MORNING UPDATE: 10:33 A.M.:
Andrew Gross is reporting, from John Tortorella’s morning press conference, that Marian Gaborik and Ryan McDonagh will play, and that Erik Christensen will be prucha’d.
It’s an NBC matinee, Edzo.
The Flys are unraveling a bit lately, too, including yesterday when some of you actually rooted for them (then vomited, took showers, washed out your mouths with soap, and went to confession).
Maybe this is a good time to get them. On the other hand, the Rangers are awful at home, awful in matinees, and pretty bad in the Heritage Jerseys they usually trot out for such occasions.
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Sunday, Mar. 6, 12:30 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 34-29-4 (72 pts)
Flyers: 40-17-6 (86 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 4
The Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m.), in their fifth game in eight days. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 34-29-4 (72 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Ottawa Senators, 4-1, on Friday at Scotiabank Place. The Flyers have posted a record of 40-18-6 (86 pts) to rank first in the Eastern Conference, and have lost fiver of their last seven games (2-4-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will begin a two-game west coast road trip when they face-off against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, Mar. 9, at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. EST), before traveling to San Jose to face-off against the Sharks on Saturday, Mar. 12, at HP Pavilion at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST).
* TV: NBC
12:30 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: Mike Emrick (Play-By-Play), Eddie Olczyk (Analyst), Pierre Mcguire, Mike Milbury and Liam McHugh (In-Game Reporters)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
12:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
12:30 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. FLYERS:
* All-Time: 108-107-37-7 overall (56-47-23-4 at home, 52-60-14-3 on the road)
* 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the fifth of six meetings this season, and the third and final at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are 0-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 at home following a 4-2 loss vs. Philadelphia on Feb. 20 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 26th with a 14-16-3 (31 pts) record at home; the Flyers rank fourth with a 20-8-3 (43 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Flyers are 14-2-1 against the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist is 14-10-3 with a 2.89 goals against average and two shutouts in 29 career regular season appearances vs. Philadelphia; Chad Johnson has posted a 4.50 goals against average in one appearance (no decision) vs. the Flyers
* Bryan McCabe has recorded a team-high, 32 assists and 38 points in 53 career regular season contests vs. Philadelphia; Vinny Prospal leads the team with 15 goals in 43 career regular season games vs. the Flyers
* 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-seven rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for sixth in the league.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play opportunities (7:08) on Friday at Ottawa, and are now 11-63 (17.5%) with the man advantage in their last 16 games. New York is tied for 23rd overall (39-240, 16.2%) and ranks 20th at home (22-125, 17.6%). The Rangers are 2-10 (8:17) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/22 at CAR), and 0-4 (5:41) when four-on-three (last – 3/1 vs. MIN). 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 Senators in three shorthanded situations (4:50) on Friday at Ottawa, and have allowed only 11 power play goals against in the last 25 games (66-77, 85.7% over the span). New York ranks 13th overall (185-223, 83.0%) and is tied for 20th at home (83-101, 82.2%). The Rangers are 7-10 (7:21) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/27 vs. TBL), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (10): 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); 2/27 vs. TBL (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York tallied one goal in one, four-on-four situation (2:00) on Friday at Ottawa, and are now plus-four in 50, four-on-four situations (100:57). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (6): 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); 3/4 at OTT (Stepan). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson).
NEW ACT ON BROADWAY
On Feb. 26, the Rangers acquired defenseman Bryan McCabe from Florida, in exchange for forward Tim Kennedy and a third round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. McCabe has eclipsed the 40-point plateau five times, including three seasons of 50 or more points, and was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2004. The 15-year NHL veteran skated in his 1,000th career game on Nov. 6, 2009 vs. Washington, and was named Florida’s captain on Sept. 23, 2009. McCabe made his Rangers’ debut on Feb. 27 vs. Tampa Bay, and recorded his first point as a Blueshirt with a power play assist on Mar. 1 vs. Buffalo.
The Rangers completed their 16th of 18 back-to-back sets on Friday at Ottawa. New York is 9-6-1 (3-2-0 at home, 6-4-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs. The Blueshirts are 11-5-0 (4-2-0 at home, 7-3-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 43-26, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 20-7-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including an 8-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-4-1 on the road over the span.
New York has posted a record of 7-20-3 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 .233 winning percentage ranks third. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent, 188-108, in the third period of their last 16 games.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have posted five more wins and five more points compared to last season through 67 games (29-29-9, 67 points in 2009-10), having tallied 13 more goals (186 this season, 173 last season) while allowing 21 fewer goals against (164 this season, 185 last season). New York has also shown a five-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (10 this season, five last season).
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in hits (1,901), are tied for first in shorthanded goals (10), rank second in blocked shots (1,058), are tied for fourth in road wins (20), sixth in goals against (164), seventh in penalty killing on the road (83.6%), and rank eighth with a plus-22 goal differential.
The Blueshirts have skated in 33 one-goal games this season, which is tied for the fifth most in the league, having posted a record of 17-12-4 in those contests. Their 17 wins are tied for seventh in the NHL. Twenty of the Rangers’ last 29 games have been decided by one goal, including 10 of their last 14 home games.
The Rangers have had 18 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is the most in the NHL.
THE HOT LIST:
* Ryan Callahan has recorded 11 points (six goals, five assists) in the last 15 games, with nine points (four goals, five assists) in the last 10 contests
* Vinny Prospal has recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) in the last 11 contests, including six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six games
* Derek Stepan has notched eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last 12 games
* Wojtek Wolski has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in the last seven games, including three assists in the last three contests
* Erik Christensen has tallied at least one point in three of the last five games, registering six points (three goals, three assists) 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 (202).
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
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Henrik Lundqvist: 200th career NHL win (2/17 vs. LAK)
* Brandon Dubinsky: 300th career NHL game (3/3 vs. MIN)
* Steve Eminger: 400th career NHL game (3/4 at OTT)
* Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 37
* Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 24
* Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 13
* Marian Gaborik (concussion-like symptoms) – 6
* Martin Biron (fractured collarbone on Feb. 28) – 3
Total Man-Games Lost: 263
* Mar. 2: Recalled goaltender Chad Johnson from Connecticut (AHL)
* Mar. 2: Assigned goaltender Cam Talbot to Connecticut (AHL)
* Mar. 3: Assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL)