As youse know, the Flyers have had their way with the Rangers this season, and the Rangers are struggling to score goals, and all of that. Does anybody expect anything but a really tough, competitive game on the second of back-to-backs for the Rangers (against the rested Flys)?
Chris Pronger is back skating with the team, but the Flyers say he will not play for a while.
Here are tonight’s pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Sunday, Jan. 16, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 26-17-3 (55 pts)
Flyers: 28-11-5 (61 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Jan. 15
The Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to conclude their back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 26-17-3 (55 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2, Saturday at Bell Centre, and are now 9-4-2 in their last 15 games. New York has registered a point in 21 of their last 31 contests (19-10-2), and enter the contest with a 9-4-1 mark in their last 14 games at home. The Flyers enter the contest with a 28-11-5 (61 pts) record to rank first in the Eastern Conference, and have won five of their last six games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, Jan. 19, in an Original Six match-up at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to begin a back-to-back set.
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Mike Keenan
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Al Trautwig, John Giannone and Mike Keenan (In-Game Reporters)
* Radio: 970 The Apple and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: Joe Tolleson (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. FLYERS:
* All-Time: 108-105-37-7 overall (56-45-23-4 at home, 52-60-14-3 on the road)
* 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the third of six meetings this season, and the first of three at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are 0-2-0 following a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia on Dec. 18.
* Last Season: New York was 3-2-1 overall and 2-1-1 at MSG. Five games were decided by two goals or less, with three decided by one.
* The Rangers rank 19th with a 11-9-2 (24 pts) record at home; the Flyers rank first with a 15-5-3 (33 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 8-4-0 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Flyers are 11-1-1 against the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist is 14-9-3 with a 2.89 goals against average and two shutouts in 28 career regular season games vs. Philadelphia; Martin Biron has posted a record of 9-6-2-0 with a 2.12 goals against average in 17 career regular season games vs. Philadelphia
* Chris Drury has registered a team-high, 19 assists and 28 points in 40 career regular season contests vs. Philadelphia; Ruslan Fedotenko leads the Rangers with 13 goals in 34 career regular season games vs. the Flyers; Dan Girardi has tallied a career-high, 15 assists in 26 career regular season games vs. Philadelphia
* New York lists three former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron (2006-07 – 2008-09); Steve Eminger (2008-09); Vinny Prospal (1996-97 – 1997-98, 2007-08)
* Philadelphia lists four former Rangers on their roster: Blair Betts (2005-06 – 2008-09); Ian Laperriere (1995-96); Jody Shelley (2009-10); Nikolay Zherdev (2008-09)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-five rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for eighth in the league.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play opportunities (7:05) on last night at Montreal. New York ranks 22nd overall (26-164, 15.8%) and ranks 25th at home (13-81, 16.0%). 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 two goals in four shorthanded situations (5:57) last night at Montreal, and are now 92-106 (86.8%) over the last 34 games. New York ranks eighth overall (132-159, 83.0%) and 11th at home (55-65, 84.6%). The Rangers are 6-8 (6:05) in three-on-five situations (last – 1/13 vs. VAN), 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 skate in a four-on-four situation last night at Montreal, and are now plus-three in 35, four-on-four situations (65:50). 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).
BROADWAY’S NEW ACT
Newly acquired Wojtek Wolski tallied his first point as a Ranger with the lone goal in a 1-0 win vs. Vancouver on Thursday, becoming only the fourth player in Rangers history whose first goal for the team came in a 1-0 game. The other three – Bill Cook, Taffy Abel and Bill Boyd – did it more than 84 years ago, in the first 11 games in franchise history. *courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau
With his 31-save shutout in a 1-0 win vs. Vancouver on Thursday, Henrik Lundqvist moved into a tie with John Ross Roach for third on the Rangers’ all-time regular season shutouts list with 30, and fourth with Mike Richter on the team’s all-time shutouts list (including playoffs) with 33.
YOUTH IS SERVED
The Rangers have the sixth youngest team in the league with an average age of 26 years and 210 days, and the youngest defensive corp in the league with an average age of 24 years and 328 days. *based on NHL rosters on Jan. 11
The Rangers will conclude their 12th of 18 back-to-back sets tonight vs. Philadelphia. New York is 6-5-1 (1-0-0 at home, 5-5-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs. The Blueshirts are 10-1-0 (4-0-0 at home, 6-1-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 33-13, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 19-3-2 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 four more points compared to last season through 46 games (22-17-7, 49 points in 2009-10), having tallied 10 more goals (130 this season, 120 last season) while allowing 11 fewer goals against (112 this season, 123 last season). New York has also shown a five-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (nine this season, four last season).
The Rangers rank first among Eastern Conference teams in winning percentage (.692), tied for first in wins (nine) and second in points (18) vs. Western Conference teams this season, having posted a 9-4-0 record in 13 games.
New York is currently nine games over .500 with a 26-17-3 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), are tied for first in road wins (15), sixth in wins (26), seventh in points (55), rank seventh in goals against (112), 13th in goals for (130), and rank sixth with a plus-18 goal differential.
The Blueshirts rank second in the league with a .650 winning percentage in one-goal games, posting a record of 13-4-3 in those contests. Their 13 wins are tied for third in the NHL.
The Rangers have had 17 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 1,323 hits and rank third with 732 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 130 blocked shots and Brian Boyle ranks ninth in the NHL with 137 hits.
THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist is 12-6-2 with a 1.77 goals against average, a .937 save percentage and four shutouts in his last 20 games
* Brandon Dubinsky has tallied 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in the last 20 games, including four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four
* Matt Gilroy has registered five points (three goals, two assists) in his last 10 games, and has posted a plus-10 rating in his last 21
* Derek Stepan has registered 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in the last 30 games
* Brian Boyle has recorded 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 19 games
* Mats Zuccarello has recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in the last six games
* Brandon Dubinsky: 1 assist from 100 NHL career
* Matt Gilroy: 1 game from 100 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Henrik Lundqvist: 30th career NHL shutout (1/13 vs. VAN)
* Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18) – 46
* Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 16
* Ryan Callahan (broken hand on Dec. 15) – 13
* Erik Christensen (sprained knee on Dec. 29) – 8
* Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 3
Total Man-Games Lost: 152
* Jan. 10 – Acquired forward Wojtek Wolski from Phoenix in exchange for defenseman Michal Rozsival