Late starter … and we move the clocks shortly after the game!
You can still make your predictions for the Boneheads ticket contest extravaganza and picnic on this thread if you like. See the previous posts for all the rules … and don’t dare break any of them.
San Jose always reminds me of that disastrous road trip where Eric Lindros suffered his last concussion on a relatively minor collision and Theo Fleury punched out the Sharks mascot to begin that fateful trip which ended with him “quitting” a game in Pittsburgh and promising to retire … a trip that ultimately led to a stint in rehab. Ugh.
Here are tonight’s pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at SAN JOSE SHARKS
Saturday, Mar. 12, 10:30 p.m.
HP Pavilion at San Jose • San Jose, CA
Rangers: 35-30-4 (74 pts)
Sharks: 39-22-7 (85 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 10
The Rangers will conclude a two-game west coast road trip when they face-off against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST). The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 35-30-4 (74 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Anaheim Ducks, 5-2, on Wednesday at Honda Center, and are now 3-1-0 in their last four road games. The Sharks enter the contest with a 39-22-7 (85 pts) record to rank third in the Western Conference, and have lost two of their last three games (1-1-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Mar. 15, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. EST), to begin a two-game homestand.
- TV: MSG Network
10:00 p.m. – Hockey Night Live!
10:30 p.m. – Rangers at Sharks
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
· Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
10:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
10:30 p.m. – Rangers at Sharks
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. SHARKS:
- All-Time: 18-6-3-0 overall (8-3-1-0 at home, 10-3-2-0 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks their only meeting this season
- Last Season: New York was 0-1-0 overall after falling to San Jose, 7-3, at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19. Sean Avery led the Rangers with two assists in the contest.
- The Rangers rank eighth with a 20-14-1 (41 pts) record on the road; the Sharks rank 14th with an 18-11-4 (40 pts) mark at home
- New York is 3-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division; San Jose is 4-1-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 1-1-0 with a 2.59 goals against average and .917 save percentage in three career regular season appearances vs. the Sharks; Chad Johnson has not faced San Jose
- Marian Gaborik has recorded a team-high, six goals and 15 points in 20 career regular season contests vs. San Jose; Vinny Prospal leads the team with 10 assists in 22 career regular season games vs. the Sharks
- New York lists no former Sharks on their roster
- San Jose lists no former Rangers on their roster
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-10 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which ranks sixth in the league.
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in three power play opportunities (5:26) on Wednesday at Anaheim, and are now 7-31 (22.6%) with the man advantage in their last eight games. New York ranks 18th overall (42-248, 16.9%) and is tied for 18th on the road (18-118, 15.2%). 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 Ducks scoreless in three shorthanded situations (5:30) on Wednesday at Anaheim, and have allowed only 11 power play goals against in the last 27 games (74-85, 87.1% over the span). New York ranks 10th overall (193-231, 83.6%) and sixth on the road (105-125, 84.0%). 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 did not tally/yield a goal in one, four-on-four situation (0:36) on Wednesday at Anaheim, and are now plus-five in 54, four-on-four situations (105:17). 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 10-7-0 in 17 games vs. Western Conference opponents this season. Their 10 wins lead all Eastern Conference teams, while they are tied for third with 20 points and fourth with a .588 winning percentage.
Brandon Dubinsky (2nd round, 60th overall) and Ryan Callahan (4th round, 127th overall), who were both drafted by the Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, reached career marks on Wednesday at Anaheim. Dubinsky registered his 20th goal of the season, marking the second time he reached the 20-goal plateau, and established a new career-high with his 45th point of the season. Callahan recorded his 20th assist and 40th point of the season, marking the first time he reached the 20-assist mark and tying his career-high for points in a season.
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal rank first and second on the team in scoring, respectively, since returning from injury in early February. Callahan leads the team with 10 goals and 17 points in 17 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. Prospal leads the team with eight assists and ranks second with 12 points in 16 games since he made his season debut on Feb. 3 vs. New Jersey after missing the first 53 games of the season with a knee injury.
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 47.1% of the Rangers goals (eight of 17) in his six games with the team, and has tallied two power play assists.
The Rangers completed their 16th of 18 back-to-back sets on Mar. 4 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 four more wins and three more points compared to last season through 69 games (31-29-9, 71 points in 2009-10), having tallied 14 more goals (195 this season, 181 last season) while allowing 19 fewer goals against (169 this season, 188 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 (1,955), rank second in blocked shots (1,091), sixth in road wins (20) and penalty killing on the road (84.0%), seventh in goals against (169), are tied for second in shootout wins (seven) and shorthanded goals (10), and rank sixth with a plus-26 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 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in the last 17 games since returning from injury on Feb. 1, including 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in the last 12 contests
- Vinny Prospal enters the contest with a five game scoring streak (one goal, five assists over the span), and has tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last eight contests
- Artem Anisimov has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games
- Wojtek Wolski has recorded four assists in the last five games
- Mats Zuccarello has notched three goals in the last three games
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) – 39
- Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 26
- Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 15
- Martin Biron (fractured collarbone on Feb. 28) – 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 272
- Mar. 3: Assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL)