian. It’s Zuccarello-Aasen which is defintely one of Mike Emrick’s favorite names to say.

  15. Barely Italian ? No such thing.
    Only way to find out:
    Borrow $100 from the kid & don’t pay him back. If you find yourself in the hospital with 2 broken legs — he’s Italian !

  16. as much as I like Tortorella there are 2 things that he has been doing that just boggles my mind.

    1) The PP unit. put Stepan on the point with Staal and have Zuccarello with Gaborik and Dubinsky. the second unit you have Gilroy and Girardi with Anisimov, Frolov and Drury. With the way Zuccarello creates, he should be given just as much PP time as Gaborik does.

    2) the defensive lines. pairing up McDonagh and Gilroy makes no sense. Sauer should be paired with McDonagh or Gilroy not Eminger. Eminger, like Paul Mara, has completely lost his offensive game and is now a stay at home defenseman. Seperate them two and dont pair a nervous rookie with Gilroy whose always going to be pinching. Just dont understand what Torts was thinking there.

    3) We need the old Sean Avery back. We need Avery opening his mouth on every shift and being that dirtbag that we love most. Play him on the 4th line and only give him 10 min a game but when he’s on the ice, he needs to be opening his mouth and causing havoc instead of trying to turn him into something he’s not.

  17. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    (The kid Zuccarello is Italian ? good enough for me.)

    Me too Tony. Us Italians have to stick together!

  18. Who mentioned “vodka” here? Brrr. Where is Hangover, when I need him? For assurance and advice, if nothing else. This celebration in Russian style is not healthy at all, I’m telling you with shaken confidence.

  19. I’m wondering, if the Devils has absolutely worse record in extended NHL history, point and lost games wise so far, and what is a season worse record. I’m too lazy to do research. Anybody?

  20. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    LOL @ Orr.

    Just a hunch, but I’ve seen references to a bad back for Boyle (say that 5 times last!) from the beat guys, so maybe that’s why Boyle’s on the PP. Torts trying to keep him away from the beating he would take there. Speculating…

    Straka, no word yet.

  21. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Tony,
    You have that big pasta dinner every Sunday??? We do. Sometimes 3 times a week.

  22. N.CountryNYRFan on

    I’m pumped my wife just got me tickets to the Rangers game in Montreal next saturday for my birthday!!!

  23. Julie, yup, every Sunday. At my daughters house. She’s taken over the family Sunday diner.
    But we don’t call it pasta – it’s all macaroni to us. And it’s gravy, not sauce in our house !
    And left overs on Monday

  24. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Warmups are usually when? Arena opens at 6 I was told, so warmup at 6:30ish?

  25. Italy has produced some of the worlds best hockey players over the years. Not a lot of them are playing in the NHL today. Mainly because mothers of the young men playing in the league in the past, would make the long trip to north America to bring the boys home for the olive harvest.

  26. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Awesome, NCountry! Best birthday present ever, I would imagine.

  27. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Tony, we call it macaroni too. I love it. I could eat it everyday and be happy.

  28. 4everanger-

    Looked it up for you.

    The Washington Capitals 8-67-5 in their first season (1974-75).

    Worst ever winning percentage.

    I wonder what their attendance was like.

  29. Wow, thanks dd. This one really hard to beat. Honestly, I secretly hoped Debbies would be the worsed this season. But thanks again.

  30. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Italians could never go on the Atkins Diet. True fact.

    Then again, neither could I and I’m not Italian. I just like bread too much :)

  31. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    No Mickey, I could never do the Atkins diet. I love my carbs. Weight Watchers is so much easier because you can have whatever you want as long as you stay in your point range for the day.

  32. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Even though I don’t post very often. I miss Linda too! I read the blog everyday and miss her posts.

  33. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    How bout that wheat and multi grain macaroni? Yuck! I like the good old “white” macaroni!

  34. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Yeah Tony, Ronzoni is the best! Do you like broccoli rabe (greens and beans)? My mom makes that all the time!

  35. MickeyM will be at Scottrade tonight! on

    Gravy is for turkey and pot roast, not pasta. Crazy Italians!

    OK, off to the game early to do some exploring of Union Station beforehand.

    Catch you all when I get back.

    LGR!!

