I’ll be headed down to MSG later on.
Here are tonight’s pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS
Thursday, Feb. 17, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 30-24-4 (64 pts)
Kings: 31-22-3 (65 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 15
The Rangers will face-off against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of 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 30-24-4 (64 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-3, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, to reach the 30-win plateau for the sixth consecutive season. The Kings have posted a record of 31-22-3 (65 pts) to rank 10th in the Western Conference entering their contest tonight at Columbus, and are now 4-0-2 on their current 10-game road trip. Following the contest, the Rangers will conclude their back-to-back set when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Friday, Feb. 18, at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up.
- TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Brian Leetch
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Kings
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Al Trautwig, John Giannone 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. Kings
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. KINGS:
- All-Time: 64-43-16-0 overall (36-18-6-0 at home, 28-25-10-0 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight is the first and only meeting this season
- Last Season: New York was 1-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 at Madison Square Garden, having won their only meeting at home, 4-2, on Oct. 14
- The Rangers rank 25th with a 13-12-3 (29 pts) record at home; the Kings rank 17th with a 14-13-2 (30 pts) mark on the road
- The Rangers are 2-0-0 vs. the Pacific Division; the Kings are 3-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 1-3-0 with a 3.03 goals against average in four career regular season appearances vs. Los Angeles; Martin Biron is 4-1-0-0 with a 2.04 goals against average and one shutout in six career regular season contests vs. the Kings
- Marian Gaborik has registered a team-high, 18 goals and 28 points in 26 career regular season contests vs. Los Angeles
- New York lists two former Kings on their roster: Sean Avery (2002-03 – 2006-07); Alex Frolov (2002-03 – 2009-10)
- Los Angeles lists no former Rangers on their roster
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-nine rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks fifth in the league. The Rangers’ three power play goals vs. Pittsburgh on Sunday marked a season-high, and were the most by the Blueshirts since they tallied four on the man advantage vs. Washington on Feb. 4, 2010.
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied three goals in six power play opportunities (9:43) on Sunday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now 7-34 (20.6%) with the man advantage in their last seven games. New York is tied for 22nd overall (35-211, 16.6%) and rank 16th at home (21-110, 19.1%). The Rangers are 2-9 (7:45) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/7 at DET), 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 six shorthanded situations (11:12) on Sunday at MSG, and have allowed only four power play goals against in the last 16 games (45-49, 91.8% over the span). New York ranks seventh overall (164-195, 84.1%) and eighth at home (73-85, 85.9%). The Rangers are 7-9 (6:45) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/3 vs. NJD), 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 Sunday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now plus-three in 45, four-on-four situations (90:57). 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).
New York has posted a record of 9-5-0 in 14 games vs. Western Conference opponents this season. Their nine wins are tied for first among Eastern Conference teams, while they rank second with 18 points and fourth with a .643 winning percentage vs. the West.
The Rangers will begin their 15th of 18 back-to-back sets tomorrow vs. Los Angeles. 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.
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Vinny Prospal have each made strong returns since returning from injury earlier this month. Callahan has registered five points (four goals, one assist) in six games since returning from injury on Feb. 1 vs. Pittsburgh, following a 19-game hiatus due to a broken hand suffered on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh. Dubinsky also returned on Feb. 1 after missing five games with a stress fracture on his left fibula, and has recorded four points (two goals, two assists) over the span. Prospal made his season debut on Feb. 3 vs. New Jersey after missing the first 53 games of the season with a knee injury, and has tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in five games. He is also tied for the team lead with 17 shots on goal since returning from injury.
New York has posted a record of 7-16-3 when trailing after the second period. The Rangers’ seven wins, 17 points and .269 winning percentage rank first in the NHL. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent, 103-47, in the third period of their last nine games.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered five more wins and seven more points compared to last season through 58 games (25-26-7, 55 points in 2009-10), having tallied 13 more goals (162 this season, 149 last season) while allowing 18 fewer goals against (144 this season, 162 last season). New York has also shown a four-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (nine this season, five last season).
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in hits (1,645), are tied for first in shorthanded goals (nine), third in road wins (17), rank seventh in penalty killing (84.1%), eighth in goals against (144) and home penalty killing (85.9%), fifth in blocked shots (910), and rank eighth with a plus-18 goal differential.
The Blueshirts rank 12th in the league with a .536 winning percentage in one-goal games, posting a record of 15-9-4 in those contests. Their 28 one-goal games are tied for fourth in the NHL, and 15 wins are tied for sixth in the league. Fifteen of the Rangers’ last 20 games have been decided by one goal, including seven of their last nine home games.
The Rangers have had 17 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is the most in the NHL.
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 HOT LIST:
- New York has notched seven power play goals in the last seven games (7-34, 20.6% over the span)
- The Rangers penalty kill has allowed only four power play goals against in the last 16 games (45-49, 91.8% over the span)
- Marian Gaborik enters tonight’s contest with a three-game assist streak, and has recorded an assist in six of the last seven games (seven assists over the span); he has tallied 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the last 11 games
- Mats Zuccarello has registered 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the last 13 games, including six assists in the last seven contests
- Wojtek Wolski has recorded nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last 12 games
- Brandon Dubinsky enters tonight’s contest with a three-game scoring streak (two goals, one assist over the span)
- Henrik Lundqvist: 1 win from 200 NHL career
- Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 28
- Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 15
- Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder separation on Jan. 19/appendectomy on Feb. 2, 3 weeks) – 10
- Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 4
Total Man-Games Lost: 218