NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Sunday, Feb. 19, 8:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden — New York, NY
Rangers: 37-14-5 (79 pts)
Blue Jackets: 17-35-6 (40 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 17
The Rangers will face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio). The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 37-14-5 (79 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden to snap their four-game winning streak, and are now 8-2-1 in their last 11 games. The Blueshirts are 20-6-1 in their last 27 contests, dating back to Dec. 17, and have registered at least one point in 37 of their last 48 games since Oct. 29 (34-11-3) after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Blue Jackets enter the contest with a 17-35-6 (40 pts) record to rank 15th in the Western Conference, and have lost three of their last five games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up.
RANGERS vs. BLUE JACKETS:
* All-Time: 4-6-1-0 overall (2-1-1-0 at home; 2-5-0-0 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the first and only meeting this season.
* Last Season: New York was 0-1-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-1 loss in their only meeting on Dec. 11 at Nationwide Arena. Marc Staal tallied the Rangers’ lone goal, on the power play, while Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko each picked up an assist. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves.
* The last time the Rangers defeated the Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden was Nov. 23, 2009 (7-4)
* New York ranks sixth with an 18-7-2 (38 pts) record at home; Columbus ranks 29th with a 7-19-3 (17 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 1-2-0 vs. the Central Division; the Blue Jackets are 0-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists two former Blue Jackets on their roster: Mike Rupp (2005-06); Anton Stralman (2009-10 – 2010-11)
* Columbus lists two former Rangers on their roster: Vinny Prospal (2009-10 – 2010-11); Fedor Tyutin (2003-04 – 2007-08)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLUE JACKETS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.77 GAA
* Martin Biron — 4 GP, 1-2-1-0, 1.73 GAA, 1 SO
* Marian Gaborik — 24 GP, 13-9-22
* Brad Richards — 19 GP, 8-11-19
* Artem Anisimov — 2 GP, 1-2-3
* Dan Girardi — 4 GP, 1-1-2
The Rangers have tallied five power play goals in the last five games, posting a 25.0% success rate over the span (5-20). The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in the last four games (10 times shorthanded), and 18 of the last 23 games (57-62, 91.9% over the span). The Rangers are tied for fourth 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 27-7-2 when not allowing a power play goal.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in seven power play attempts (10:06) on Thursday vs. Chicago. New York ranks 27th overall (28-196, 14.3%) and is tied for 23rd at home (16-106, 15.1%). 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 Blackhawks scoreless in three power play attempts (3:24) on Thursday at MSG. New York is tied for fourth overall (160-183, 87.4%) and ranks sixth at home (70-81, 86.4%). The Rangers are 8-9 (4:34) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/16 vs. CHI), and 2-3 (2:24) when three-on-four (last – 2/16 vs. CHI). 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 did not tally/yield a goal in two four-on-four situations (1:24) on Thursday vs. Chicago. The Rangers are plus-six in 58 four-on-four situations (106:30), 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).
HOME SWEET HOME
The Blueshirts’ 18-7-2 (38 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 27 games since 1995-96 (19-2-6, 44 pts).
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .705 win% through 56 games is the team’s best start in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 38-13-5 record (.723 win%), and is the third 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 .584 win% currently ranks second on the Rangers’ all-time coaching win% list.
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* T-2nd in points (79)
* 1st in win% (.705)
* 2nd in wins (37)
* T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (34)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (14)
* 2nd in fewest goals against (110)
* 2nd in GAA (1.96)
* 1st in hits (1,682)
* 4th in blocked shots (946)
* 4th in +/- rating (plus-40)
* 3rd in goal differential (plus-44)
* 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 48 games (34-11-3), 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 rank fourth in the league with a .267 win% when trailing after two periods (4-10-1), and their four third period comeback victories are tied for eighth in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 15 games this season, which is the fewest in the league
* New York leads the NHL with a .760 win% when out-shooting their opponent (19-6-0)
* The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 27-1-2 mark (.900 win%) in those contests; Their 27 wins rank third 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 14 starts this season
* Ryan Callahan enters the contest with a five-game point streak (six goals, one assist over the span), and has tallied 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in the last 13 games
* Ryan McDonagh enters the contest with a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist over the span)
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in the last 14 games
* Brad Richards has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in the last five games
* Derek Stepan has tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in the last seven games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last 10 games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in the last seven games
* Carl Hagelin has tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last 13 games
* Marc Staal has tallied two points (one goal, one assist) in the last three games
* Ryan Callahan: 1 goal from 100 NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 4 points from 100 NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 4 games from 700 NHL career
* Ryan McDonagh: 4 games from 100 NHL career
* John Mitchell: 3 games from 200 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Artem Anisimov: 100th career NHL point (2/14 at BOS)
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 32
* Ruslan Fedotenko (injured, 2/9) — 4
Total Man-Games Lost: 172