Lightnings at Rangers today

26

It’s a 1 p.m. matinee as the Rangers play the final game of February, the final game before tomorrow’s trade deadline, and the first of a three-game homestand.

Bryan McCabe is expected to make his Rangers debut. Marc Staal is expected to miss his second straight game. Ruslan Fedotenko is day to day. Kris Newbury, who cleared waivers yesterday, is still with the team in case Fedotenko can’t go.

I’m headed to MSG at the crack of dawn (or so it seems). See youse later. Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the New York Rangers:

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Sunday, Feb. 27, 1:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 33-26-4 (70 pts)
Lightning: 36-18-7 (79 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 25

TODAY’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden (1:00 p.m.), in the first game of a three-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 33-26-4 (70 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Washington Capitals, 6-0, on Friday at Verizon Center, and are now 4-2-0 in their last six games. The Lightning enter the contest with a 36-18-7 (79 pts) record to rank second in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last five games (2-1-2). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, Mar. 1, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), as they continue their three-game homestand.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

*       TV: MSG Network
12:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig
1:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Lightning
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Al Trautwig and John Giannone (In-Game Reporters)
*       Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
12:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
1:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Lightning
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. LIGHTNING:

*       All-Time: 37-28-5-5 overall (21-12-2-3 at home, 16-16-3-2 on the road)
*       2010-11: Tonight is the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second at Madison Square Garden. New York is 0-1-2 thus far following a 2-1 overtime loss at Tampa Bay on Jan. 1, and have posted an 0-0-1 mark at MSG.
*       Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 overall and 1-1-0 on the road. The Rangers out-scored the Lightning, 19-9, in the season series, including a season-high, eight goals, in an 8-2 win on Jan. 19 at MSG.
*       The 11-round shootout between New York and Tampa Bay on Dec. 23 at MSG is tied for the sixth longest in NHL history, and is the third longest in Rangers’ history.
*       The Rangers are tied for 24th with a 14-13-3 (31 pts) record at home; the Lightning rank 15th with a 15-11-3 (33 pts) mark on the road
*       The Rangers are 7-8-2 vs. the Southeast Division; the Lightning are 9-4-3 against the Atlantic Division
*       Henrik Lundqvist is 13-6-4 with a 2.11 goals against average and two shutouts in 23 career regular season games vs. Tampa Bay; Martin Biron is 10-7-2-0 with a 2.66 goals against average in 19 career regular season contests vs. Tampa Bay
*       Chris Drury has recorded a team-high 12 goals and 21 points in 32 career games vs. Tampa Bay
*       New York lists three former Lightning on their roster: Steve Eminger (2008-09); Ruslan Fedotenko (2002-03 – 2006-07); Vinny Prospal (2001-02 – 2002-03, 2005-06 – 2007-08, 2008-09)
*       Tampa Bay lists two former Rangers on their roster: Adam Hall (2006-07); Dominic Moore (2003-04 – 2005-06)

SPECIAL TEAMS
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-10 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for fourth in the league.

*       Power Play: The Rangers tallied two goals in four power play opportunities (5:34) on Friday at Washington, and are now 10-48 (20.8%) with the man advantage in their last 12 games. New York is tied for 20th overall (38-225, 16.9%) and ranks 18th at home (21-114, 18.4%). 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 Capitals scoreless in five shorthanded situations (8:42) on Friday at Washington, and have allowed only six power play goals against in the last 21 games (58-64, 90.6% over the span). New York ranks seventh overall (177-210, 84.3%) and 12th at home (77-91, 84.6%). 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 (1:18) on Friday at Washington, and are now plus-three in 48, four-on-four situations (98:15). 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).

BACK-TO-BACKS
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.

200 WINS
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 (202).

STRONG RETURNS
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Vinny Prospal have each made strong returns since returning from injury earlier this month. Callahan has registered nine points (six goals, three assists) in 11 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 six points (three goals, three assists) and 29 shots on goal.

COMEBACK KIDS
New York has posted a record of 7-18-3 when trailing after the second period. The Rangers’ 17 points lead the league, while their seven wins are tied for first in the NHL and their .250 winning percentage rank second. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent, 142-76, in the third period of their last 12 games.

COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered four more wins and five more points compared to last season through 63 games (29-27-7, 63 points in 2009-10), having tallied 13 more goals (178 this season, 165 last season) while allowing 15 fewer goals against (155 this season, 170 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 rank second in the league in hits (1,789), are tied for second in shorthanded goals (nine), rank seventh in penalty killing (84.3%), third in blocked shots (1,007), are tied for sixth in goals against (155), fourth in road wins (19), and rank eighth with a plus-23 goal differential.

ONE-GOAL GAMES
The Blueshirts have skated in 31 one-goal games this season, tied for fifth most in the league, having posted a record of 17-10-4 in those contests. Their 17 wins are tied for fifth in the NHL. Eighteen of the Rangers’ last 25 games have been decided by one goal, including eight of their last 11 home games.

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.

