Pre-game notes, courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at CAROLINA HURRICANES
Thursday, Mar. 1, 7:00 p.m.
RBC Center – Raleigh, NC
Rangers: 40-15-6 (86 pts)
Hurricanes: 24-26-13 (61 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 28
The Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), to begin a back-to-back road set against Southeast Division opponents. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank third in the league overall, with a record of 40-15-6 (86 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New Jersey Devils, 2-0, on Monday at Madison Square Garden for their 40th win of the season, and are now 11-3-2 in their last 16 games. The Hurricanes enter the contest with a 24-26-13 (61 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have registered a point in six of their last seven games (4-1-2). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow, Mar. 2, at St. Pete Times Forum (7:30 p.m.), to conclude their back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. HURRICANES:
- All-Time: 57-48-7-2 overall (35-17-4-2 at home; 22-31-3-0 on the road)
- 2011-12: Tonight is the third of four meetings this season, and the second and final at RBC Center. New York is 2-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) following a 5-3 win on Dec. 1 at Carolina. The Rangers have out-scored the Hurricanes, 10-4, in the series, including a 5-0 advantage in the third period. New York is 2-7 (28.6%) on the power play in two games, while the Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held the Hurricanes scoreless in three shorthanded situations.
- Last Season: New York was 2-2-0 overall (1-1-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Three of their four meetings were decided by one goal, including two that required extra time. The Rangers’ power play was 3-14 (21.4%) in the series. Ryan Callahan tied for the team-high with two goals and three points in two games, while Brandon Dubinsky (one goal, two assists) and Ryan McDonagh led the team with two assists apiece. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-2-0 with a 2.92 GAA and .915 Sv%.
- The Rangers have won four of their last five meetings with the Hurricanes
- New York ranks third with a 19-8-4 (42 pts) record on the road; Carolina ranks 12th with a 17-12-5 (39 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers are 12-2-1 vs. the Southeast Division; the Hurricanes are 3-11-3 vs. the Atlantic Division
- New York lists no former Hurricanes on their roster
- Carolina lists no former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. HURRICANES:
- Henrik Lundqvist — 20 GP, 11-8-1, 2.37 GAA, 1 SO
- Martin Biron — 20 GP, 11-4-1-2, 2.56 GAA, 1 SO
- Brad Richards — 48 GP, 12-30-42
- Marian Gaborik — 16 GP, 8-8-16
- Marc Staal — 16 GP, 2-3-5
The Rangers have tallied seven power play goals in the last 10 games, posting a 20.6% success rate over the span (7-34). The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 19 of the last 28 games (67-76, 88.2% over the span). The Rangers are tied for fifth in the NHL with seven shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 19-1-3 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 28-7-2 when not allowing a power play goal.
- Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (4:00) on Monday vs. New Jersey. New York ranks 28th overall (30-210, 14.3%) and 21st on the road (14-98, 14.3%). The Rangers are 2-13 (10:23) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/19 vs. CBJ), and 1-7 (9:28) when four-on-three (last – 2/24 at NYI). 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 Devils scoreless in one shorthanded situation (2:00) on Monday at MSG. New York ranks sixth overall (169-196, 86.2%) and sixth on the road (94-108, 87.0%). 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 (2:00) on Monday vs. New Jersey. The Rangers are plus-seven in 65 four-on-four situations (120:19), and even in two three-on-three situations (0:38). Four-on-four goals for (9): 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), 2/25 vs. BUF (Callahan). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 2/9 vs. TBL (Lecavalier); 2/25 vs. BUF (Stafford).
The Rangers will begin their 11th of 14 scheduled back-to-back sets this season tomorrow at Carolina. New York has posted a record of 7-0-3 (3-0-0 at home, 4-0-3 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 8-1-1 (6-0-0 at home, 2-1-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 29-9-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 15-3-1 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 the set on Friday at Tampa Bay.
The Rangers have registered at least a point in 10 of their last 12 road games (8-2-2 over the span), and are 14-4-2 in their last 20 games away from MSG.
The Rangers have posted a record of 12-2-1 against Southeast Division opponents this season, having out-scored their opponents, 52-28, in those contests.
Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal has faced off against his older brother, Carolina forward Eric Staal, 16 times in his career, amassing an 8-7-1 record with five points (two goals, three assists) and 10 penalty minutes. Eric has registered an 8-5-3 mark with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and eight penalty minutes.
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .705 win% is the team’s best record through 61 games in 40 years, when the 1971-72 Blueshirts began the season with a 40-11-10 record (.738 win%), and is the second best mark in franchise history. The Rangers reached the 40-win mark in 61 games, which is tied as the second fastest to 40-wins in franchise history.
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 30th win of the season with a 13-save effort in Monday’s 2-0 win vs. New Jersey. Lundqvist became the fourth goalie in NHL history to post 30+ wins in seven or more consecutive seasons, joining Tony Esposito (7 from 1969-70 to 1975-76), Patrick Roy (8 from 1995-96 to 2002-03) and Martin Brodeur (12 from 1995-96 to 2007-08), and increased his own NHL record of most 30+ win seasons to begin his career.
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
- 3rd in points (86)
- 1st in win% (.705)
- T-2nd in wins (40)
- 1st in regulation/overtime wins (37)
- 1st in fewest regulation losses (15)
- 1st in fewest goals against (119)
- 2nd in GAA (1.95)
- 1st in hits (1,834)
- 4th in blocked shots (1,009)
- 2nd in +/- rating (plus-44)
- 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 41 of their last 53 games (37-12-4), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark
- New York is 15-1-2 when leading after the first period and 25-0-2 when leading after the second
- The Rangers rank third 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 10th 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 .759 win% when out-shooting their opponent (22-6-1)
- The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 29-1-2 mark (.906 win%) in those contests; Their 29 wins rank third in the NHL
THE HOT LIST:
- Henrik Lundqvist — 10-2-0 with a 1.24 GAA, .952 Sv% and four SO in his last 12 games
- Marian Gaborik — 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in the last 19 games
- Ryan Callahan — 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in the last 10 games
- Carl Hagelin — six points (three goals, three assists) in the last six games; four points (two goals, two assists) in the last two games
- Michael Del Zotto — 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the last 15 games; seven assists in the last 10 games
- Brad Richards — eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last 10 games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
- Steve Eminger — 4 points from 100 NHL career
- Ruslan Fedotenko — 3 games to 800 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Ryan Callahan — 100th career NHL goal (2/25 vs. BUF)
- Marian Gaborik — 700th career NHL game (2/25 vs. BUF)
- Ryan McDonagh — 100th career NHL game (2/25 vs. BUF)
- Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 37
Total Man-Games Lost: 179
- Feb. 25 — Acquired a third round pick in 2013 and defenseman Michael Vernace from Florida in exchange for forward Wojtek Wolski
- Feb. 27 — Acquired defenseman John Scott from Chicago in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2012