Rangers at Panthers tonight


Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:

Friday, Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m.
BankAtlantic Center – Sunrise, Florida
Rangers: 22-9-4 (48 pts)
Panthers: 19-11-7 (45 pts)

* All information through NHL games on Dec. 28

The Rangers will face-off against the Florida Panthers (7:30 p.m.), in their final game of 2011. The Blueshirts currently rank first in the Atlantic Division standings, and second in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 22-9-4 (48 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Washington Capitals, 4-1, on Wednesday to snap their five-game winning streak. The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in 21 of their last 27 games (19-6-2), and are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. The Panthers enter the contest with a 19-11-7 (45 pts) record to rank third in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last four games (1-2-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Monday, Jan. 2, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadephia. (1:00 p.m.).

* TV: MSG Network

7:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:30 p.m. – Rangers at Panthers
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
7:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:30 p.m. – Rangers at Panthers
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Pete Stemkowski (Analyst)

* All-Time: 39-26-6-4 overall (20-13-4-0 at home; 19-13-2-4 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the third of four meetings this season, and the second of two at BankAtlantic Center. New York is 1-1-0 overall and 0-1-0 on the road. The Rangers are 2-7 (28.6%) on the power play and 10-11 (90.9%) on the penalty kill in two games. Derek Stepan leads all skaters with three goals and four points in the season series, while Marian Gaborik has tallied a team-high, two assists (three points). Henrik Lundqvist is 1-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA and .949 Sv% in two games.
* Last Season: New York was 2-2-0 overall, with a 1-1-0 mark at home. Three of their four meetings resulted in a shutout, including two for the Rangers. New York’s power play tallied two goals in nine attempts (22.2%) in the season series. Brandon Prust and Derek Stepan each notched a team-high, two goals, while Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 2-1-0 with a 1.35 GAA, .949 Sv% and two shutouts in three appearances.
* The Rangers have won six of their last nine games against the Panthers, having out-scored Florida 24-13 over the span
* New York ranks third with an 11-6-2 (24 pts) record on the road; Florida ranks 15th with a 9-3-5 (23 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers have posted a 7-2-1 record vs. Southeast Division opponents; the Panthers are 5-3-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 13-7-1 record with a 1.77 GAA and five shutouts in 21 career regular season contests vs. Florida; Martin Biron is 7-12-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA in 21 career regular season games vs. the Panthers
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 15 goals, 26 assists and 41 points in 48 career regular season contests vs. Florida; Derek Stepan has tallied six points (five goals, one assist) in six career regular season games vs. the Panthers
* New York lists one former Panther on their roster: Steve Eminger (2008-09)
* Florida lists one former Ranger on their roster: Mikael Samuelsson (2001-02 – 2002-03)

The Rangers are 12-63 (19.0%) with the man advantage in the last 17 games. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held their opponent scoreless in eight of their last 11 games (30-34, 88.2% over the span), while tallying four shorthanded goals during the stretch. New York is tied for third in the NHL with five shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 14-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 14-4-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in five power play attempts (10:00) on Wednesday at Washington. New York ranks 21st overall (21-137, 15.3%) and is tied for 28th on the road (7-67, 10.4%). The Rangers are 2-12 (8:51) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. PHI), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Capitals scoreless in two shorthanded situations (4:00) on Wednesday at Washington. New York ranks sixth overall (107-125, 85.6%) and 12th on the road (60-71, 84.5%). The Rangers are 5-6 (3:26) in three-on-five situations (last – 12/17 at PHX), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan); 12/20 at NJD (Hagelin).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Wednesday at Washington. The Rangers are plus-three in 36 four-on-four situations (63:36), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).

Rangers’ prospects J.T. Miller (USA) and Peter Ceresnak (Slovakia) are currently competing at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship in Alberta, Canada. Miller has notched one power play goal, five shots on goal and has posted a plus-two rating in two tournament contests with Team USA (1-1). Ceresnak has registered two shots on goal and a plus-one rating in two contests with Slovakia (1-1).

* 2nd in win% (.686)
* T-1st in fewest regulation losses (nine)
* 5th in wins (22)
* T-3rd in regulation/overtime wins (21)
* 2nd in fewest goals against (73)
* 2nd in GAA (2.09)
* 3rd in hits (924)
* 3rd in +/- rating (plus-26)
* 4th in goal differential (plus-27)

* The Rangers have posted a record of 7-3-0 in the last 10 contests
* New York has registered a point in 21 of their last 27 games (19-6-2), and has out-scored their opponent, 87-58, during the stretch
* The last time the Rangers sat atop the Atlantic Division standings this late into the season was 2005-06 (Game No. 80, Apr. 13, 2006)
* The Blueshirts’ 11-3-2 (24 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 16 games since 1995-96 (12-2-2, 26 pts)
* New York is 6-1-1 when leading after the first period and 14-0-2 when leading after the second
* New York leads the NHL with an .786 win% when out-shooting their opponent (11-3-0)
* The Rangers rank second in the NHL when scoring first, posting a 17-1-1 mark (.895 win%) in those contests, and their 17 wins are tied for second in the league

* Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 17 games this season, and is 13-4-1 with a 1.77 GAA, .941 Sv% and two shutouts in his last 18 games
* Lundqvist ranks fourth in the NHL in Sv% (.936), and is tied for fourth in GAA (1.95) and shutouts (three)
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in six of his nine starts this season
* Marian Gaborik has tallied eight points (seven goals, one assist) and a plus-eight rating in the last six games
* Gaborik is tied for first in the NHL with 22 goals
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in the last 15 games, including five points (one goal, four assists) in the last four contests
* Del Zotto ranks fourth in the NHL overall, and second among league defensemen, with a plus-23 rating
* Ryan Callahan enters the contest with a three-game point streak (one goal, three assists over the span), and has recorded 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in the last 17 games
* Brandon Dubinsky has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in the last four games
* Stu Bickel has tallied four assists in five games since being recalled on Dec. 18
* Anton Stralman has tallied four assists in the last four games, has posted a plus-eight rating in the last five and has logged 20:00+ of ice time in five of the last seven contests

* Artem Anisimov: 1 game from 200th NHL career
* Brandon Dubinsky: 4 points from 200th NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 1 assist from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 3 assists from 100th NHL career

* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) – 35
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 24
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 11
* Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 111

* Dec. 28 – Assigned defenseman Tim Erixon to Connecticut (AHL)


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  1. “New York has registered a point in 21 of their last 27 games (19-6-2), and has out-scored their opponent, 87-58, during the stretch”

    I like…

  2. Paul in sunrise on

    Good for isles. Healthy islander franchise good for rangers and hockey. Said it over summer when talking about the arena. Avery may get top line minutes now too.

  3. KatieStrangESPN Katie Strang
    Rangers alum Darren Turcotte will sign PTO contract with #NYR and #CTWhale after alumni game… Determined to show his goal scoring prowess in NHL at age 43…

  4. Orr, I almost forgot to tell you. You missed David Klein coming back! He was making a lot of noise and then Carp laid down the hammer! It was kind of pathetic but fun!

  5. doubt Isles claim him on waivers. maybe on re entry waivers. there has been a lot of love for Bickel lately. some have him in top 6, and more valuable than Sauer, after 6 games. he will be whaled, when all are healthy.

  6. Avery is a bullshyte artist. If a team gives him a chance, he’s going to play for that team, whether it be the Isles, Devs, Flyers, or Pens.

    He said he “bleeds blue” but that didn’t stop him from leaving for the big money when he signed with Dallas.

  7. AVery quotes today:

    “I guarantee that I’ll play my a– off and give everything I have for the team that will give me the chance I wasn’t getting [by coach John Tortorella]. That team will be getting a guy who has a lot to prove.

    “The GM and coach willing to look past some of the things that are out there about me, I can guarantee that they won’t ever be sorry, and neither would my teammates.
    “I’m hungry to prove people wrong.”


  8. Isles wouldn’t have much to lose by signing him – it’s not like they’re lighting up the league….but Wang seems to be in “saving his money” mode this season.

  9. Czechthemout!!! on

    Good for Sean if he is going to play for the islanders. I hope he can do for them what he did here when he first came here.

    It would be nice to once again see a Rangers and Islanders playoff series, something that I know we can all agree is good for hockey.

    As for some of the so called ” better ” players who replaced him, here we go.

    Feds- a shell of his former self. He looks too old and too slow and maybe worn out. He needs to go the second they finally can convince Torts that no one player produces less with the amount of ice time Feds gets. His penalty killing effort is still there but that can easily be replaced with Hagelin who should be getting his ice time increased anyway. Bottom line is Feds gets second line minutes to produce like a fourth line player.

    Mitchell- I admire his courage in blocking that shot with his helmet and all but lets face facts. He is nothing but minor league fodder for preseason games. This is a player who could not crack a garbage Maple Leafs team for several years. He has average speed and less then average quickness. Bottom line line, he is a scrub!

    Rupp- Wow! Talk about a scrub of the highest order. The only reason he was signed here is because he played like a star in two games over two seasons against us scoring a hat trick in one and two goals in another. He is a slow washed up goon who now loses most of his fights. He chickened out against fighting Earskine in the last game because he got knocked out by him. Someone posted earlier that he is part of our short term future( 3 years ). If his is our tough guy for the next three years, God help us. Bottom line, Bawahahahahahahah!

    EC- 0000000000000000000000!!!!! Bottom line, he has the heart of a cadaver and the fire and personality of one as well.

    Wolski- there is no denying his talent. But there is a reason he is one his third team at such a young age. Bottom line, lazy unmotivated player who shows up once in every ten games to tease at what might have been.

  10. I would be content to see the Islanders never make a playoff showing again – that is, until they do it in Kansas City or Las Vegas, or some other Bettman hellhole.

  11. I was BANJ’ing.

    This game is really exciting, but I’m nervous!

    How about that hit by Miller in the corner?

    LG USA!

  12. Avery to the Isles? Epic. Can’t wait to see him try to get Gaborik off his game. Or Richards. Or Hank. And Prust challenging him to fight….

  13. It wouldn’t be good for hockey, ORR – the *NEW YORK RANGERS* winning it all would be good for hockey……we are where it’s at!!

  14. Oh for the love of our sanity, will someone just take Avery out back and get rid of him, once and for all?


  15. I don’t know what I love better: The Avery quotes or the Fact that People can’t see through it.

    Sounds more like a guy begging someone for a job more than a guy that was wronged by an organization. If he was so wronged by the GM (who by the way brought him back from Dallas when no one else would touch him) or this coach then how come no one wanted him at a 1/4 the salary the last time on re-call waivers? Let the Isles bring him in for publicity purposes they need it not that it will improve them in any way in the standings.

  16. I’d love to see Avery prove Torts wrong, but I’d prefer he do it away from the Rangers. Like maybe back here in LA.

  17. WOW! Team USA really not representing too well in this WJHC. They miss the character of former captain Derek Stepan.

  18. And by the way one more on Avery showing his true colors. If he wasn’t allowed to play his game here by the Coach and some people think he was “vital” to the team. What’s his real game? Bad Penalties? Turnovers? Turtling from Fights?

  19. I think that’s a trend in Florida, ilb. A lot of Panthers/Lightning home games begin at 7:30. Don’t know why.

  20. now the closet Brodeur fans here can cheer that their fat boy won’t have Avery to bother him anymore vs Rangers.

  21. I like Avery because he can be entertaining (and really, this is all about entertainment). However, he has little to no bearing on the Rangers winning a Cup (along with the other “role players”). This team goes where Gabby, Hank, Richards, Cally, Stahl, Girardi, MDZ, McD, and Stepan take us.

    The Rangers are moving on, and it’s time we do as well.

  22. Miller hit the post at 2 to 2. coyle must be hurt barely played.

    PP disaster killed the USA. Turnovers in there own zone kiss of death.


  23. The problem with a guy like Avery, much like Jody Shelley was told, is they become irrelevant. Very easy to game plan against.
    Coach: “I’ll bench the first guy that allows 16 to suck em into a penalty”
    Players: “Yes, coach. We’ll make him play 5 on 5.”

  24. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Stranger Nation: Re you comment (actually a quote): “Torts likes Rupp’s locker room presence….”

    Well, everytime some guy is NOT contributing, it seems he gets that shallow, plastic, transparent accolade, so long as he is “popular.” I would say someone like Mark Messier, and few others over the years, deserved that recognition. But if this coach really suggested that Rupp, by his presence in the locker room, makes this a better team, I would have to say he really is banana-mush between his ears.

    Are we to presume that young players crowd around Rupp when the team is dressing, for a pat on the back, or a quip, or some helpful hint as to how to become an impact player in the National Hockey League, same as he is? lol.

    What a proliferating joke this “mentoring/ clubhouse presence” tailor-made for a media short on material to run with garbage has become. At last count we were up to about 75% of the players in the league adding something “mystical” by merely showing up and putting on the uniform, to the wonderment, awe, and bedazzlement of the young players with a locker in the vicinity. lol.

    I think it has become the funniest put-on job I have ever seen in sports. So just remember, if the guy’s name isn’t Messier or Gretzky, the joke is on them for thinking we are gullible, unless, of course, you want to buy into it, which is another story.

    When was there a “clubhouse mentor,” in the last 15 years, who wasn’t a block of cement hockey player who was headed out the door? Damn, the Phillies were putting the “clubhouse mentor” tag on Jamie Moyer when he was 47 years old and down to a 20 MPH “fastball,” so that he was yet talking about coming back the following season, when he had been done going on five years! Get my drift?

    Mr. Rupp is toast and the mentor joke is nothing more than the proverbial end of the line “vote of confidence.”

  25. Czechthemout!!! on

    Ah, the knowledgable hockey mavens have come out from under their rock. I see. So it would be great if the teams who the Rangers have their biggest rivalries with fail and move to other cities. Got it. That would be great according to you geniuses. And more over, it would be great for the game you all claim to love. I see. Makes a lot of sense. As opposed to having an exciting playoff series like the one in 1975,79,81,82,83,84,92,94,97,07. I know, why don’t 29 of the 30 teams all fail and go bankrupt accept us of course and that would be great for hockey. You see, this way the Rangers would win the Stanley Cup every year and all would be wonderful!


  26. so right, Bathgate. remember the immortal Jason Strudwick? he was given that same praise, as a great locker room guy. he even got 2 more seasons playing for clueless renney in Edm, strictly on the basis of great locker room towel boy, but can’t skate, rationale.

  27. LMAO! Take it whichever way you want:

    NYDNRangers profile

    NYDNRangers Same #NYR lineup. Lundqvist in goal. On Avery’s being waived, Tortorella says “we’re getting healthier”

  28. Ilb – Sounds like Cap Space clearing for WW return and for the EC haters crowd (which I admit is everyone) sometimes you are better off making the less money. It’s keeping him around right now.

  29. Czech,
    I happen to have watched all of those playoff series against the Isles. great stuff, all of them. I for one, would not like the Isles to leave. I love the rivalry. but I do not think them leaving would be bad for the league. the Islanders franchise has been failing for a lot of years now, maybe them moving would save the franchise. the Rangers have many more rivalries to enjoy, if the Isles relocate, it may be for the better.

  30. “The Bergen Record reported that before a 4-1 win over the Sabres in Buffalo on Dec. 10, “coach John Tortorella was angered when he found Avery’s mother and a family friend in the team’s dressing room.” John was probably beaten by his. Avery’s mom should have known better.

  31. A *moron* checking in here!

    I would be fine with the league “contracting” to the Original Six and the expansion franchises of 1967. The league has over-expanded terribly and the product has been watered-down greatly over the years.

    Hockey has had to “dumb itself down” a whole lot since they put teams in areas where there was never any hockey history – and this *particular* hockey market was very well-served by the New York Rangers franchise from 1926 until the travesty of 1972, followed by the other travesty in what was it, 1980 or so?

    I didn’t see the league expanding with two more teams into the Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Detroit, or Chicago market territory during all those years – why into New York’s? There are certainly more hockey fans in Montreal or Toronto than there ever were in New York. Why not expoit those markets?

  32. For the record, I don’t hate Avery or EC – there are better players around, but I don’t hate them at all!

  33. czechthemout!!!! on

    Pretty soon Mike Rupp will provide something he is best suited for. He will tap the backside of the players as they enter the ice and once again reinforce his value and lockeroom presence to the team.

  34. I’m sure Tavares, Okposo and Grabner are just absolutely salivating over the chance to play with Avery.

  35. ILB – True. They are 148K under the cap now. So it’s a numbers issue as well. They are at 21 right now. WW will make 22. I think they want the 23rd space for Staal. Probably a good sign that Staal is closing in returning sooner rather than later.

  36. I’m a fan of the new B&J’s “Fair Goodness Cake” – chocolate ice cream, with pieces of German chocolate cake and MOST AWESOMELY, a coconut caramel swirl.

  37. When Wavery says he ‘wasn’t allowed to play his game,’ that’s a joke.

    Sean Avery has no game.

    When Tortorella says, “We’re getting healthier,”, that’s factual statement.

    This should’ve never taken this long.

  38. czechthemout!!!! on

    Bull Dog

    The reason the Islanders are in the state they are at is because they can’t get a new arena. They also have had a number of bad hockey decisions over the years. The arena is nothing more than the politicions not getting greased enough by Wang and the crony capitalism that is destroying this country. I wasn’t talking about just the isls. One of the mavens also posted that he hoped the Flyers,Devils also would disapear.

  39. I am not a cap guy, so I have a question for you ilb, and or Hwirth.
    isn’t Wolski on LTIR? so his cap hit is not on the books for as long as he is on LTIR? when he is activated his cap number returns?

  40. Not a big fan of chocolate ice cream either but I am a sucker for anything coconut or caramel. Mission to Marzipan sounds Del Zastrous.

  41. bull dog- LTIR contracts count against the cap, it never comes off it. The team, however, is allowed to go above the cap by adding replacement player(s) by the number not more than injured players cap hit.

  42. According to Cap Geek who is usually pretty good with stuff. WW and Staal are both on the cap. Reason being, injured players stay on Cap and LTIR means you can use their (players on IR) cap space if you need to bring in replacements.

  43. Chech,
    I have a pretty good hatred for all of those teams. that is what makes rivalries fun. I think it would be a mistake if the NHL relocated the Isles to KC. that is set up to fail. they would be much better off trying to make it work on the Island. if not there, then Quebec would make the most sense.

  44. Here’s a cleaning way of explaining. Pronger is out for the year but he stays on their cap. If they need to acquire a defensemen to replace him they can use Pronger’s cap hit until Pronger comes back.

    And if Pronger retires but he has 35+ contract, which means its guaranteed no matter anything, he’d stay on cap and they’d use his cap hit in LTIR.

  45. And Avery wasn’t allowed to play his game, but it was *the NHL* who prevented him from doing so – he was called for penalties for looking cross-eyed at opposing players after his “sloppy seconds” comment – that wasn’t the coach’s fault.

  46. I am asking because would the Rangers need to clear cap space to activate both Staal, and Wolski?

  47. Yes, bull dog. LTIR only really helps if the player is out for the whole season. Otherwise, the moment injured player is fit to play, the team has to go under the cap. What do you do with replacement(s)?

  48. And no to your other question, they do not have to clear anything, WW and Staal counted against the cap all the time. They used part of that money to go above and brought Erixon ($1.75M). Once he was sent down, they’re fine…

  49. Jimbo,

    Cmon man. There’s more to the game than being an agitator and trying to goad the other team into penalties. I agree the refs finally caught onto his act, and some may not have felt the desire to side with a complaining Sean Avery on a particular call.

    But Avery could have hit more, and didn’t. Could’ve fought more, could have hit the net more (which he didn’t do all of last season).

    There was a lot going on beneath the surface with Avery for years now, and Torts wanted no part of it. I don’t hate Avery at all, but I can’t blame Torts on this one.

  50. Mrs. 1940! left half of “Late Night Snack” in the freezer but I don’t know how I feel about chocolate covered potato chips.

  51. Oh, can’t wait for the in-depth MSG coverage of Wavery.

    Rosen: “The Rangers announced today they have waived Sean Avery.

    Now back to Garden of Dreams!”

  52. And did I see someone calling Mitchell a scrub?

    I don’t think that’s right. Kid’s a an honest hockey player.

    Oh, 10 seconds they sequed from Tort’s ‘healthier” to Staal @ practice.


  53. Rod, I am not an Avery hater, or a die-hard defender – I liked what he did for the team in the past, and if he could have played that effectively for us this season, I would love to see him in the lineup.

    But, he’s been a “marked man” since the unfortunate “sloppy” comment – the NHL seems to want him to disappear. And Torts hates him – he said as much before he got this coaching gig, when he was a TSN commentator.

    I don’t think Avery can play the way he used to before the comment – the refs call him on everything now. And when he gets called it hurts his team – Torts doesn’t need that, especially from someone he considers a so-so player.

    Don’t forget – he got chastised by the league for annoying Maaaaaaaarty, even before the “sloppy” comment – he’s been in their cross-hairs for some time now.

  54. I don’t disagree with most of that Jimbo, though I never wanted him here and knew the day Sather said “Torts will l learn to love Sean as we do” (a downright hysterical quote), that it’d never happen.

    This was about a lot more than performance or non-performance.

  55. Boom Boom Bathgate - FOUR CUPS since 1926 on

    A Moron –

    Montreal had two teams when it had the Maroons, who collapsed the result of WWll coming along. And more recently they had an AHL team, the Voyagers, I think they were called. Best way to saturate the Montreal talent market would have been to keep the Quebec Nordiques franchise around.

    But the Habs are struggling these days, regardless, and this Ranger fan couldn’t be happier about it.

  56. Let’s be honest, Hank deserves the Broadway Hat every game, but when will Girardi and Boyle get it,? They are unsung heroes.

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