Pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Friday, Feb. 24, 7:00 p.m.
Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
Rangers: 38-15-5 (81 pts)
Islanders: 25-27-8 (58 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 22
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank third in the league overall, with a record of 38-15-5 (81 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-0, on Tuesday at CONSOL Energy Center, and are now 9-3-1 in their last 13 games. The Blueshirts are 21-7-1 in their last 29 contests, dating back to Dec. 17, and have registered at least one point in 38 of their last 50 games since Oct. 29 (35-12-3) after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Islanders enter the contest with a 25-27-8 (58 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow, Feb. 25, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to close out their back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
* All-Time: 115-99-19-5 overall (67-37-11-4 at home; 48-62-8-1 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the fifth of six meetings this season, and the third and final on the road. The Rangers are 3-1-0 overall (2-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road), following a 3-0 win on Dec. 26 at Madison Square Garden. Brandon Dubinsky (one goal, three assists) and Ryan Callahan (one goal, three assists) are tied for the team-high in scoring with four points apiece, while Marian Gaborik has notched a team-high, three goals. Henrik Lundqvist is 2-1-0 with a 1.68 GAA, .947 Sv% and one shutout in three games, and Martin Biron is 1-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA and .923 Sv% in one game.
* Last Season: New York was 4-2-0 overall (3-0-0 at home; 1-2-0 on the road). The Rangers averaged 4.5 goals per contest, and converted 9-28 on the power play for a 32.1% success rate in the season series. Marian Gaborik led all skaters with six goals and 10 points in six games, while Brandon Dubinsky tallied a team-high six assists in the season series.
* The Rangers have won seven of their last nine games against the Islanders, having out-scored the Islanders, 36-24, over the span
* New York ranks second with a 19-8-3 (41 pts) record on the road; Long Island ranks 28th with a 13-14-5 (31 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers are 11-4-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Islanders are 4-8-2 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists two former Islanders on their roster: Martin Biron (2009-10); Ruslan Fedotenko (2007-08)
* Long Island lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Mottau (2000-01 – 2001-02); P.A. Parenteau (2009-10)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. ISLANDERS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 40 GP, 23-11-5, 2.17 GAA, 4 SO
* Martin Biron — 27 GP, 21-4-1, 2.00 GAA, 2 SO
* Brad Richards — 34 GP, 11-19-30
* Marian Gaborik — 25 GP, 17-12-29
* Brandon Dubinsky — 31 GP, 7-19-26
* Michael Del Zotto — 13 GP, 3-5-8
The Rangers have tallied five power play goals in the last seven games, posting a 20.0% success rate over the span (5-25). The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in four of the last six games (14-16, 87.5%), and 18 of the last 25 games (61-68, 89.7% 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 three power play attempts (5:19) on Tuesday at Pittsburgh. New York ranks 27th overall (28-201, 13.9%) and 25th on the road (12-93, 12.9%). 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 Penguins in two shorthanded situations (2:58) on Tuesday at Pittsburgh. New York ranks fourth overall (163-188, 86.7%) and fifth on the road (90-103, 87.4%). 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 one four-on-four situation (0:41) on Tuesday at Pittsburgh. The Rangers are plus-seven in 60 four-on-four situations (107:33), 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 will begin their 10th of 14 scheduled back-to-back sets this season tonight against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. 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 will conclude their back-to-back set tomorrow against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers are 11-4-1 against Atlantic Division opponents this season, including a nine-game winning streak from Nov. 15 – Jan. 6. New York has out-scored their opponent, 47-32, in divisional play.
The Blueshirts have won eight of their last 11 road games (8-2-1 over the span), and are 14-4-1 in their last 19 games away from MSG.
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .698 win% through 58 games is the team’s best start in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 38-15-5 record (.698 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% (.698)
* T-2nd in wins (38)
* 1st in regulation/overtime wins (35)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (15)
* 1st in fewest goals against (114)
* 2nd in GAA (1.97)
* 1st in hits (1,733)
* 4th in blocked shots (970)
* T-3rd in +/- rating (plus-41)
* 4th in goal differential (plus-43)
* 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 50 games (35-12-3), 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 .250 win% when trailing after two periods (4-11-1), and their four third period comeback victories are tied for ninth in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 16 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 8-2-0 with a 1.29 GAA, .953 Sv% and three shutouts in his last 10 games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied seven points (six goals, one assist) in the last seven games
* Ryan McDonagh has tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in the last five games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in the last 16 games
* Brad Richards has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in the last seven games
* Derek Stepan has tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last nine games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last 12 games, including six assists in the last seven contests
* Artem Anisimov has tallied seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last nine games
* Carl Hagelin has tallied 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the last 15 games
* Ryan Callahan: 1 goal from 100 NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 4 points from 100 NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 2 games from 700 NHL career
* Ryan McDonagh: 2 games from 100 NHL career
* John Mitchell: 1 game from 200 NHL career
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 34
* Ruslan Fedotenko (injured, 2/9) — 6
Total Man-Games Lost: 176