Devils at Rangers tonight

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Vinny Prospal is scheduled to make his season debut after knee surgery. John Tortorella said yesterday that Marc Staal will keep the alternate captaincy he was given in Prospal’s absence.

I imagine that Kris Newbury will be scratched to make room for Prospal … but maybe we’ll be surprised?

I’m headed to MSG later on.

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

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Thursday, Feb. 3, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 29-20-4 (62 pts)
Devils: 17-30-3 (37 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 1

TONIGHT’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 29-20-4 (62 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in the shootout on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 10-6-2 in their last 18 games at home. New York has registered a point in 25 of their last 38 games (22-13-3). The Devils enter the contest with a 17-30-3 (37 pts) record to rank 15th in the Eastern Conference, and have registered a point in eight of their last nine games (7-1-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will begin a three-game road trip when they face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Feb. 5, at Bell Centre (2:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

  • TV: MSG Network
    6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Brian Leetch
    7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Devils
    Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Al Trautwig and Brian Leetch (In-Game Reporters)
  • Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
    6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
    7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Devils
    Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. DEVILS:

  • All-Time: 97-80-27-5  overall (53-28-20-2 at home, 44-52-7-3  on the road)
  • 2010-11: Tonight is the fourth of six meetings this season, and the second at Madison Square Garden. New York is 3-0-0 thus far, including a 1-0-0 mark at home, having out-scored the Devils, 9-2, in the season series.
  • Last Season: New York was 3-2-1 overall and 1-1-1 at home. Five of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less, including three that were decided by one goal and two that required the shootout.
  • The Rangers rank 20th with a 12-11-3 (27 pts) record at home; the Devils rank 30th with a 7-17-1 (15 pts) mark on the road
  • New York is 8-5-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; New Jersey is 4-10-0 against the Atlantic Division
  • Henrik Lundqvist is 21-7-5 with a 1.81 goals against average and five shutouts in 33 career regular season games vs. New Jersey; Martin Biron is 8-15-2-2 with a 3.20 goals against average and two shutouts in 29 career regular season games vs. New Jersey
  • Chris Drury leads the Rangers with 13 goals in 40 career regular season contests vs. the Devils; Vinny Prospal has tallied a team-high, 21 assists and 31 points in 47 career regular season games vs. New Jersey
  • New York lists no former Devils on their roster
  • New Jersey 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 ranks seventh in the league.

  • Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in six power play opportunities (10:17) on Tuesday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now 4-20 (20.0%) in their last six games. New York ranks 23rd overall (30-187, 16.0%) and are tied for 19th at home (17-98, 17.4%). The Rangers are 1-7 (6:35) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/1 vs. PIT), 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 surrendered one goal to the Penguins in three shorthanded situations (3:22) on Tuesday at MSG, and are now 108-124 (87.1%) over the last 41 games. New York ranks ninth overall (148-177, 83.6%) and ninth at home (65-76, 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 two, four-on-four situations (5:48) on Tuesday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now plus-three in 42, four-on-four situations (86:14). 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).

SINCE 2007-08…
The Rangers own a record of 16-5-2 vs. the Devils since the start of the 2007-08 season, including an 8-2-1 mark at Madison Square Garden during the stretch, dating back to a 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2007. Henrik Lundqvist, who has started in each of the Rangers’ last 28 meetings with the Devils, has registered a 2.03 goals against average, .929 save percentage and five shutouts in the 23-game stretch.

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Henrik Lundqvist has faced-off against Martin Brodeur in 28 career regular season contests, posting a record of 19-4-5 with a 1.69 goals against average, .939 save percentage and four shutouts over the span.

BACK-TO-BACKS
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.

COMEBACK KIDS
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.

ONE-GOAL GAMES
The Blueshirts are tied for fifth in the league with a .600 winning percentage in one-goal games, posting a record of 15-6-4 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 seven more points compared to last season through 53 games (24-22-7, 55 points in 2009-10), having tallied 14 more goals (151 this season, 137 last season) while allowing 15 fewer goals against (130 this season, 145 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

WINNING HABIT
New York is currently nine games over .500 with a 29-20-4 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).

TEAM EFFORT
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 (1,522), are tied for first in road wins (17), seventh in wins (29), rank seventh in goals against (130), ninth in points (62), third in blocked shots (826), 12th in goals for (151), and are tied for sixth with a plus-21 goal differential.

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 HOT LIST:

  • Henrik Lundqvist is 14-8-3 with a 1.93 goals against average, a .928 save percentage and five shutouts in his last 25 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in nine of his last 13 contests
  • Brian Boyle enters the contest with a career-high, four-game scoring streak (two goals, two assists over the span), and has tallied six points (four goals, two assists) in the last eight games
  • Mats Zuccarello has recorded 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the last 13 games, with eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last eight
  • Wojtek Wolski has recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) in 10 games as a Ranger, with seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last seven
  • Marian Gaborik enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak (one goal, two assists over the span), and has recorded eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last six games
  • Derek Stepan has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in the last eight games
  • Brandon Prust has recorded five points (three goals, two assists) in the last eight games

MILESTONES APPROACHING:

  • Henrik Lundqvist: 2 wins from 200 NHL career
  • Marc Staal: 3 games from 300 NHL career
  • Steve Eminger: 5 games from 400 NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:

  • Brandon Dubinsky: 100th career NHL assist (2/1 vs. PIT)

INJURIES:

  • Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18) – 53
  • Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 23
  • Erik Christensen (sprained knee on Dec. 29) – 15
  • Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 10
  • Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder separation on Jan. 19, 2 – 4 weeks) – 5

Total Man-Games Lost: 198

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

  • Jan. 30 – Recalled defenseman Michael Del Zotto and forwards Evgeny Grachev and Kris Newbury from Connecticut (AHL)
  • Feb. 1 – Assigned forward Evgeny Grachev to Connecticut (AHL)

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80 Comments

  1. Silver ….

    ….Prust needed an appendectomy …..so he just pulled it out himself..

    …..or he just told it to get out …and it did

  2. Rehashing the end of the last thread re: MDZ.

    IMO, “showcasing” is a completely overrated concept. If a team has an interest in acquiring a player then they scout him for several games. Particularly a young player where game performance can be volatile. Also, teams have 100+ games at the NHL level as a sample size to help base their opinion on MDZ. His demotions have as much to do with the decline in his play as they do with the organization finally having the depth to make such a move. Lets remember that 2 years ago Corey Potter was their 1st choice call up on D.

  3. I dont have the link but loved the knock-out of DP by Johnson Reminded me of the Cloutier beatdown on Salo which I had the priviledge of being there

  4. Mike Tyson made millions “fighting” with one-punch knockouts. Thus, that is, and was, a fight.

  5. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    I hate the Pens… so i would have liked to see DP pound Johnson… oh well. Cooke is garbage. Need to rebound and beat the Devils tonight.

  6. WoWo-ekuh - Its Just Pain on

    DP now stands for double poundage. He would’ve been better off just keeping his mask on.

  7. What was he thinking. Isn’t Bret Johnson like 6’3″ or something like that? He’s a big boy.

    Avery needs to have an all-time Avery vs. Brodeur type night.

  8. billybleedsblue on

    Are you kidding, DP won that fight! Did you see how hard he hit Johnson’s fist with his jaw?!? The jaw’s the hardest bone in the body! It was strategy, and he fell down to save Johnson from further punishment.

    Ok, anyways, I agree with the idea that Avery vs. Brodeur should be at all-time levels tonight. I’m also of the opinion that I’d like to see that manifest itself with Sean scoring a couple of goals, not taking a couple of penalties. Well, I’ll take it either way if it takes the Fatty off his game, but, I’d like to see a couple of Seany’s wristers from the circle find the back of the net…

  9. Totally – a few goals would be a nice present. I am always amazed at his stick work behind the net but nothing ever develops from it.

  10. Who gets prucha’d on D tonight?

    ——

    Staal. He was clearly showcased at the ASG and the last game as well.

    Staal to Edmonton for Foster.

  11. >>You guys are all aware that there was a goalie fight last night, right?

    No, but we are aware that there was a DiPietro knockout though.

  12. CT

    wouldn’t that be something!

    Stepan for Cogliano and Hank for Habibulin! Total makeover!

