Don’t forget, if you haven’t entered, you have until 6:30 p.m. to get into the contest for a pair of tickets. See yesterday’s thread for details.
Meant to mention this in the main post yesterday, because we’d discussed it in the comments the day before and some people — not many — don’t read the comments. But the Rangers had six men on the ice for a long, long time before the line brawl vs. the Flyers Sunday, and that’s why there were four forwards involved: Brandon Dubinsky, Sean Avery, Brandon Prust and Kris Newbury; plus two D-men in Steve Eminger and Dan Girardi, who may have realized the too-many-men situation and backed off. I thought it was funny.
I’m on the way to MSG later on. Here’s a column I wrote about the Rangers’ little slump for today’s Journal News and LoHud.com.
Here are tonight’s pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 26-18-3 (55 pts)
Maple Leafs: 18-21-5 (41 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Jan. 17
The Rangers will face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six match-up at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to begin a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 26-18-3 (55 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 9-5-2 in their last 16 games. New York has registered a point in 21 of their last 32 games (19-11-2), and enter the contest with a 9-5-1 mark in their last 15 games at home. The Maple Leafs enter the contest with a 18-21-5 (41 pts) record to rank 12th in the Eastern Conference, and have registered a point in six of their last eight games (5-2-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, Jan. 20, at RBC Center (7:00 p.m.), to conclude their back-to-back set.
- TV: MSG Plus
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with John Giannone and Mike Keenan
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Maple Leafs
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
- Radio: 970 The Apple and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Maple Leafs
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS:
- All-Time: 217-270-95-6 overall (126-109-56-3 at home, 91-161-39-3 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight marks their fourth and final meeting this season, and the second of two meetings at Madison Square Garden. New York owns a 2-0-1 record thus far, following a 2-0 win on Oct. 30 at Toronto.
- Last Season: New York was 3-0-1 overall and 2-0-0 at home. The Rangers out-scored the Maple Leafs, 18-7, in the season series.
- The Rangers rank 21st with an 11-10-2 (24 pts) record at home; the Maple Leafs rank 24th with a 9-11-1 (19 pts) mark on the road
- The Rangers are 6-4-1 vs. the Northeast Division; the Maple Leafs are 4-5-1 against the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 8-4-4 with a 2.70 goals against average and one shutout in 16 career regular season appearances vs. Toronto, following a 36-save shutout at Toronto on Oct. 30; Martin Biron earned his first victory as a Ranger, stopping 24 shots in a 2-1 win at Toronto on Oct. 21, and is now 13-11-2-3 with a 2.69 goals against average and one shutout in 31 career games vs. Toronto
- Chris Drury has registered a team-high, 14 goals, 15 assists and 29 points in 40 career regular season contests vs. Toronto
- New York lists one former Maple Leaf on their roster: Kris Newbury (2006-07 – 2008-09)
- Toronto lists two former Rangers on their roster: Colton Orr (2005-06 – 2008-09); Fredrik Sjostrom (2007-08 – 2008-09)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-four 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 three power play opportunities (5:24) on Sunday vs. Philadelphia. New York ranks 22nd overall (26-167, 15.6%) and ranks 28th at home (13-84, 15.5%). 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 (4): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards).
- Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Flyers scoreless in four shorthanded situations (7:24) on Sunday at MSG, and are now 96-110 (87.3%) over the last 35 games. New York ranks eighth overall (136-163, 83.4%) and eighth at home (59-69, 85.5%). 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 tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (0:36) on Sunday vs. Philadelphia, and are now plus-three in 36, four-on-four situations (66:26). 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).
ORIGINAL SIX SINCE 2005-06
New York has posted a record of 42-23-12 (96 pts) against Original Six opponents since the 2005-06 season, including a 13-6-4 mark vs. Toronto over the span. The Rangers’ .623 winning percentage ranks third, trailing Detroit (.713%, 36-13-5) and Montreal (.628%, 63-35-11), and ahead of Boston (.523%, 48-43-17), Toronto (.519%, 47-43-18) and Chicago (.447%, 22-28-7).
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 begin their 13th of 18 back-to-back sets tonight vs. Toronto. 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 10-2-0 (4-1-0 at home, 6-1-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 35-16, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 19-4-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 8-2-1 mark at MSG and 11-2-1 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 47 games (22-18-7, 51 points in 2009-10), having tallied 12 more goals (132 this season, 120 last season) while allowing 10 fewer goals against (115 this season, 125 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 eight games over .500 with a 26-18-3 record. New York was never more than six games over .500 last season, having last been at least eight games over on April 12, 2009 (43-30-9).
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in shorthanded goals (nine), rank second in road wins (15), are tied for sixth in wins (26), ninth in points (55), sixth in goals against (115), rank 14th in goals for (132), and eighth with a plus-17 goal differential.
The Blueshirts rank fourth in the league with a .619 winning percentage in one-goal games, posting a record of 13-5-3 in those contests. Their 13 wins are tied for fourth 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 1,356 hits and rank third with 742 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 133 blocked shots and Brian Boyle ranks eighth in the NHL with 142 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 21 games, including four points (one goal, three assists) in the last five
- Derek Stepan has registered 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in the last 31 games
- Mats Zuccarello has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in the last seven games
- Wojtek Wolski has tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in the last three games
- Brandon Dubinsky: 1 assist from 100 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Henrik Lundqvist: 30th career NHL shutout (1/13 vs. VAN)
- Matt Gilroy: 100th career NHL game (1/16 vs. PHI)
- Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 47
- Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 17
- Ryan Callahan (broken hand on Dec. 15) – 14
- Erik Christensen (sprained knee on Dec. 29) – 9
- Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 4
Total Man-Games Lost: 157
- Jan. 10 – Acquired forward Wojtek Wolski from Phoenix in exchange for defenseman Michal Rozsival