I know, they’re not Mighty anymore. I have a tough time with change.
Games of note tonight: Thrashers at Hurricanes; Buffalo Baby Buffaloes at Bruins; Flys at Leaves; Senators at Panthers (for the really Negative Nancies still worried about teams that low).
Here are tonight’s pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at ANAHEIM DUCKS
Wednesday, Mar. 9, 10:30 p.m.
Honda Center • Anaheim, CA
Rangers: 35-29-4 (74 pts)
Ducks: 35-26-5 (75 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 7
The Rangers will begin a two-game west coast road trip when they face-off against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. EST). The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 35-29-4 (74 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 7-0, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, and have won their last two games. The Ducks enter the contest with a 35-26-5 (75 pts) record to rank 10th in the Western Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, Mar. 12, at HP Pavilion at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST), to complete their two-game west coast road trip.
- TV: MSG Plus
10:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
10:30 p.m. – Rangers at Ducks
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
- · Radio: 970 The Apple and newyorkrangers.com
10:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
10:30 p.m. – Rangers at Ducks
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. DUCKS:
- All-Time: 9-12-1-0 overall (5-6-1-0 at home, 4-6-0-0 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the first and only meeting this season
- Last Season: New York was 1-0-0 overall after defeating Anaheim, 3-0, at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 11. The Rangers held the Ducks to 18 shots on goal, and notched two power play goals in five opportunities (40.0%).
- Each of the Blueshirts’ three goals vs. the Ducks last season were registered on special teams, including two power play tallies and one shortanded goal.
- The Rangers rank seventh with a 20-13-1 (41 pts) record on the road; the Ducks are tied for eighth with a 20-11-2 (42 pts) mark at home
- New York is 3-0-0 vs. the Pacific Division; Anaheim is 4-2-0 against the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 2-1-0 with a 2.36 goals against average in three career regular season appearances vs. Anaheim; Chad Johnson has yet to face the Ducks
- Artem Anisimov (power play) and Dan Girardi (shorthanded) each tallied a goal vs. Anaheim last season, while Sean Avery, Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal registered one assist apiece
- Marian Gaborik has recorded a team-high, seven goals and 15 points in 23 career regular season contests vs. Anaheim; Sean Avery leads the team with 11 assists in 26 career regular season games vs. the Ducks
- New York lists three former Ducks on their roster: Erik Christensen (2008-09 – 2009-10); Steve Eminger (2009-10); Vinny Prospal (2003-04)
- Anaheim lists one former Ranger on their roster: Todd Marchant (1993-94)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-nine rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks sixth in the league.
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied two goals in five power play opportunities (7:25) on Sunday vs. Philadelphia, and are now 6-28 (21.4%) with the man advantage in their last seven games. New York is tied for 20th overall (41-245, 16.7%) and ranks 20th on the road (17-115, 14.8%). 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 held the Flyers scoreless in five shorthanded situations (8:16) on Sunday at MSG, and have allowed only 11 power play goals against in the last 26 games (71-82, 86.6% over the span). New York ranks 11th overall (190-228, 83.3%) and is tied for seventh on the road (102-122, 83.6%). 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 three, four-on-four situations (3:44) on Sunday vs. Philadelphia, and are now plus-five in 53, four-on-four situations (104:41). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (7): 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); 3/6 vs. PHI (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson).
New York has posted a record of 10-6-0 in 16 games vs. Western Conference opponents this season. Their 10 wins lead all Eastern Conference teams, while they are tied for second with a .625 winning percentage and third with 20 points.
Ryan Callahan posted his first career hat trick with a four-goal performance in a 7-0 win vs. Philadelphia on Sunday, marking the fifth hat trick by a Ranger this season (Marian Gaborik – 3, Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan). The five hat tricks are the most for New York since 1999-2000 (five), and the last time three or more Blueshirts recorded a hat trick in the same season was 2000-01 (Radek Dvorak, Theo Fleury, Jan Hlavac, Petr Nedved). Callahan and Gaborik (1/19 vs. TOR) have both recorded a four-goal game, marking the first time in 24 years and only the fourth time in franchise history the team had multiple four-goal performances in a season (1932-33, 1974-75, 1986-87). In 1974-75, four different Rangers registered four-goal performances (Rick Middleton, Rod Gilbert, Greg Polis, Steve Vickers).
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 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 15-year NHL veteran has been on the ice for 53.3% of the Rangers goals (eight of 15) in his five games with the team, and has tallied two power play assists.
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.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have posted five more wins and five more points compared to last season through 68 games (30-29-9, 69 points in 2009-10), having tallied 15 more goals (193 this season, 178 last season) while allowing 23 fewer goals against (164 this season, 187 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 (1,929), rank second in blocked shots (1,078), fifth in goals against (164), are tied for first in shootout wins (seven), second in shorthanded goals (10), fourth in road wins (20), seventh in penalty killing on the road (83.6%), and rank fifth with a plus-29 goal differential.
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 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in the last 16 games since returning from injury on Feb. 1, including 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in the last 11 contests
- Vinny Prospal enters the contest with a four game scoring streak (one goal, four assists over the span), and has tallied eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last seven contests
- Wojtek Wolski has recorded four assists in the last four games
- Artem Anisimov has tallied four points (three goals, one assist) in the last four games
- Mats Zuccarello has notched three goals in the last two games
- Erik Christensen has tallied at least one point in three of his last five games, registering six points (three goals, three assists) over the span
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- 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) – 38
- Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 25
- Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 14
- Martin Biron (fractured collarbone on Feb. 28) – 4
Total Man-Games Lost: 268
- Mar. 3: Assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL)