Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden — New York, NY
Rangers: 37-13-5 (79 pts)
Blackhawks: 29-21-7 (65 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 14
The Rangers will face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), in an Original Six match-up. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 37-13-5 (79 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Boston Bruins, 3-0, on Tuesday at TD Garden to extend their winning streak to four games, and have now won eight of their last 10 games. The Blueshirts are 20-5-1 in their last 26 games, dating back to Dec. 17, and have registered at least one point in 37 of their last 47 games since Oct. 29 (34-10-3) after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Blackhawks enter the contest with a 29-21-7 (65 pts) record to rank sixth in the Western Conference, and have lost their last nine games (0-8-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, Feb. 19, at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.).
RANGERS vs. BLACKHAWKS:
* All-Time: 236-241-98-2 overall (120-113-55-0 at home; 116-128-43-2 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the first of two meetings this season, and the first and only at Madison Square Garden.
* Last Season: New York was 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 win in their only meeting on Nov. 1 at Madison Square Garden. Brandon Dubinsky led the team with two goals, while Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov tallied a team-high, two assists apiece. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 of 35 shots in the contest.
* The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in each of their last seven meetings with the Blackhawks, posting a record of 4-0-1-2 over the span. New York’s last regulation loss to Chicago was Dec. 11, 2002 (3-4).
* The Rangers have won their last three contests vs. the Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden, out-scoring Chicago, 9-5, during the stretch. The Blueshirts last home loss to the Blackhawks was on Dec. 11, 2002 (3-4).
* New York ranks sixth with an 18-6-2 (38 pts) record at home; Chicago ranks 23rd with a 10-15-3 (23 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 1-1-0 vs. the Central Division; the Blackhawks are 2-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists no former Blackhawks on their roster
* Chicago lists no former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLACKHAWKS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 6 GP, 4-0-2, 1.80 GAA
* Martin Biron — 6 GP, 2-2-1-0, 3.24 GAA
* Brad Richards — 19 GP, 2-24-26
* Marian Gaborik — 25 GP, 12-14-26
* Brandon Dubinsky — 3 GP, 4-2-6
* Anton Stralman — 13 GP, 1-6-7
The Rangers have tallied five power play goals in the last four games, posting a 38.5% success rate over the span (5-13). The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in the last three games (seven times shorthanded), and 17 of the last 22 games (54-59, 91.5% over the span). The Rangers are tied for third in the NHL with seven shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 19-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 27-6-2 when not allowing a power play goal.
* Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in one power play attempt (0:48) on Tuesday at Boston. New York ranks 25th overall (28-189, 14.8%) and is tied for 19th at home (16-99, 16.2%). 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 Bruins scoreless in one power play attempt (1:50) on Tuesday at Boston. New York ranks fifth overall (157-180, 87.2%) and eighth at home (67-78, 85.9%). 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 (7): 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); 2/12 vs. WSH (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York tallied a goal in two four-on-four situations (4:00) on Tuesday at Boston. The Rangers are plus-six in 56 four-on-four situations (105:06), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (7): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi); 1/2 vs. FLA (Gaborik); 2/9 vs. TBL (Stepan); 2/9 vs. TBL (Richards); 2/14 at BOS (Anisimov). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 2/9 vs. TBL (Lecavalier).
The Rangers completed their ninth of 14 scheduled back-to-back sets this season with a 3-2 win on Sunday vs. Washington. New York has posted a record of 7-0-2 (3-0-0 at home, 4-0-2 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 7-1-1 (5-0-0 at home, 2-1-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 28-9-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 14-3-1 mark at MSG and 14-6-2 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 57 times in his career, posting a record of 36-14-7 with a 1.82 GAA, .935 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game. The Rangers’ next back-to-back set is Feb. 24 at Long Island and Feb. 25 vs. Buffalo.
ORIGINAL SIX SINCE 2005-06
New York has posted a record of 50-29-12 against Original Six teams since 2005-06, including a 4-0-2 mark vs. Chicago over the span. The Rangers’ .615 win% over the span ranks third, trailing Detroit (.681, 44-19-6) and Montreal (.614, 75-45-12), and ahead of Boston (.515, 59-55-20), Toronto (.500, 56-56-18) and Chicago (.493, 29-30-11).
HOME SWEET HOME
The Blueshirts’ 18-6-2 (38 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 26 games since 1995-96 (19-2-5, 43 pts).
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .718 win% through 55 games is the team’s best start in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 38-13-4 record (.727 win%), and is tied as the second best start in franchise history. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
Head Coach John Tortorella registered his 131st win as Rangers’ head coach with a 3-0 win on Tuesday at Boston to move into a tie with Herb Brooks for sixth on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list. His .586 win% currently ranks second on the Rangers’ all-time coaching win% list.
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* 2nd in points (79)
* 1st in win% (.718)
* 2nd in wins (37)
* 1st in regulation/overtime wins (34)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (13)
* 1st in fewest goals against (106)
* 2nd in GAA (1.93)
* 1st in hits (1,650)
* 3rd in blocked shots (929)
* 2nd in +/- rating (plus-42)
* 3rd in goal differential (plus-46)
* 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 37 of their last 47 games (34-10-3), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark
* New York is 13-1-2 when leading after the first period and 23-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Rangers are tied for second in the league with a .286 win% when trailing after two periods (4-9-1), and their four third period comeback victories are tied for eighth in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 14 games this season, which is the fewest in the league
* New York leads the NHL with a .792 win% when out-shooting their opponent (19-5-0)
* The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 27-1-2 mark (.900 win%) in those contests; Their 27 wins are tied for second in the NHL
THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist is 7-1-0 with a 1.10 GAA, .960 Sv% and three shutouts in his last eight games
* Lundqvist has allowed one goal or less in 12 of his last 22 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 30 games this season
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in eight of his 13 starts this season
* Ryan Callahan enters the contest with a four-game goal streak (six goals over the span), and has tallied 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in the last 12 games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in the last 13 games
* Brad Richards tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in the last six games, with five points (one goal, four assists) in the last four
* Derek Stepan has tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in the last six games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last nine games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in the last six games
* Carl Hagelin has tallied eight points (one goal, seven assists) in the last 12 games
* Ryan Callahan: 1 goal from 100 NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 5 points from 100 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Artem Anisimov: 100th career NHL point (2/14 at BOS)
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 31
* Ruslan Fedotenko (injured, 2/9) — 3
Total Man-Games Lost: 170
* Feb. 15 — Defenseman Jeff Woywitka and forward Wojtek Wolski returned from their conditioning stint with Connecticut (AHL)