Was a rough night off for the Rangers, as both Carolina and Buffalo won, tightening the race once again. The magic number remains 12, and that point the Rangers got in the god-awful skills competition loss to Ottawa looks pretty big right now. So does the point they didn’t get.
The Rangers are 7-1-1 in their last eight. Hmm. Where have I heard that before?
Oh, right, they had to go 7-1-1 in the nine games at the end of last season to make Game 82 in Philly mean something.
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at BOSTON BRUINS
Saturday, Mar. 26, 1:00 p.m.
TD Garden • Boston, MA
Rangers: 40-30-5 (85 pts)
Bruins: 41-22-10 (92 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 24
The Rangers will face-off against the Boston Bruins in an Original Six match-up Mar. 26, at TD Garden (1:00 p.m.), to begin a four-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 40-30-5 (85 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, in a shootout on Thursday at Madison Square Garden to extend their season-high point streak to six games, and are now 7-1-1 in their last nine contests. The six-game point streak is the longest for New York since last season from Mar. 24 to April 3 (5-0-1). The Bruins enter the contest with a 41-22-10 (92 pts) record to rank third in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last two games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, Mar. 30, at HSBC Arena (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set.
* TV: MSG Network
12:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
1:00 p.m. – Rangers at Bruins
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
12:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
1:00 p.m. – Rangers at Bruins
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. BRUINS:
* All-Time: The Rangers are 242-281-97-2 overall (140-118-55-0 at home, 102-163-42-2 on the road)
* 2010-11: This is their third of four meetings this season, and the second of two at TD Garden. The Rangers own a 1-1-0 record thus far, including a 1-0-0 mark at Boston. Each of their meetings this season have been decided by one goal.
* Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 overall with a 1-1-0 mark at Boston. Three of their four meetings were decided by one goal.
* New York ranks eighth in the league with a 22-14-1 (45 pts) mark on the road; Boston ranks 18th in the league with an 18-12-5 (41 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers are 9-6-2 vs. Northeast Division opponents; the Bruins are 10-3-2 vs. Atlantic Division opponents
* Henrik Lundqvist is 14-5-2 with a 1.49 GAA, a .947 Sv% and four shutouts in 21 career regular season appearances vs. Boston
* Bryan McCabe leads the Rangers with 30 assists, 38 points and 23 power play points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 69 career regular season contests vs. Boston; Vinny Prospal has tallied 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 45 career regular season games vs. the Bruins; Erik Christensen has registered 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 16 career regular season contests vs. Boston
* New York lists no former Bruins on their roster
* Boston lists one former Ranger on their roster: Marc Savard (1997-98 – 1998-99)
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-13 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for fourth in the league. The Blueshirts did not commit a penalty on Tuesday vs. Florida, marking the first time that has happened since Jan. 9, 2009 at Buffalo.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play opportunities (4:00) on Thursday vs. Ottawa, and are now 13-48 (27.1%) in their last 14 games. New York ranks 13th overall (48-266, 18.0%) and 16th on the road (20-123, 16.3%). The Rangers are 4-12 (10:42) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/20 at PIT), and 0-6 (8:36) when four-on-three (last – 3/24 vs. OTT). Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards); 3/20 at PIT (Kunitz).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Senators scoreless in two shorthanded situations (4:00) on Thursday at MSG. New York is tied for 12th overall (205-246, 83.3%) and ranks sixth on the road (110-131, 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 (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 did not tally/yield a goal in two, four-on-four situations (5:26) on Thursday vs. Ottawa, and are now plus-four in 61, four-on-four situations (121:31). 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 44-25-12 (100 pts) against Original Six opponents since the 2005-06 season, including a 15-5-2 mark vs. Boston over the span. The Rangers’ .617 winning percentage ranks third, trailing Detroit (.698%, 38-15-5) and Montreal (.627%, 66-37-11), and ahead of Toronto (.509%, 49-47-18), Boston (.504%, 50-49-17) and Chicago (.475%, 25-28-7).
New York won its 40th game of the season with a 1-0 victory vs. Florida on Tuesday. It is the fifth time in the last six years the Rangers posted 40 or more wins in a season, marking only the second time in franchise history the team accomplished the feat (1968-69 – 1973-74). The Blueshirts are one of five Eastern Conference teams to have registered at least five seasons of 40+ wins since 2005-06 (Montreal, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh).
THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 30th win of the season on Mar. 18 vs. Montreal to extend his NHL record by recording 30 or more wins in six consecutive seasons to begin his career. He also extended his franchise record by posting his sixth straight 30-win season. On Tuesday, Lundqvist turned aside 22 shots in a 1-0 victory vs. Florida to post his league leading, 10th shutout of the season. It is the second time Lundqvist registered 10 shutouts in a season (2007-08).
Henrik Lundqvist faced 40 shots in a 5-2 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday, marking the fourth time this season he faced 40 or more shots in a game. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.51 goals against average, a .964 save percentage and one shutout in those contests.
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 13 goals and 23 points in 22 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 11 assists and ranks second with 16 points in 21 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 10 goals in 40 attempts (25.0%) in 12 games. McCabe has registered five power play points (one goal, four assists) over the span.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have posted seven more wins and nine more points compared to last season through 75 games (33-32-10, 76 points in 2009-10), having tallied 20 more goals (217 this season, 197 last season) while allowing 22 fewer goals against (181 this season, 203 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 (2,141), are tied for first in players with at least one game-winning goal (18), second in shootout wins (eight), fifth in road wins (22), rank fourth in blocked shots (1,184) and shorthanded goals (11), sixth in goals against (181), ninth in goals for (217), and are tied for third with a plus-36 goal differential.
THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist is 7-1-1 with a 1.86 GAA, .936 Sv% and two shutouts in the last nine games
* Ryan Callahan has recorded 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in the last 18 contests, including seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last five games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last nine games, including six points (two goals, four assists) in the last five contests
* Brandon Dubinsky has registered six points (two goals, four assists) in the last five games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied six points (five goals, one assist) in the last seven games
* Erik Christensen has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six games, and has tallied at least one point in seven of his last 11 games (five goals, seven assists)
* Vinny Prospal has tallied 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in the last 14 contests
* Marc Staal has recorded four assists in his last three games
* Brandon Prust has registered four points (two goals, two assists) in the last six games
* Henrik Lundqvist: 1 game shy of 400 NHL career
* Derek Boogaard (shoulder, 12/9) – 45
* Alex Frolov (knee, 1/8) – 32
* Chris Drury (knee, 2/4) – 21
* Martin Biron (fractured collarbone, 2/28) – 11
Total Man-Games Lost: 298
* Mar. 24 – Agreed to terms with free agent goaltender Jason Missiaen