  36. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    I’m in the Albany area Tony. My mom makes all kinds of Italian food. Everybody loves her eggplant parm. They go crazy over it!

  37. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    No, I never had that Tony. but I’m sure it’s good. We had pasta fagioli for lunch today. Yum!

  38. I’m aboot to rip into some pastrami!

    Weeee! Pastrami make me happy!

    You know what doesn’t make me happy? The commercial that keeps playing during the NFL playoff game with all the kids with deformed teeth getting successful surgery.

    I’m happy for them, but those pictures are really freaking me out.

  39. Hey Tony, we’ve probably talked about this before, but I don’t even have to say it and I bet you can tell me. What is one of your favorite things about being Italian during Easter time?

  40. You are making me really hungry, you crazy Italians. Julie- what’s for dinner? Are you close to Athens?

  41. mm broccoli rabe on a nice chicken cutlet with a fresh grinder roll…
    or escarole and bean soup drizzled over that same cutlet minus the rabe..even fish sticks sound good,gotta deep fryem tho!

  42. TONY!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!! It is the best thing going!!! My wife always wants to make it for me other times, but I have to resist, because it will take the specialness out of Easter, LOL.

  43. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Is it the Easter Pie or ricotta cheese cake Nasty??
    ILB-Not sure where Athens is. Is it near Albany?

  44. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Easter Pie-we have that every Easter too, along with the jeanette cookies and quanti cookies. It’s great to be Italian, isn’t it? ( :

  45. for easter cannoli pie is as good as gone if placed in my reach.
    Last easter we had 33 at the table,ooof!

  46. You all are killing the mojo I had going for the chicken and rice and I’m making for dinner. Now I want an Italian Sunday dinner!! Argh!

    hey ilb, any fish biting off the deck???

  47. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    Cool place to spend the summer ILB. I used to like going to Hunter Mountain. It’s so beautiful down there.

  48. Man, I could go for some Easter Pie right now. I used to love going back to college with half a Easter Pie and I would physically attack any roommate who even lifted the foil to see what it was. LOL

  49. ilb, AZ reporting that 6 were killed including a 9 year old girl & at least 18 injured.
    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot at close range in the head but is expected to survive.
    The gunman was 22 years old & used a double clip in his gun.

  50. Julie-Who hardly ever posts on

    That’s awful Tony. I didn’t hear about that shooting. What is this world coming to?

  51. I’m not there, mama, not today. But I sure would drive up for Italian dinner. Deck is the best place to catch fish from, you just need to switch to dock every so often.

    Hey, guess what, I just talked mrs into going ot early- we have a great Sicillian place nearby. The owner was born and raised there. Btw, early (so we can finish before the game) is an operative word :-)

  52. Exactly Julie, that the hell is going on.
    On the news they asked rep Gifford’s father if she had any enemies & he said the entire tea party. I don’t believe that. I think the guy was just nuts.

  53. “What’s the point of a two minute warning in Football?”

    So you can take a quick pee.

  54. super duper hartnelling wackadoodle…enjoy the rest of your life in the little barred box pal.

  55. LETS GO RANGERS!!! All hail the Dubinsky!! The negative nancies said he was a third liner during first week of the season!! ROFLMAO ….OMG!! You guys are a bunch of cutups! TAKE MY WIFE, PLEASE!! SAy good night, gracie!!

  56. so yesterday I was using the MTV vernacular with my ‘sons’ and ‘do you feel me’ thingy…now today I quote henny youngman and george burns? Must make me a silly goose!

  57. Tony in Az,
    AS per your prior post about if anyone thought this team would be good…i actually had the temerity to say this team could be special before 10 games ended…it was my ‘let it marinate’ post..to give this team 10 games before rushing to judge them.

  58. BUt we live in a world where negativity is the norm, and those that are negative are never held to ridicule or revision…those that are positive are the only ones that must take the leaps of faith and this subject to indictment…that is all!

  59. this makes a farce out of the NFL, letting the team that is below .500 and 4 games worse record than New Orleans gets the home field advantage. that is asinine.

  60. philosopher chairman mao, when I depart this world 50 years from now, people will mourn the trahic passing of one so young….ahhh, only 26 they’ll say….how sad.

  61. Time to fire up the grill for my Gang Green pre-game gluttony. Let’s go Rangers! DVR’d.

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