Went by a house with a huge homemade sign on the front yard: “Free Snow. Take as much as you want.”
The Penguins are in town for a 7:30 Versus game, minus Sid the Skid, and probably Evgeni Malkin, too.
The Rangers welcome back Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, and possibly Brandon Dubinsky.
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Tuesday, Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 29-20-3 (61 pts)
Penguins: 31-15-4 (66 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Jan. 31
The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.), in their first game following the All-Star break. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 29-20-3 (61 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Florida Panthers, 4-3, on Jan. 25 at Madison Square Garden, and are now 10-6-1 in their last 17 games at home. New York has registered a point in 24 of their last 37 games (22-13-2). The Penguins enter the contest with a 31-15-4 (66 pts) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference, and have won five of their last six games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, Feb. 3, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), before beginning a three-game road trip on Saturday, Feb. 5, at Montreal.
- TV: Versus
7:30 p.m. – Rangers vs. Penguins
Broadcasters: Joe Beninati (Play-By-Play), Billy Jaffe (Analyst), Bob Harwood (In-Game Reporter)
- Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
7:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:30 p.m. – Rangers vs. Penguins
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
- All-Time: 113-97-23-7 overall (63-46-9-2 at home, 50-51-14-5 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight is the fourth of six meetings this season, and the second at Madison Square Garden. New York is 2-1-0 thus far, following a 4-1 victory at CONSOL Energy Center on Dec. 15. The Rangers’ penalty kill is 10-10 (100%) in the season series.
- Last Season: The Rangers were 1-4-1 vs. Pittsburgh, including a 0-2-1 mark at MSG. Four of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less, including two that required overtime.
- The Rangers rank 21st with a 12-11-2 (26 pts) record at home; the Penguins rank 9th with a 14-6-3 (31 pts) mark on the road
- New York is 8-5-0 vs. the Atlantic Division; Pittsburgh is 6-5-2 against the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 18-13-4 with a 2.39 goals against average and two shutouts in 35 career regular season games vs. Pittsburgh; Martin Biron is 13-15-3-2 with a 2.98 goals against average and two shutouts in 33 career regular season games vs. Pittsburgh
- Chris Drury leads the Rangers with 13 goals, 21 assists and 34 points in 40 career regular season games vs. Pittsburgh
- New York lists two former Penguins on their roster: Erik Christensen (2005-06 – 2007-08); Ruslan Fedotenko (2008-09 – 2009-10)
- Pittsburgh lists one former Ranger on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-six rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks seventh in the league.
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in four power play opportunities (7:07) on Jan. 25 vs. Florida. New York ranks 24th overall (29-181, 16.0%) and are tied for 20th at home (16-92, 17.4%). The Rangers are 1-6 (6:25) in five-on-three situations (last – 1/22 at ATL), 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 Panthers scoreless in one shorthanded situation (2:00) on Jan. 25 at MSG, and are now 106-121 (87.6%) over the last 40 games. New York ranks eighth overall (146-174, 83.9%) and seventh at home (63-73, 86.3%). 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 on Jan. 25 vs. Florida, and are now plus-three in 40, four-on-four situations (80:26). 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).
ALL-STAR WEEKEND RECAP
The Rangers were represented by three players – Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal and Derek Stepan – at the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina this past weekend. Lundqvist, who turned aside the first ever penalty shot attempt in an NHL All-Star Game at 6:13 of the third period, faced 14 shots in the third, allowing three goals and picking up the loss for Team Staal. Marc Staal logged 17:01 of ice time for Team Staal while making his first All-Star Game appearance. Stepan participated in the SuperSkills competition as part of Team Lidstrom, breaking all four targets in the Accuracy Shooting event and hitting the crossbar on his Elimination Shootout attempt against Lundqvist.
The Rangers completed their league-high, 14th of 18 back-to-back sets on Jan. 25 vs. Florida. New York is 8-5-1 (2-1-0 at home, 6-4-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs. The Blueshirts are 10-4-0 (4-2-0 at home, 6-2-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 39-24, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 19-6-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including an 8-3-1 mark at MSG and 11-3-1 on the road over the span.
New York has posted a record of 7-13-3 when trailing after the second period. The Rangers’ seven wins, 17 points and .304 winning percentage rank first in the NHL.
The Blueshirts rank fourth in the league with a .625 winning percentage in one-goal games, posting a record of 15-6-3 in those contests. Their 15 wins are tied for fourth in the NHL.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered five more wins and six more points compared to last season through 52 games (24-21-7, 55 points in 2009-10), having tallied 13 more goals (148 this season, 135 last season) while allowing 15 fewer goals against (126 this season, 141 last season). New York has also shown a four-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (nine this season, five last season).
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
New York is currently nine games over .500 with a 29-20-3 record. New York was never more than six games over .500 last season, having last been at least nine games over on Apr. 12, 2009 (43-30-9).
The Rangers have had 17 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is the most in the NHL.
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in shorthanded goals (nine) and hits (1,485), are tied for first in road wins (17), rank seventh in wins (29) and goals against (126), ninth in points (61), third in blocked shots (816), 12th in goals for (148), and sixth with a plus-22 goal differential.
Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal has faced off against his younger brother, Pittsburgh forward Jordan Staal, 20 times in his career, amassing a 9-10-1 record with six points (two goals, four assists) and 20 penalty minutes. Jordan has registered an 11-4-5 mark behind six goals and six assists, along with 14 penalty minutes in those 20 games.
THE HOT LIST:
- Henrik Lundqvist is 14-8-2 with a 1.90 goals against average, a .930 save percentage and five shutouts in his last 24 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in nine of his last 12 contests
- Derek Stepan has tallied 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in the last 36 games, with six points (two goals, four assists) in the last seven
- Mats Zuccarello has recorded 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the last 12 games, with seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last seven
- Wojtek Wolski has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in nine games as a Ranger, with six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six
- Brian Boyle enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak (two goals, one assist over the span), and has tallied five points (four goals, one assist) in the last seven games
- Brandon Prust has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in the last seven games
- Marian Gaborik has recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) in the last five games, including a point (one goal, one assist) in each of the last two games
- Michael Sauer has registered two assists in the last three games
- Henrik Lundqvist: 2 wins from 200 NHL career
- Marc Staal: 4 games from 300 NHL career
- Steve Eminger: 5 games from 400 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Brodie Dupont: 1st career NHL game (1/22 at ATL)
- Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18) – 52
- Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 22
- Ryan Callahan (broken hand on Dec. 15) – 19
- Erik Christensen (sprained knee on Dec. 29) – 14
- Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 9
- Brandon Dubinsky (stress fracture in left leg, 3 – 4 weeks) – 5
- Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder separation on Jan. 19, 2 – 4 weeks) – 4
- Dan Girardi (injured on Jan. 22) – 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 193
- Jan. 25 – Assigned defenseman Michael Del Zotto and forwards Brodie Dupont, Evgeny Grachev, Chad Kolarik, and Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL)
- Jan. 30 – Recalled defenseman Michael Del Zotto and forwards Evgeny Grachev and Kris Newbury from Connecticut (AHL)