Next-to-last game before the trade deadline. Capitals seem to be getting it together lately. Big, big test for your boys.
Not sure yet whether Marc Staal will play, and if so, how effectively. Remember, he normally plays every single shift directly against Alex Ovechkin. If he’s even slowed a little, it could have a dramatic effect on this game.
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Friday, Feb. 25, 7:00 p.m.
Verizon Center • Washington, D.C.
Rangers: 32-26-4 (68 pts)
Capitals: 32-19-10 (74 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 23
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (7:00 p.m.), in their second of three consecutive games vs. Southeast Division opponents. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 32-26-4 (68 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3, in the shootout on Tuesday at RBC Center, and are now 3-2-0 in their last five games. The Capitals enter the contest with a 32-19-10 (74 pts) record to rank fifth in the Eastern Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, Feb. 27, at Madison Square Garden (1:00 p.m.), in the first game of a three-game homestand.
- TV: MSG 2
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Capitals
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
- Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Capitals
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
- All-Time: 82-84-18-5 overall (46-37-9-2 at home, 36-47-9-3 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight is the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second at Verizon Center. New York is 2-1-0 thus far and 1-0-0 on the road, following a 2-1 shootout victory at Washington on Jan. 24.
- Last Season: New York was 1-3-0 overall with a 1-1-0 mark at Washington. Each of the four meetings were decided by two goals or less, including two games decided by one goal.
- The Rangers have tallied eight power play goals in 26 opportunities (30.8%) in their last seven games vs. Washington, including six goals in 17 power play attempts (35.3%) in four games last season
- New York ranks seventh with an 18-13-1 (37 pts) record on the road; Washington ranks sixth with a 17-7-7 (41 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers are 6-8-2 vs. the Southeast Division; the Capitals are 9-2-4 vs. the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist has posted a record of 10-6-2 with a 2.89 goals against average and two shutouts in 18 career regular season appearances vs. Washington; Martin Biron is 11-8-1-2 with a 2.50 goals against average and one shutout in 22 career regular season games vs. Washington
- Vinny Prospal leads the team with 12 goals, 29 assists and 41 points in 58 career regular season games vs. Washington
- New York lists one former Capital on their roster: Steve Eminger (2002-03 – 2007-08)
- Washington lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Knuble (1998-99 – 1999-00); Tom Poti (2001-02 – 2005-06)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-eight rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks fifth in the league. The Rangers did not skate in a power play on Sunday vs. Philadelphia, marking the second time this season they were not awarded a power play opportunity (Nov. 15 at PIT).
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in four power play opportunities (6:00) on Tuesday at Carolina, and are now 8-44 (18.2%) with the man advantage in their last 11 games. New York ranks 24th overall (36-221, 16.3%) and 24th on the road (15-107, 14.0%). The Rangers are 2-10 (8:17) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/22 at CAR), 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 Hurricanes scoreless in three shorthanded situations (6:00) on Tuesday at Carolina, and have allowed only six power play goals against in the last 20 games (53-59, 89.8% over the span). New York is tied for seventh overall (172-205, 83.9%) and seventh on the road (95-114, 83.3%). 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 tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (5:00) on Tuesday at Carolina, and are now plus-three in 47, four-on-four situations (96:57). 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 Feb. 18 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 Feb. 17, becoming only the fifth goalie in franchise history to reach the 200-win mark. He currently ranks fourth on the Rangers’ all-time wins list (201).
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Vinny Prospal have each made strong returns since returning from injury earlier this month. Callahan has registered eight points (six goals, two assists) in 10 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 four points (two goals, two assists) and 28 shots on goal.
New York has posted a record of 7-18-3 when trailing after the second period. The Rangers’ seven wins, 17 points and .250 winning percentage rank first in the NHL. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent, 135-65, in the third period of their last 11 games.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered four more wins and five more points compared to last season through 62 games (28-27-7, 63 points in 2009-10), having tallied 11 more goals (172 this season, 161 last season) while allowing 14 fewer goals against (155 this season, 169 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 (1,772), are tied for second in shorthanded goals (nine), seventh in penalty killing (83.9%), rank third in blocked shots (989), eighth in goals against (155), are tied for fifth in road wins (18), and rank eighth with a plus-17 goal differential.
The Blueshirts have skated in 31 one-goal games this season, tied for fourth most in the league, having posted a record of 17-10-4 in those contests. Their 17 wins are tied for third in the NHL. Eighteen of the Rangers’ last 24 games have been decided by one goal, including 10 of their last 13 road 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:
· Ryan Callahan has recorded eight points (six goals, two assists) in the last 10 games, including six points (four goals, two assists) in the last five
· Mats Zuccarello has registered seven assists in the last 11 games
· Marc Staal has tallied four points (one goal, three assists) in the last six games
· Derek Stepan has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last eight home games
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
· Henrik Lundqvist: 200th career NHL win (2/17 vs. LAK)
· Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 32
· Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 19
· Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder separation on Jan. 19/appendectomy on Feb. 2, 3 weeks) – 14
· Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 8
· Marian Gaborik (concussion-like symptoms) – 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 235
· Feb. 20: Recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut