Is this our last game day of 2010-11?
I think it’s 50/50. If there was ever a time for the Rangers to be road warriors, this would be it.
I’ll be back later on from Verizon Center with John Tortorella’s press conference and then Game 5.
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, Game Five
Saturday, Apr. 23, 3:00 p.m.
Verizon Center • Washington, DC
Washington leads the series 3-1
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capital, at Verizon Center (3:00 p.m.), in Game Five of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up. The Blueshirts were defeated by the Capitals, 4-3, in double overtime in Game Four on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, and now trail 3-1 in the series. Their game on Wednesday was the ninth longest game in Rangers history, ending at 12:36 of the second overtime period (92:36). The Rangers enter the contest with a 198-215-8 record all-time in 421 playoff contests, including an 88-132-6 mark on the road. New York has posted a 23-30 record all-time in Game Fives of playoff series, including a 17-23 mark on the road.
New York entered the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs having posted a record of 44-33-5 (93 pts) overall with a 24-16-1 mark on the road in the regular season. The Blueshirts are one of seven Eastern Conference teams to have registered at least five seasons of 40+ wins since 2005-06, and one of five Eastern Conference teams to advance to the playoffs in five of the six seasons (no team has advanced to the playoffs in all six seasons). Compared to last season, the Rangers registered six more wins and six more points (38-33-11, 87 points in 2009-10), having tallied 11 more goals (233 this season, 222 last season) while allowing 20 fewer goals against (198 this season, 218 last season). The Blueshirts’ 44 wins tied for sixth most in team history, and their 24 road wins tied the franchise record (1993-94).
3:00 p.m. – Rangers at Capitals
•Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
2:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
3:00 p.m. – Rangers at Capitals
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
ALL-TIME RANGERS PLAYOFF RECORDS:
•Goals for: 1,174
•Goals against: 1,210
ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS – RANGERS vs. CAPITALS
The Rangers and Capitals are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time overall and the second time in three years. Their last postseason encounter was an Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series in 2009, won by Washington 4-3. Overall, the Blueshirts have a 2-3 playoff series record vs. the Capitals, posting a 15-18 mark in 33 postseason contests.
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
•All-Time (Regular Season): 83-84-18-5 overall (46-37-9-2 at home; 37-47-9-3 on the road)
•2010-11: The Rangers posted a 3-1-0 record vs. the Capitals in their regular season series, including a 2-0-0 mark at Verizon Center. New York out-scored Washington, 18-6, led by Brian Boyle’s seven points (three goals, four assists). The Rangers held the Capitals to one goal or less three times, including two shutouts by Henrik Lundqvist.
•Over the last two seasons, the Blueshirts have tallied 10 power play goals in 30 opportunities (33.3%) in their last eight regular season games vs. Washington, including six goals in 17 power play attempts (35.3%) in four games in 2009-10.
•Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 4-7 record with a 2.60 GAA and one shutout in 11 career playoff contests vs. Washington
•Vinny Prospal leads the Rangers with seven goals, eight assists and 15 points in 18 career playoff contests vs. Washington
•New York lists one former Capital on their roster: Steve Eminger (2002-03 – 2007-08)
•Washington lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Knuble (1998-99 – 1999-00); Tom Poti (2001-02 – 2005-06)
•Power Play: New York did not tally a goal in seven power play opportunities (13:02) in Game Four on Wednesday vs. Washington, and are now 1-18 (5.6%) in four playoff contests. The Blueshirts are 0-2 (1:34) in five-on-three situations (last – 4/17 vs. WSH).
•Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Capitals scoreless in four shorthanded situations (7:03) in Game Four on Wednesday at MSG, and are now 10-12 (83.3%) in four playoff contests.
•Four-on-Four: The Rangers did not tally/yield a goal in one, four-on-four situation (0:57) in Game Four on Wednesday vs. Washington, and are now plus-one (one goal for, zero goals against) in four, four-on-four situations (3:39) during the playoffs. Shorthanded goals for (1): 4/17 vs. WSH (B. Dubinsky).
The Rangers and Capitals have required overtime seven times in 33 postseason meetings all-time, including twice in their current series. Their Game Four match-up on Wednesday was the ninth longest game in Rangers history, and the longest since their 2-1 win vs. Buffalo on Apr. 29, 2007 in Game Three of their Conference Semifinal match-up (16:43 of the second overtime). Prior to Wednesday’s contest, the Rangers and Capitals Game One match-up was the longest between the two teams, ending at 18:24 of the first overtime period. New York is 2-5 all-time in playoff overtime contests vs. Washington.
New York notched three goals in the second period of Game Four on Wednesday, including two goals in a seven-second span at 13:40 and 13:47. The Rangers record for fastest two goals in a playoff game is six seconds, set by Rod Gilbert who tallied both goals at 9:32 and 9:38 of the second period at Chicago on Apr. 11, 1968. The NHL record for fastest two goals in a playoff game is five seconds, by Detroit vs. Chicago on April 11, 1965. The last time the Rangers tallied three goals in a single period during the playoffs was in the second period on Apr. 15, 2009, in Game One of their Quarterfinal match-up at Washington (4-3 win).
The Blueshirts were the only team in the NHL who were undefeated when leading after two periods this season, posting a record of 29-0-0 in those contests. The Rangers tied for third in the league with a plus-22 goal differential in the third period (85 goals for, 63 goals against). New York also tied for second in the NHL with eight wins and 20 points in games in which it trailed entering the final frame.
RAISING THEIR GAME
The Rangers were undefeated in their last six games of the regular season vs. the top four teams in the Eastern Conference standings, including a 6-0 win at Washington on Feb. 25. New York out-scored their opponents, 27-7, in those contests, having tallied five or more goals in four of the six games while posting three shutouts.
Rangers Captain Chris Drury is tied for fourth in the NHL all-time with four playoff overtime goals, and ranks fourth among active NHL players and leads the team with 47 goals in 134 career postseason contests. Drury has participated in the playoffs eight times, having advanced to at least the Conference Finals in five of those eight seasons.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Henrik Lundqvist was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the period ending Mar. 27 after posting a 2-0-1 record, 0.32 GAA, .987 Sv% and two shutouts in three games. On Mar. 26, Lundqvist established a new career-high with his league leading, 11th shutout of the season, while appearing in his 400th career game. His 11 shutouts tied for second in team history for most shutouts in a season, and are the most by a Ranger since John Ross Roach posted 13 shutouts in 1928-29. He is now one of two active goaltenders with at least two seasons of 10+ shutouts (M. Brodeur – 4). Lundqvist also 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, and extend his franchise record by posting his sixth straight 30-win season. Lundqvist established a new career-high by appearing in his 22nd consecutive contest (dating back to Feb. 11) on Mar. 31 at Long Island. Lundqvist has appeared in 30 straight games entering today’s contest, and has started each of the Rangers last 33 playoff games. His 49 saves in Game Four on Wednesday marked a playoff career high.
TURNING LEMONS INTO LEMONADE
The Rangers tied for fourth in the league with 11 shorthanded goals this season, the most for New York since they notched 11 in 2006-07 and tied for 12th most in franchise history. Brandon Prust led the team and tied for second and third in the league, respectively, with a career-high, seven shorthanded points and five shorthanded goals. His five shorthanded goals are the most by a Ranger since Theo Fleury tallied seven shorthanded goals in 2000-01. Brian Boyle led the Rangers and tied for second in the NHL with a career-best, three shorthanded assists.
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers completed the regular season leading the league in hits (2,333), ranked fourth in blocked shots (1,301), tied for first in shutouts (11), second in number of players with at least one GWG (19), third in shootout wins (nine), fourth in road wins (24), fifth in goals against (198), and fifth with a plus-35 goal differential.
•Derek Boogaard (shoulder, 12/9) – 56
•Alex Frolov (knee, 1/8) – 43
•Martin Biron (collarbone, 2/28) – 22
•Ryan Callahan (ankle, 4/4) – 6
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 327
Total Man-Games Lost (Playoffs): 16
•Apr. 18 – Assigned forward Mats Zuccarello to Connecticut (AHL)