Sixth place isn’t looking so great after the Habs beat Tampa Bay in a shootout last night. The Rangers need to win tonight to keep that hope alive. But the Rangers got some help from some pursuers when the Devils and Air Canada Leaves went down.
Tonight’s scoreboard watching:
Here are the game-day notes from the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Friday, Mar. 18, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 37-30-4 (78 pts)
Canadiens: 38-25-7 (83 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 16
The Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 37-30-4 (78 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New York Islanders, 6-3, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 4-1-0 in their last five games. The Canadiens are currently 39-25-7 (85 pts) after a shootout win over Tampa Bay last night. The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, Mar. 20, at CONSOL Energy Center (12:30 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up.
•TV: MSG 2
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Brian Leetch
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Canadiens
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. Canadiens
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. CANADIENS:
•All-Time: 188-318-94-3 overall (124-122-54-1 at home, 64-196-40-2 on the road)
•2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second at Madison Square Garden. New York is 0-3-0 overall following a 2-0 loss at Montreal on Feb. 5, and are 0-1-0 at home. Each of their three meetings have been decided by two goals or less, including two that were decided by one.
•Last Season: New York was 1-2-1 overall and 1-1-0 at home. Marian Gaborik led the Rangers with five points (two goals, three assists) in the season series.
•The Rangers rank 25th with a 16-16-3 (35 pts) record at home; the Canadiens rank 18th with a 17-16-1 (35 pts) mark on the road
•The Rangers are 8-6-1 vs. the Northeast Division; the Canadiens are 10-7-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
•Henrik Lundqvist is 10-8-2 with a 2.94 goals against average and one shutout in 21 career regular season appearances vs. Montreal; Chad Johnson has yet to face the Canadiens
•Vinny Prospal has recorded a team-high 15 goals and 34 points in 47 career regular season games vs. the Canadiens; Bryan McCabe has registered a team-high 23 assists and 34 points in 67 career regular season contests vs. Montreal
•New York lists no former Canadiens on their roster
•Montreal lists four former Rangers on their roster: Alex Auld (2009-10); Nigel Dawes (2006-07 – 2008-09); Scott Gomez (2007-08 – 2008-09); Paul Mara (2006-07 – 2008-09)
•Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was originally selected as the Canadiens’ first round choice, 12th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-12 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for third in the league.
•Power Play: The Rangers tallied three goals in five power play opportunities (7:50) on Tuesday vs. the Islanders, and are now 10-37 (27.0%) with the man advantage in their last 10 games. New York is tied for 15th overall (45-254, 17.7%) and rank 10th at home (27-135, 20.0%). The Rangers are 3-11 (9:00) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/15 vs. NYI), 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 to the Islanders in three shorthanded situations (4:45) and notched a shorthanded goal on Tuesday at MSG. New York is tied for 12th overall (197-237, 83.1%) and 17th at home (90-109, 82.6%). 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 (11): 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); 3/15 vs. NYI (Prust).
•Four-on-Four: New York surrendered one goal in one, four-on-four situation (2:00) on Tuesday vs. the Islanders, and are now plus-four in 57, four-on-four situations (114:17). 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 (3): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson); 3/15 vs. NYI (Moulson).
ORIGINAL SIX SINCE 2005-06
New York has posted a record of 43-25-12 (98 pts) against Original Six opponents since the 2005-06 season, including a 10-10-3 mark vs. Montreal over the span. The Rangers’ .613 winning percentage ranks third, trailing Detroit (.698%, 38-15-5) and Montreal (.633%, 66-36-11), and ahead of Boston (.509%, 50-48-17), Toronto (.504%, 48-47-18) and Chicago (.475%, 25-28-7).
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 11 goals and 19 points in 19 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 10 assists and ranks second with 14 points in 18 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.
Since acquiring defenseman Bryan McCabe on Feb. 26, the Rangers power play has tallied seven goals in 29 attempts (24.1%) in eight games. McCabe has registered four power play points (one goal, three assists) over the span.
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 six more wins and seven more points compared to last season through 71 games (31-31-9, 71 points in 2009-10), having tallied 19 more goals (204 this season, 185 last season) while allowing 21 fewer goals against (174 this season, 195 last season). New York has also shown a six-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (11 this season, five last season).
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in hits (2,013), rank second in shorthanded goals (11), third in blocked shots (1,130), sixth in road wins (21) and goals against (174), are tied for first in shootout wins (eight), and rank sixth with a plus-30 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 4-1-0 with a 2.17 goals against average, a .925 save percentage and one shutout in the last five games
•Vinny Prospal enters the contest with a seven game scoring streak (one goal, seven assists over the span), and has tallied 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in the last 10 contests
•Ryan Callahan has recorded 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in the last 19 games since returning from injury on Feb. 1, including 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in the last 14 contests
•Marian Gaborik enters the contest with a three game scoring streak (three goals, one assist over the span)
•Erik Christensen has registered at least one point in five of his last seven games (five goals, four assists over the span)
•Artem Anisimov has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in the last seven games
•Bryan McCabe has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in the last four games
•Dan Girardi has tallied three assists in the last five games
•Mats Zuccarello has recorded four points (three goals, one assist) in the last five games
•Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 41
•Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 28
•Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 17
•Martin Biron (fractured collarbone on Feb. 28) – 7
Total Man-Games Lost: 280
•Mar. 16 – Agreed to terms with forward Ryan Bourque
•Mar. 16 – Agreed to terms with defenseman Dylan McIlrath