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 nine points (six goals, three assists) in the last 11 games, including seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last six
*       Mats Zuccarello has registered eight assists in the last 12 games
*       Derek Stepan has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in the last eight games, and has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last eight home games
*       Vinny Prospal has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in the last seven contests
*       Michael Sauer has tallied three assists in the last five games

MILESTONES APPROACHING:

*       Steve Eminger: 4 wins from 400 NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:

*       Henrik Lundqvist: 200th career NHL win (2/17 vs. LAK)

INJURIES:

*       Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 33
*       Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 20
*       Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 9
*       Marian Gaborik (concussion-like symptoms) – 2
*       Marc Staal (injured on Feb. 22) – 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 240

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

*       Feb. 26: Acquired defenseman Bryan McCabe from Florida, in exchange for forward Tim Kennedy and a third round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
*       Feb. 26: Assigned defenseman Michael Del Zotto to Connecticut (AHL)

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26 Comments

  1. Morning…Carp dont forget the snack in the press room, its vital for a good reporters performance :)

  2. I just think about the difficulties for players to have a 1pm start ! We´re here in Europe lovin´it :)

    When do you eat for the last time before the game at 1pm …9.30 am for breakfast or later ???
    Isn´t it confirmed statiscally that they really miss their afternoon nap right before their team meetings ??? Isn´t it the moment when they soak up their whole energy for the game ????
    I heard from tennis players when they have a 11 am start in the Grand Slam they usually have a wake up call for 6.30 am to start their preparations !!! And isn´t it much more diffcult when they don´t know their exact starting time when they are scheduled for Match 3 on the Centre Court ?????

    Yeah, Live isn´t it easy for Players !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just awaiting the moment when they have to play at 7 in the morning in order to fulfil their tV Commitments..I just can recall a game of the world famous FC Barcelona in Spain when they were ordered by the spanish football federation to play a game on Sunday instead of Saturday, but they didn´t want to do it so they moved the starting time of the game to a quarter past midnight …you must know that games in Spain usually not starting before 9 or 10 in the evening and they had an almost sould out capacity at that night….:)

    So let´s hope that nobody missing the early game today of some late Saturday rumblings :)

  3. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    who said players awaken early for 1pm games ? They just stroll in from last nite hungover, most live in NYC

  4. Good morning all! I overslept and now I have to haul butt to meet Fozzy Posse for game (NYR, I have no idea where we’re sitting tho…somewhere in 200s)

    For the love of all that is red white and blue on ice, I’m praying I don’t come home to last night. Good grief!

    warren mac and cheese for diner! LGR!!!

  5. Stranger nation on

    WW + gilroy for Richards rental

    See how he does in NY during playoff push with team prior to committing big bucks.

  6. Carp, hope you’re feeling well after your night off. The RR Funhouse got more than a little cheesy last night. Thankfully, the air seems to have cleared.

    Moma, hopefully our boys give you ample reason to enjoy the game.

    It’s not my birthday, but I’d like my wish granted that we build on that solid win against the Caps. The Lightning present a bigger hill to climb although as onecup points out the 1:00pm game time adds a qualifier to the outcome of this game. Wish they were playing at the more ‘normal’ time of 7:00. Regardless, we need to start well and fight for these two points to put more distance between us and Carolina and Buffalo.

  7. Stranger nation on

    Carp – “youth is served” comment in game notes should be updated with McCabe trade and mdz demotion. Not a bad thing as we need steady shot back there and mdz needs to play to develop.

  8. Thanks Heave, me too! I also wish they were playing at normal time, since that means I would still be asleep :)

  9. Remember Two Things on

    Bolts scored 3 on debbies – like scoring 5 or 6 against another team. The King needs to brings his A game again. Hank has been playing well.

    D pairings with McCabe in lineup? With staal out, try him with McD and play girardi with Sauer Power. Auntie Em and Gilly for 3rd pairing.

  10. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I belive that mccabe will be a monster… New lease on life certainly for this season..if pp can continue where we left off vs the caps, with our new qb, happy days are here again

  11. First! trade em all... who cares (not dubinsky though) iPhone is better then android on

    McCabe: i forgive you. now, go get em son.

    BR: thanks but no thanks.

    Slatapuss, stay the course.

  12. Is McCabe going to get a cheesy black and white video tribute like Melo had before his first game? I mean it only seems fair. I just hope they don’t make him wear the orange head band. Rather see him go back to the mohawk.

    Avoid a repeat of last Sunday please boys!

  13. Other aspects that make acquiring McCabe a smart deal:

    1) With his current NTC, he had to approve any deal to move him so it’s clear that he wants to be here.
    2) Being an UFA at year’s end means he’s motivated to bring his ‘A’ game for the rest of this season.
    3) Our chances of resigning him, if we so choose, are improved because playing here means less travel, which at age 36 will be a factor for him.
    4) He knows Torts already so developing a working relationship with the coach is a non issue here but may be somewhere else.
    5) Our youngsters should benefit from playing with and observing this wily veteran during the regular season and (potentially) the PO’s.

    Others?

  14. eddie eddie eddie on

    ranger goal, his first as a ny ranger, # 14?? Bruce MacGregor, errrrr….Don Murdoch…errrrr Bryan McCaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabe

  15. Gift of pre-concussed GAB-orik on

    McCabe will wear #28. He was qutoed as saying he’s glad he didn’t have to fight Coltor Orr for that jersey number. ha!

    I haven’t commented since the deal went down… Kennedy and a 3rd for McCabe rental was a great move. I hope he helps.

  16. eddie eddie eddie on

    ranger goal, his third of the game, # 28 bryan mccabbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbeeee assists #16 sean avery and 3 8 brandon prusssssssttttttttttttttttttttttt

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