This would be — fairly obviously — an important night to get deuce points, given the other games of note. And while rooting for the scoreboard, you should also root — again, needless to say — against any Bettman Bonus Points being doled out.
Tonight’s sked includes:
Winnipeg-bound Thrashers at Devils
Carolina Whalers at Bison Baby Buffaloes
So a good night to make up ground … if the Rangers can take care of their own biz.
I’m headed to MSG later on. Will do the whole nine yards tonight.
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Tuesday, Mar. 15, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 36-30-4 (76 pts)
Islanders: 27-32-11 (65 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 13
The Rangers will begin a two-game homestand when they face-off against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 36-30-4 (76 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, in the shootout on Saturday at HP Pavilion, and are now 4-1-0 in their last five road games. The Islanders enter the contest with a 27-32-11 (65 pts) record to rank 14th in the Eastern Conference, and have registered at least one point in each of their last seven games (4-0-3). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, Mar. 18, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. EST), in an Original Six match-up.
- TV: MSG Plus
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Pat LaFontaine
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Islanders
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
- Radio: 970 The Apple and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Islanders
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
- All-Time: 111-97-19-5 overall (64-37-11-4 at home, 47-60-8-1 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight is the fifth of six meetings this season, and the third and final at Madison Square Garden. New York is 3-1-0 thus far, including a 2-0-0 mark at home following a 7-2 win at MSG on Dec. 27.
- Last Season: The Rangers were 3-2-1 overall and 1-1-1 at home. The Rangers’ power play converted at a 22.7% (5-22) success rate in the season series.
- The Blueshirts have notched 11 goals in 32 power play opportunities (34.4%) in their last eight games vs. the Islanders, including 6-15 (40.0%) in four meetings this season
- The Rangers rank 26th with a 15-16-3 (33 pts) record at home; the Islanders rank 28th with an 11-17-6 (28 pts) mark on the road
- The Rangers are 10-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Islanders are 5-9-4 vs. the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 20-9-5 with a 2.11 goals against average and three shutouts in 35 career regular season games vs. the Islanders; Chad Johnson has yet to face the Islanders
- Marian Gaborik has registered 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 19 career regular season contests vs. the Islanders
- The Rangers list two former Islanders on their roster: Martin Biron (2009-10); Ruslan Fedotenko (2007-08)
- The Islanders list three former Rangers on their roster: Mike Mottau (2000-01 – 2001-02); P.A. Parenteau (2009-10); Doug Weight (1991-92 – 1992-93)
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 did not tally a goal in one power play opportunity (2:00) on Saturday at San Jose, and are now 7-32 (21.9%) with the man advantage in their last nine games. New York ranks 19th overall (42-249, 16.9%) and 15th at home (24-130, 18.5%). 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 yielded one goal in three shorthanded situations (4:11) on Saturday at San Jose, and have allowed only 12 power play goals against in the last 28 games (76-88, 86.4% over the span). New York is tied for 10th overall (195-234, 83.3%) and 16th at home (88-106, 83.0%). 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 two, four-on-four situations (7:00) on Saturday at San Jose, and are now plus-five in 56, four-on-four situations (112:17). 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).
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 18 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 nine assists and ranks second with 13 points in 17 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 Mar. 6, 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).
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 five more wins and five more points compared to last season through 70 games (31-30-9, 71 points in 2009-10), having tallied 16 more goals (198 this season, 182 last season) while allowing 20 fewer goals against (171 this season, 191 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 (1,984), rank second in blocked shots (1,119), are tied for first in shootout wins (eight), second in shorthanded goals (10), fourth in road wins (21), fifth in goals against (171), and rank seventh with a plus-27 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:
- Henrik Lundqvist is 3-1-0 with a 1.96 goals against average, a .933 save percentage and one shutout in the last four games
- Vinny Prospal enters the contest with a six game scoring streak (one goal, six assists over the span), and has tallied 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the last nine contests
- Ryan Callahan has recorded 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in the last 18 games since returning from injury on Feb. 1, including 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in the last 13 contests
- Erik Christensen has registered at least one point in four of his last six games (four goals, three assists over the span)
- Artem Anisimov has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last six games
- Wojtek Wolski has recorded four assists in the last six games
- Ruslan Fedotenko has tallied two assists in the last three games
- Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 40
- Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 27
- Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 16
- Martin Biron (fractured collarbone on Feb. 28) – 6
Total Man-Games Lost: 276