NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Sunday, Feb. 5, 1:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden — New York, NY
Rangers: 32-12-5 (69 pts)
Flyers: 30-15-6 (66 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 3
The Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (1:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), to begin a three-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 32-12-5 (69 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 1-0, in the shootout on Wednesday at First Niagara Center for their third win in four games, and are now 15-4-1 in their last 20 games. New York has posted a record of 29-9-3 since Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Flyers enter the contest with a 30-15-6 (66 pts) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference, and have lost two of their last three games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the second game of their three-game homestand.
RANGERS vs. FLYERS:
* All-Time: 113-107-37-7 overall (59-47-23-4 at home; 54-60-14-3 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the fourth of six meetings this season, and the third and final at Madison Square Garden. New York is 3-0-0 (2-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) following a 3-2 win in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. New York has out-scored Philadephia, 9-4, in the series, including a 5-2 advantage in the third period. The Rangers are 2-7 (28.6%) on the power play in three games. 15 different Rangers have tallied a point against the Flyers this season. Michael Del Zotto and John Mitchell lead the team with three assists/points apiece, while Brad Richards and Mike Rupp have each tallied a team-high, two goals. Henrik Lundqvist is 3-0-0 with a 1.33 GAA, .958 Sv% and one shutout in the series.
* Last Season: New York was 2-4-0 overall (1-2-0 at home; 1-2-0 on the road). The Rangers power play was 4-19 (21.1%) in the season series. Ryan Callahan (four goals, one assist) and Derek Stepan (three goals, two assists) tied for the team-high with five points, while Callahan’s four goals led the team. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-3-0 with a 2.57 GAA, .908 Sv% and one shutout in five games.
* The Rangers enter the contest with a five-game winning streak against the Flyers, having out-scored Philadelphia, 19-6, over the span
* New York ranks 12th with a 15-5-2 (32 pts) record at home; Philadelphia ranks first with an 18-7-2 (38 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 9-2-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Flyers are 6-5-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists three former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron (2006-07 – 2008-09); Steve Eminger (2008-09); Ruslan Fedotenko (2000-01 – 2001-02)
* Philadelphia lists four former Rangers on their roster: Blair Betts (2005-06 – 2008-09); Jaromir Jagr (2003-04 – 2007-08); Ian Laperriere (1995-96); Jody Shelley (2009-10)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. FLYERS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 34 GP, 19-10-3, 2.62 GAA, 4 SO
* Martin Biron — 18 GP, 9-7-2-0, 2.18 GAA
* Brad Richards — 34 GP, 9-23-32
* Ruslan Fedotenko — 40 GP, 15-11-26
* Dan Girardi — 33 GP, 0-19-19
* Ryan Callahan — 24 GP, 8-8-16
The Rangers rank 10th in the NHL with a plus-six rating on special teams [(PPG+SHG)-(PPGA+SHGA)]. The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 14 of the last 16 games (38-40, 95.0% over the span), and is 63-69 (91.3%) with five shorthanded goals in the last 25 contests. The Rangers are tied for fourth in the NHL with six shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 16-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 24-6-2 when not allowing a power play goal.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (4:00) on Wednesday at Buffalo. New York ranks 26th overall (23-168, 13.7%) and 14th at home (15-86, 17.4%). The Rangers are 2-12 (8:51) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. PHI), and 1-6 (8:52) when four-on-three (last – 2/1 at BUF). 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 Sabres scoreless in five power play attempts (9:19) on Wednesday at Buffalo. New York ranks third overall (141-161, 87.6%) and ranks third at home (56-64, 87.5%). The Rangers are 6-7 (4:07) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/1 at BUF), and 1-2 (1:39) when three-on-four (last – 2/1 at BUF). Shorthanded goals for (6): 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); 1/6 at PIT (Dubinsky).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in three four-on-four situations (4:38) on Wednesday at Buffalo. The Rangers are plus-four in 51 four-on-four situations (95:22), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi); 1/2 vs. FLA (Gaborik). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
The Rangers and Sabres played 65 minutes of scoreless hockey on Wednesday at Buffalo before the Blueshirts won the contest in the shootout. It was the 39th time in franchise history the Rangers skated to a scoreless tie through regulation and overtime. The last time the Rangers entered the shootout in a scoreless tie was Jan. 12, 2010 vs. New Jersey at MSG (0-1, SO), and the last time the Blueshirts won when entering the shootout in a scoreless tie was Oct. 17, 2008 vs. Toronto at MSG.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers have posted an 8-3-0 record in their last 11 home games. The Blueshirts’ 15-5-2 (32 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 22 games since 1995-96 (17-2-3, 37 pts).
The Rangers are 9-2-1 against Atlantic Division opponents this season, including a nine-game winning streak from Nov. 15 – Jan. 6. New York has out-scored their opponent, 37-25, in divisional play.
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .704 win% through 49 games is the team’s best start in 18 years, when the 1993-94 Blueshirts began the season with a 33-13-3 record (.704 win%), and is tied for the second best start in franchise history. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a career-high shutout streak of 150:35, dating back to 19:11 of the second period on Jan. 21 at Boston. He posted shutouts in consecutive starts for the first time in his career on Jan. 24 vs. Winnipeg (22 saves) and Feb. 1 at Buffalo (34 saves, 4-5 in the shootout), and passed Dave Kerr for second on the Rangers’ all-time shutouts list with 41 career shutouts. Lundqvist ranks seventh among active goalies in career shutouts, and is tied with Martin Brodeur for most shutouts since 2005-06 (41). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
KING HENRIK’S REIGN
Henrik Lundqvist recorded his 20th win with a 27-save shutout on Jan. 17 vs. Nashville. He became the third goaltender in Rangers’ history to reach the 20-win mark in seven straight seasons, and the first since Mike Richter from 1995-96 – 2001-02. Ed Giacomin holds the team record with eight straight (1966-67 – 1973-74). Lundqvist is one of four NHL goalies with an active streak of 20+ wins in seven or more straight seasons (Kiprusoff – CGY, Luongo – VAN, Vokoun – WSH). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* T-2nd in points (69)
* 1st in win% (.704)
* T-2nd in wins (32)
* T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (29)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (12)
* T-1st in fewest goals against (96)
* 2nd in GAA (1.96)
* 2nd in hits (1,426)
* 5th in blocked shots (810)
* 4th in +/- rating (plus-34)
* 4th in goal differential (plus-36)
* 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 (NYR game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
* New York has registered at least one point in 32 of their last 41 games (29-9-3), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark
* New York is 9-1-2 when leading after the first period and 19-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Rangers are tied for fourth in the league with a .250 win% when trailing after two periods (3-8-1), and their three third period comeback victories are tied for 10th in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 12 games this season, which is the fewest in the league
* New York leads the NHL with an .800 win% when out-shooting their opponent (16-4-0)
* The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 23-1-2 mark (.885 win%) in those contests; Their 23 wins rank third in the NHL
THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a career-high shutout streak of 150:35, dating back to 19:11 of the second period on Jan. 21 at Boston
* Lundqvist has allowed one goal or less in 10 of his last 17 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 25 games this season
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in eight of his 12 starts this season
* Marian Gaborik has tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last seven games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last six games
* Carl Hagelin has tallied 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the last 16 games
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 25
Total Man-Games Lost: 161
* Feb. 2 — Assigned defenseman Jeff Woywitka and forward Wojtek Wolski to Connecticut (AHL) for a conditioning stint
* Feb. 3 — Acquired forward Casey Wellman from Minnesota in exchange for forward Erik Christensen and a conditional seventh round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft