Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7:00 p.m.
CONSOL Energy Center — Pittsburgh, PA
Rangers: 38-14-5 (81 pts)
Penguins: 33-21-5 (71 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 19
The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio). The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank third in the league overall, with a record of 38-14-5 (81 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in overtime on Sunday at Madison Square Garden for their fifth win in six games, and are now 9-2-1 in their last 12 games. The Blueshirts are 21-6-1 in their last 28 contests, dating back to Dec. 17, and have registered at least one point in 38 of their last 49 games since Oct. 29 (35-11-3) after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Penguins enter the contest with a 33-21-5 (71 pts) record to rank sixth in the Eastern Conference, and have lost two of their last three games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders on Friday, Feb. 24, at Nassau Coliseum (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
* All-Time: 117-98-23-8 overall (65-47-9-3 at home; 52-51-14-5 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the fourth of six meetings this season, and the second of three at CONSOL Energy Center. New York is 2-1-0 overall (1-1-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) following a 4-1 loss on Jan. 19 at MSG. The Rangers are 2-10 (20.0%) on the power play, and 9-10 (90.0%) with one shorthanded goal on the penalty kill in three games. Brad Richards leads the team with two goals and four points, and Henrik Lundqvist is 2-1-0 with a 2.34 GAA and .930 Sv% in the series.
* Last Season: New York was 4-1-1 overall (1-1-1 at home; 3-0-0 on the road). The Rangers power play was 7-22 (31.8%) in the season series, while the penalty kill was 20-22 (90.9%). New York out-scored Pittsburgh, 21-15, including a 10-4 margin in the third period and overtime. Ryan Callahan led the Rangers with five goals, nine points, four power play goals and three game-winning goals in six games, while Brandon Dubinsky tallied a team-high, six assists in the season series. Henrik Lundqvist was 4-1-1 with a 2.29 GAA and .926 Sv%.
* The Rangers have registered at least one point in nine of their last 11 meetings with the Penguins, posting a record of 7-2-2 over the span
* The Blueshirts have won four of their last five games against the Penguins, having out-scored Pittsburgh, 18-13, during the streak
* New York ranks second with a 19-7-3 (41 pts) record on the road; Pittsburgh ranks 11th with a 17-8-2 (36 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers are 11-3-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Penguins are 7-7-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists two former Penguins on their roster: Ruslan Fedotenko (2008-09 – 2009-10); Mike Rupp (2009-10 – 2010-11)
* Pittsburgh lists one former Ranger on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. PENGUINS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 41 GP, 22-14-5, 2.40 GAA, 2 SO
* Martin Biron — 33 GP, 13-15-3-2, 2.98 GAA, 2 SO
* Brad Richards — 30 GP, 8-24-32
* Marian Gaborik — 21 GP, 9-11-20
* Brandon Dubinsky — 29 GP, 7-12-19
* Dan Girardi — 33 GP, 1-10-11
The Rangers have tallied five power play goals in the last six games, posting a 22.7% success rate over the span (5-22). The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in four of the last five games (13-14, 92.9%), and 18 of the last 24 games (60-66, 90.9% 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 two power play attempts (2:28) on Sunday vs. Columbus. New York is tied for 27th overall (28-198, 14.1%) and ranks 24th on the road (12-90, 13.3%). The Rangers are 2-13 (10:23) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/19 vs. CBJ), 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 surrendered one goal to the Blue Jackets in four power play attempts (6:05) on Sunday at MSG. New York ranks fifth overall (163-187, 87.2%) and is tied for fourth on the road (90-102, 88.2%). 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 tallied a goal in one four-on-four situation (0:22) on Sunday vs. Columbus. The Rangers are plus-seven in 59 four-on-four situations (106:52), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (8): 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); 2/19 vs. CBJ (Stepan). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 2/9 vs. TBL (Lecavalier).
The Rangers are 11-3-1 against Atlantic Division opponents this season, including a nine-game winning streak from Nov. 15 – Jan. 6. New York has out-scored their opponent, 47-30, in divisional play.
The Blueshirts have won eight of their last 10 road games (8-1-1 over the span), and are 14-3-1 in their last 18 games away from MSG.
PERFECT IN PITTSBURGH
The Rangers completed last season’s series against Pittsburgh with a 3-0-0 record at CONSOL Energy Center, having out-scored the Penguins, 12-5, in those games. It was the first time the Blueshirts swept the season series in Pittsburgh since 1996-97 (2-0-0), and the first time since 1973-74 that a Rangers team won three games at Pittsburgh in the same season (3-0-0). New York has won five straight in Pittsburgh, dating back to a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 12, 2010.
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .711 win% through 57 games is the team’s best start in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 38-14-5 record (.711 win%), and is tied as the second best start in franchise history. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
Head Coach John Tortorella registered his 132nd victory as Rangers’ head coach with a 3-2 overtime win on Sunday vs. Columbus to move past Herb Brooks into sole possession of sixth place on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list.
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* 3rd in points (81)
* 1st in win% (.711)
* T-2nd in wins (38)
* 1st in regulation/overtime wins (35)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (14)
* 2nd in fewest goals against (112)
* 2nd in GAA (1.96)
* 1st in hits (1,703)
* 4th in blocked shots (956)
* 4th in +/- rating (plus-42)
* 4th in goal differential (plus-45)
* 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 38 of their last 49 games (35-11-3), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark
* New York is 14-1-2 when leading after the first period and 24-0-2 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 ninth 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 .769 win% when out-shooting their opponent (20-6-0)
* The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 28-1-2 mark (.903 win%) in those contests; Their 28 wins rank third in the NHL
THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist is 8-1-0 with a 1.20 GAA, .955 Sv% and three shutouts in his last nine games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied seven points (six goals, one assist) in the last six games
* Ryan McDonagh has tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in the last four games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in the last 15 games
* Brad Richards has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six games
* Derek Stepan has tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last eight games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last 11 games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last eight games
* Carl Hagelin has tallied 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the last 14 games
* Ryan Callahan: 1 goal from 100 NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 4 points from 100 NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 3 games from 700 NHL career
* Ryan McDonagh: 3 games from 100 NHL career
* John Mitchell: 2 games from 200 NHL career
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 33
* Ruslan Fedotenko (injured, 2/9) — 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 174