    People on here laugh at Eklund and his absurd trade rumors and propositions. But when i read this board, especially in the last few weeks, as we get closer to the trade deadline, i feel as if half of the people who post went to Eklund college! lol

    Btw, i agree with you on this “showcasing” BS! What the fugg is it even mean, “showcasing”? As if scouts never saw a certain player play until the “showcase” time! Hilarious…

  13. I’ve got some bad news for you guys. The Rangers have apparently been showcasing Lundqvist for years. I heard he is being traded for DiPietro straight up. The Rangers like the fire that burns in DPs belly.

  14. so Prospal is coming back…that’s pretty big news, i guess. Hopefully Gaborik can find his old “jam” with Vinny again.

    Must beat the Debbies! No Devils pucks will “dent our twine” tonight!

  15. Blue Seat Horror on

    Larry Brooks must have nothing to write about today. He posted an article about Sather calling the League for Orpik’s hit to Avery’s head. Everyone knows that’s not news because Colin Campbell probably just laughed and hung up. That’s like saying “I called the IRS and told them I didn’t think taxes were legal.”

    Besides, shouldn’t Sather be on the phone trying to get Brad Richards? :P

    He really needs to stop slacking off.

  16. Blue Seat Horror on

    This should make you smile, Carp. Tortorella on his decision to shoot first in the shootout:

    “[Henrik Lundqvist ] talked to me, he feels more comfortable making the first save,” Tortorella said in explaining the change in strategy. “It’s kind of his show in that silly skills competition we do, so I’ll listen to Hank a little while longer. … I have to listen to him.”

  17. Larry Brooks must also be kidding when he asks who would have thought it might come down to sitting Drury? Oh, I don’t know, everyone on this web site? All Ranger fans? Everyone who has been mocking Captain Clutch for being ineffective and a horrible signing?

  18. drury sucks and needs to sit.

    also if EMINGER IS NOT IN FOR MDZ THEN TORTS NEEDS A BEATDOWN AS WELL.

    2 weeks from today due date for first child. countdown is on

  19. I don’t think MDZ is being “showcased”. I also dislike that term.

    I don’t want to see gim get Whaled but it is almost inevitable. He needs to play top minutes to find his game and him doing that in NY is a scary thought right now. I’m afraid more time in CT will just further mess with his confidence and cause him to doubt himself even more

    That said, I think it is way too early in the guy’s career to think about trading him. He has that talent you crave in a offensive d-man. He just needs time to get his swagger back. Much easier said than done. I know from experience :P

  20. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    morning ILB and all!

    allow me…refresh refresh refresh!!

  21. I don’t understand any of this Eminger vs. Del Zotto stuff. Del Zotto has a chance to be something really special for a long time and is going through sophomore growing pains. Eminger is probably as good as he’s ever going to be. Why wouldn’t you want Del Zotto in the game?

  22. ?I will say this: I don?t think any team?s ever won a Stanley Cup without a good four lines. When I look back to my Cup in Colorado, we had a great fourth line, they did everything asked of them, they did everything possible to help us win, win faceoffs, blocking shots, kill penalties: Shjon Podein, Dave Reid, Stephane Yelle, guys just killed themselves to help us win. Teams and organizations are deeper than they?ve ever been. You?re gonna need a lot of guys if you want to get where to want to be in June.? Even the teams in the 80s had so much skill, the Oilers, they always had guys who did the little things, you?d be hard-pressed to find a winner who didn?t have them.? – Chris Drury to Steve Zipay

    ***

    courtesy of SNY/Zipay

  23. Why did I bother coming back to the blog today??! I must be a glutton for punishment. Leave it to billybleedsredsocks to come to the defense of a pile of carcillo!

    Wow, Roberts refutes stalking. And we’re supposed to take her at her word. Those Duke Lacrosse kids refuted committing rape. But that didn’t stop Roberts from ruining their lives. No wonder she left the NY Times under a cloud of controversy.

    http://backporch.fanhouse.com/2008/03/17/a-year-later-selena-roberts-still-cant-admit-she-was-wrong-abo/

    The reason why reporters like Roberts are so good at digging up “dirt” is because that’s what they are. I think Im taking a break from the blog for the rest of the day.

  24. Selena Roberts is annoying. Salacious books about athletes, or any famous person, are really annoying.

  25. I have to agree with Tiki on this one.

    “The reason why reporters like Roberts are so good at digging up “dirt” is because that’s what they are.”

    Great statement.

  26. Carp, I agree 100% on Del Zotto and Eminger. I would rather have MDZ in over Eminger. Yet, I don’t think MDZ’s game is where it needs to be right now to justify him having that spot. Seems to me he is overthinking simple passes/plays and just not letting the game come to him. I’d hate to see him suffer even more growing pains during a playoff run. I hope he can make strides and reclaim his spot (without question) by the end of this season.

  27. billybleedsblue on

    Oh boy…and there’s this: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2008748285_base16.html

    He trashes himself…

    Ok, enough of that…on to more NYR hockey!!! I can’t wait for the game tonight. I’m gonna be pressed for time later to catch the 1st period, but I think I can pull it off…I don’t wanna miss any of the action, especially if Prospal will be back?>! I’m happy to put up with MDZ’s “growing pains” if it means keeping his head in the right place. Sitting him or sending him down could be the worst thing for his head and his game. Also, will somebody please learn how to shoot from the point, it can’t be that hard, can it? :D

  28. Carp,

    I think the only reason I would want to have MDZ sit is because if he makes too many mistakes, he could get a little snakebitten. He still has a lot to learn about possession at this level of the game. We all saw what happened when Torts ripped into him after a few bad giveaways: he just got tentative and made even worse decisions. It’s a tough balance for young players.

    Oh how I wish we drafted Fowler.

  29. However, she says some very intelligent statements:

    “I think the intense response came from Duke-player supporters who felt threatened when someone, whether it was me or another columnist, started poking at the culture of affluence and entitlement. We’re always dissecting the African-American and Hispanic communities – is it gangs? is it the rap lyrics? – when trouble strikes minority athletes. Obviously, some segments of the Duke lacrosse crowd did not enjoy the scrutiny of their world.”

    and

    “I wrote that a crime didn’t have to occur for us to inspect the irrefutable evidence of misogyny and race baiting that went on that night. Not a popular stand.”

    I have to agree with her in general about those societal misgivings.

  30. Good afternoon all! So, how about them Rangers huh!!!! I am bummed cause I’ll be missing the game tonight…..second round of painting school begins…but I’m sure I’ll come home and read all about the Rangers here!!!! LGR!!!

    I would like to refresh this convo!

  31. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    As regards the exhibition football game coming up on Sunday, on my line I have GB – 1/2, meaning that Pitt at +2.5, and actually +3 at Bodog.com, is a lukewarm play. The line changing in some places from GB -2.5 to -3 indicates that Pitt will not be handed this game via an insider’s fix with the whistle blowers in on it, as was the case in the Pitt – Seattle one-sided officiating fiasco.

    What is the overs and unders on the total of commericials plus penalties, for this game? I make it 75. lol. But remember, we are supposed to be in awe of the commercials like they are a wonderful part of our American Heritage and landscape, or something. Overs and unders on the time of the “halftime show” is 45 minutes. I am going to skip watching or listening to this game, in deference to waiting for the opportunity to admire the ladies hats at the Kentucky Derby in May. At least that is a sport that is exciting. The most exciting part of this and any Super Bowl is when the announcer says on cue: “There’s a timeout on the field.” jajajajajaja.

  32. WoWo-ekuh - Its Just Pain on

    Is it just me, or have the Super Bowl commericals stopped being funny since Packers-Broncos? I miss the Budweiser frogs and their archenemy weasels :(

  33. Wicky that’s my job:
    REFRESH, REFRESH, REFRESH !!!

    I’ve been gone for a few days. My beautiful wife of 43 years has been in the hospital.
    She had blood pressure of 196/116 with pains in her cheat. Called 911 & they removed her gall bladder & are now doing test on her liver & kidneys. Dr’s are concerned of liver blockage.
    I’ve been sleeping at the hospital with her to make sure she sees me when she wakes up in the mornings. If she passes these test, eats a good meal & poops, she may come home tonight.
    So, all my bonehead friends – pray for a good Carcillo !!

  34. Ria (the silent bonehead) on

    Good thoughts and prayers for your wife Tony. I got your back on “Refreshing” till your back full time! LOL

  35. you got to love Tony! Even in a difficult time like this, he never looses sense of humor!

    Thoughts and prayers for good poop and speedy recovery for your wife.

  36. Tony… I am wishing you and your wife nothing but health an happiness. May she have a fast pain free recovery. I am not a religious man, but I am praying for her. Speedy recovery!

  37. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    tony
    best of luck and just keeping your seat warm!!

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