Courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES
January 17, 2012 (Game 44, Home Game 20)
Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
– The Rangers defeated the Nashville Predators, 3-0, tonight at Madison Square Garden, and are now 12-3-0 in their last 15 games.
– New York has posted a record of 29-11-4 (62 pts) on the season, including a 14-4-2 mark at home. The Blueshirts sit atop the NHL standings, two points ahead of Chicago and St. Louis, and have opened a three-point gap over Boston for first place in the Easten Conference standings.
– The Rangers have won seven of their last nine games at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts’ 14-4-2 (30 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 20 games since 1995-96 (15-2-3, 33 pts).
– The Rangers’ .705 win% through 44 games is the team’s best start in 40 years, when the 1971-72 Blueshirts began the season with a 30-7-7 record (.761 win%), and is the third best start in franchise history.
– With the shutout, New York is now tied with Boston for fewest goals against on the season (87), and their 1.98 goals against average is tied with St. Louis for the lowest in the league.
– The Blueshirts’ penalty kill was 3-3 (4:05) against the Predators, and has now held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 11 games (23-24, 95.8% over the span). New York is 48-53 (90.6%) on the penalty kill with five shorthanded goals in the last 20 contests.
– The Rangers out-hit the Predators, 36-27, and were credited with 18 blocked shots in the contest. Entering tonight’s contest, the Rangers led the league in hits (1,245) and ranked third in the NHL in blocked shots (704).
– Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to post his fourth shutout of the season, the 39th of his career, and record his 20th win of the season. Lundqvist is the third goaltender in Rangers’ history to reach the 20-win mark in seven consecutive years, and the first since Mike Richter accomplished the feat from 1995-96 to 2001-02. Ed Giacomin holds the franchise record with eight straight seasons of 20 or more wins (1966-67 to 1973-74). Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary) is the only other goalie in the league with an active streak of 20+ wins in seven or more consecutive seasons (courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau).
– Lundqvist improved to 20-9-4 overall, including a 10-4-2 mark at home. He has allowed one goal or less in eight of his last 13 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 22 games this season.
– Dan Girardi opened the game’s scoring at 6:15 of the first period, was credited with two blocked shots and posted a plus-three rating in 25:48 of ice time. Girardi is now tied for second among team defensemen with four goals.
– John Mitchell notched an unassisted goal at 10:42 of the second of period, and was credited with two hits and two blocked shots in the contest. Mitchell has recorded two goals in the last two games.
– Ryan Callahan tallied an unassisted, empty net goal with 51 seconds remaining in regulation, and was credited with a game-high, seven hits in 20:53 of ice time. He has recorded 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in the last 26 games, including nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last 12.
– Marian Gaborik recorded an assist and three shots on goal in 18:57 of ice time. He has registered two assists in the last two games, having tallied his 300th career NHL assist on Sunday at Montreal. Gaborik leads the team in scoring with 36 points on the season.
– Carl Hagelin registered an assist, three shots on goal and posted a plus-two rating in 17:01 of ice time. He has now tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last 11 games. Hagelin is tied for fourth on the team and second among NHL rookies with a plus-12 rating on the season.
– Brian Boyle registered a team-high, four shots on goal, was credited with six hits and won a game-high, 9-13 faceoffs (69%) in the contest. He ranks third on the team with 119 hits on the season.
– John Tortorella on Carl Hagelin…
“I put him on lines, and he ignites lines with his speed. It’s just a dog and a bone mentality as far as chasing down pucks. He played really good the other night on a different line, with Boyle. I bounce him all over the place. I thought all the lines contributed tonight. Step’s (Derek Stepan’s) line, for the majority of the night, played really well.”
– Henrik Lundqvist on the team…
“I think we’re more mature. We know how we have to play. So far every time we lose our focus on how we have to play, we correct it pretty quickly. That’s key if you want to stay in top position, you have to correct things right away. You can’t let it slide, and it’s a really good thing to have. I like the way guys prepare, and after a tough game we really want to come back with a strong performance. I like to see the way guys look at themselves and how they play, and try to improve and get better.”
– Dan Girardi on tonight’s game…
“I thought Nashville came out hard. They are a similar team to how we play and I thought that helped us to get back to our game. They’re a hard-nosed team and (they play) in your face. That’s how we play, so it was a quick transition for us.”
– The Blueshirts’ practice schedule for tomorrow, January 18, is 12:00 p.m. at MSG Training Center.
– The Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, January 19, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up. The game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio.