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Penguins at Rangers tonight … in the snow and ice
Posted By On February 1, 2011 @ 6:59 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 64 Comments
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.
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-six rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks seventh in the league.
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:
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
Total Man-Games Lost: 193
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