I’m headed down to MSG at the crack of dawn, almost, for a 12:30 game. It’s an NBC game, too.
Here are today’s pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Sunday, Feb. 20, 12:30 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 31-25-4 (66 pts)
Flyers: 38-15-5 (81 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 18
The Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division matinee match-up. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 31-25-4 (66 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the New Jersey Devils, 1-0, on Friday at Prudential Center. New York has won each of their last two home games. The Flyers enter the contest with a 38-15-5 (81 pts) record to rank first in the Eastern Conference, and are 2-1-0 on their current four-game road trip. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at RBC Center (7:00 p.m.), in their fourth game in six days.
* TV: NBC
12:30 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: Ken Daniels (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
12:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
12:30 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. FLYERS:
* All-Time: 108-106-37-7 overall (56-46-23-4 at home, 52-60-14-3 on the road)
* 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the fourth of six meetings this season, and the second of three at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are 0-3-0 following a 3-2 loss vs. Philadelphia on Jan. 16 at MSG.
* Last Season: New York was 3-2-1 overall and 2-1-0 at home. Five games were decided by two goals or less, including three that were decided by one.
* The Rangers rank 21st with a 14-12-3 (31 pts) record at home; the Flyers rank first with a 19-7-3 (41 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 9-7-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Flyers are 12-2-1 against the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist is 14-9-3 with a 2.89 goals against average and two shutouts in 28 career regular season appearances vs. the Flyers; Martin Biron is 9-7-2-0 with a 2.18 goals against average in 18 career regular season games vs. the Flyers
* Vinny Prospal has registered a team-high, 15 goals and 29 points in 42 career regular season games vs. the Flyers; Dan Girardi has tallied 15 assists in 27 career regular season games vs. Philadelphia
* New York lists three former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron (2006-07 – 2008-09); Steve Eminger (2008-09); Vinny Prospal (1996-97 – 1997-98, 2007-08)
* Philadelphia lists four former Rangers on their roster: Blair Betts (2005-06 – 2008-09); Ian Laperriere (1995-96); Jody Shelley (2009-10); Nikolay Zherdev (2008-09)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-eight rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks fifth in the league.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play opportunities (4:00) on Friday at New Jersey, and are now 7-40 (17.5%) with the man advantage in their last nine games. New York ranks 24th overall (35-217, 16.1%) and is tied for 16th at home (21-114, 18.4%). The Rangers are 2-9 (7:45) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/7 at DET), and 0-3 (4:23) when four-on-three (last – 2/17 vs. LAK). 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 Devils scoreless in one shorthanded situation (2:00) on Friday at New Jersey, and have allowed only five power play goals against in the last 18 games (48-53, 90.6% over the span). New York ranks ninth overall (167-199, 83.9%) and 11th at home (75-88, 85.2%). 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 Friday at New Jersey, and are now plus-three in 46, four-on-four situations (91:57). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). 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).
The Rangers completed their 15th of 18 back-to-back sets on Friday at New Jersey. New York is 9-5-1 (3-1-0 at home, 6-4-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs. The Blueshirts are 10-5-0 (4-2-0 at home, 6-3-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 39-25, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 19-7-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including an 8-3-1 mark at MSG and 11-4-1 on the road over the span.
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 200th career win in a 4-3 shootout win vs. Los Angeles on Thursday, becoming only the fifth goalie in franchise history to reach the 200-win mark and moving into a tie with John Vanbiesbrouck for fourth on the Rangers’ all-time wins list.
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Vinny Prospal have each made strong returns since returning from injury earlier this month. Callahan has registered seven points (five goals, two assists) in eight 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 five points (two goals, three 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 seven games.
New York has posted a record of 7-17-3 when trailing after the second period. The Rangers’ seven wins, 17 points and .259 winning percentage rank first in the NHL. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent, 120-62, in the third period of their last 11 games.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered five more wins and seven more points compared to last season through 60 games (26-27-7, 55 points in 2009-10), having tallied 15 more goals (166 this season, 153 last season) while allowing 15 fewer goals against (148 this season, 165 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 (1,709), rank second in shorthanded goals (nine), fourth in blocked shots (946), seventh in goals against (148), are tied for fifth in road wins (17), rank eighth in penalty killing (83.8%), and are tied for eighth with a plus-18 goal differential.
The Blueshirts have skated in 30 one-goal games this season, tied for third most in the league, having posted a record of 16-10-4 in those contests. Their 16 wins are tied for fifth in the NHL. Seventeen of the Rangers’ last 22 games have been decided by one goal, including eight of their last 10 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:
* Marian Gaborik has recorded a point in eight of the last 10 games (two goals, seven assists), including five points (one goal, four assists) in the last five games; he has tallied 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in the last 13 games
* Brandon Dubinsky has registered four points (two goals, two assists) in the last five games
* Ryan Callahan has recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) in the last eight games, including five points (three goals, two assists) in the last three
* Artem Anisimov has tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in the last three games
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Henrik Lundqvist: 200th career NHL win (2/17 vs. LAK)
* Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 30
* Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 17
* Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder separation on Jan. 19/appendectomy on Feb. 2, 3 weeks) – 12
* Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 6
Total Man-Games Lost: 226
* Feb. 18: Assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut