Courtesy of the New York Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES
January 5, 2012 (Game 38, Home Game 17)
Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
- The Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in overtime tonight at Madison Square Garden to extend their winning streak to three games, and have now won eight of their last nine games.
- New York improved to 25-9-4 (54 pts) on the season, including a 12-3-2 mark at home. The Blueshirts have now won each of their last four games at home, and five of their last six at Madison Square Garden.
- The Rangers now sit atop the NHL standings with 54 points. Their .711 winning percentage ranks second in the league, while their 25 wins are tied for second and their nine regulation losses are the fewest in the NHL.
- This is the latest the Rangers have been in first place of the Eastern Conference standings since the 1995-96 season, when New York held the top position through games played on Mar. 15, 1996 (game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
- New York has registered at least one point in 24 of their last 30 games (22-6-2), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Rangers have out-scored their opponent, 97-63, during the stretch.
- The Rangers completed their season series against the Panthers with a 3-1-0 mark. New York has won eight of their last 11 games against Florida, having out-scored the Panthers, 31-16, over the span.
- The Rangers’ .711 winning percentage is the team’s best start through 38 games since their 1993-94 Stanley Cup Championship season (26-9-3, .724 win%), and is tied for fourth best start in franchise history. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
- The Blueshirts’ 12-3-2 (26 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 17 games since 1995-96 (13-2-2, 28 pts).
- The Blueshirts improved to 5-0-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets this season, including a 3-0-0 mark when that game is at home. The Rangers are 4-0-1 in the second game of back-to-backs, including a 4-0-0 mark following a win in the first game of the set.
- The Rangers held the Panthers scoreless in one shorthanded situation (2:00), and have now held their opponent scoreless in each of the last five games (12-12, 100.0%). The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 37-41 (90.2%) with four shorthanded goals in the last 14 contests, and New York is now 17-4-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play.
- The Blueshirts registered a season-high, 41 shots on goal, including 16 in the first period and 14 in the third. New York improved their league-leading record to 12-3-0 (.800 win%) when out-shooting their opponent.
- The Rangers were credited with 50 hits in the contest, and have now registered 100 hits in the last two games. The Blueshirts had eight different players with three or more hits.
- Marian Gaborik notched the game-winning goal at 3:29 in overtime to earn first star honors, and move into a tie for second place in the NHL goal scoring race with 23 goals on the season. He has now tallied nine points (eight goals, one assist) and a plus-seven rating in the last nine games. The overtime game-winner was Gaborik’s fifth career, and first as a Ranger.
- Martin Biron made 19 saves to improve to 8-2-0 overall, including a 4-0-0 mark at home. He has held opponents to two or fewer goals in seven of his 10 starts this season.
- Anton Stralman tallied the Rangers’ first goal of the game at 17:44 of the first period, and registered three shots on goal in 23:33 of ice time. He has now recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in the last seven games, has posted a plus-10 rating in the last eight and has logged 20:00+ of ice time in seven of the last 10 contests.
- Ryan Callahan registered a power play goal at 4:24 of the third period to extend his point streak to six games (two goals, five assists over the span), and has tallied 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in the last 20 games. He leads the team and is tied for fifth in the NHL with seven power play goals, and is tied for second on the Rangers in scoring with 14 goals and 30 points on the season. Callahan was also credited with four shots on goal and four hits in 24:54 of ice time in the contest.
- Brad Richards tallied a power play assist to extend his point streak to three games (two goals, two assists over the span), was credited with five shots on goal and led all forwards with 26:06 of ice time to earn second star honors.
- Dan Girardi recorded a power play assist and led all skaters with a season-high, nine hits in 24:36 of ice time. He now ranks second on the team in hits with 109 on the season, and is two assists shy of 100 career NHL assists.
- Ruslan Fedotenko tallied the lone assist on Stralman’s first period goal, and was credited with a season-high, eight hits in the contest. The Rangers improved to 8-1-1 when he registers a point.
- Michael Del Zotto registered an assist on the overtime, game-winning goal, was credited with five hits and led all skaters with 26:36 of ice time. He has now tallied 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in the last 19 games, including seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last seven contests.
- Derek Stepan recorded the primary assist on Gaborik’s overtime, game-winning goal, and was credited with two hits and two blocked shots in 19:26 of ice time. He has now tallied 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in the last 17 games.
- John Tortorella on tonight’s game…
“It was one of those games that if you blank you could lose it because it was such a tight checking game. They defended really well but we found a way. It took us to overtime but we found a way and I thought Step (Derek Stepan) made a great play as far as using his speed to back him off.”
- Ryan Callahan on the team…
“We have a lot of push back on this team. We have guys who will step up when need be, and guys that like to throw the body around. We have been trying to build this identity over the past couple of years where we’re a tough team to play against, and I think we are seeing that more consistently this year than we have in the past.”
- Martin Biron on tonight’s game…
“Obviously the beginning of the game was quiet, and there wasn’t much going on. It was a big goal by Stralsy (Anton Stralman) to get us going and get the building going. From that point on, I think we played a really good game. That made the difference. I think we played well down low. That was the kind of game we needed to play. The confidence was there as soon as we found the right tune up later in the first period. I was pretty confident our team was going to play well.”
- The Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow, January 6, at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.), to complete their sixth back-to-back set of the season. The game will be televised live on MSG 2 and can be heard on 970 The Apple.