The ticket contest is now open. Please scroll down and read the rules before entering. It would be really nice if I didn’t have to disqualify anybody. It would also be really nice to be king of the world. Only entries in this thread will be accepted. The contest closes when “It’s Go Time!” is posted tonight shortly after 7:30 p.m.
Tonight is also the Garden of Dreams Telethon on MSG Network, starting at 7:30 p.m. during the pre-game show.
Viewers can call 212-465-3900 to purchase a $100 raffle ticket, which enters them in a drawing to win memorabilia and experiences from MSG and the Rangers (I’ll try to post the full list of items to be raffled in the game thread tonight). All proceeds from the night benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation, which makes dreams come true for kids facing obstacles in the tri-state area (www.gardenofdreamsfoundation.org).
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at MINNESOTA WILD
Tuesday, Mar. 27, 8:00 p.m.
Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN
Rangers: 47-21-7 (101 pts)
Wild: 31-34-10 (72 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 25
The Rangers will face-off against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (8:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), to begin a back-to-back road set. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 47-21-7 (101 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3, in the shootout on Saturday at Air Canada Centre, and have won three of the last four games. The Wild enter the contest with a 31-34-10 (72 pts) record to rank 13th in the Western Conference, and have lost five of the last seven games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday, Mar. 28, at MTS Centre (7:00 p.m.), to conclude their back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. WILD:
- All-Time: 8-5-0-0 overall (4-2-0-0 at home; 4-3-0-0 on the road)
- 2011-12: Tonight is the first and only meeting this season
- Last Season: New York was 1-1-0 overall (0-1-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). The Rangers tallied the game’s first goal in both meetings, and out-shot the Wild, 71-47, including a 34-12 advantage in the second period. Six different Blueshirts notched a goal in the series, while Dan Girardi led the team in scoring with two assists. Henrik Lundqvist was 0-1-0 with a 3.10 GAA, and Martin Biron was 1-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA.
- New York ranks third with a 21-11-5 (47 pts) record on the road; Minnesota ranks 27th with a 17-15-4 (38 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers are 2-2-0 vs. the Northwest Division; the Wild are 1-3-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
- New York lists two former Wild on their roster: Marion Gaborik (2000-01 – 2008-09); John Scott (2008-09 – 2009-10)
- Minnesota lists three former Rangers on their roster: Erik Christensen (2009-10 – 2011-12); Matt Cullen (2006-07); Jed Ortmeyer (2003-04 – 2006-07)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. WILD:
- Henrik Lundqvist — 5 GP, 2-3-0, 2.92 GAA
- Martin Biron — 7 GP, 4-3-0-0, 2.16 GAA
- Brad Richards — 17 GP, 7-14-21
- Artem Anisimov — 3 GP, 1-1-2
- Dan Girardi — 5 GP, 0-3-3
The Rangers’ power play is 5-25 (20.0%) in the last eight games, while the penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 13 games (33-36, 91.7%) and are 38-42 (90.5%) in the last 15 contests. The Rangers are tied for eighth in the NHL with seven shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 22-1-4 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 32-12-3 when not allowing a power play goal.
- Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (4:00) on Saturday at Toronto. New York is tied for 28th overall (36-249, 14.5%) and ranks 26th on the road (15-113, 13.3%). The Rangers are 3-15 (11:31) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/13 vs. CAR), and 2-9 (12:08) when four-on-three (last – 3/11 vs. 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 Maple Leafs scoreless in three shorthanded situations (6:00) on Saturday at Toronto. New York ranks fifth overall (205-236, 86.9%) and third on the road (111-126, 88.1%). 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 (5:00) on Saturday at Toronto. The Rangers are plus-seven in 79 four-on-four situations (145:31), and even in two three-on-three situations (0:38). Four-on-four goals for (10): 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); 3/21 vs. DET (Callahan). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 2/9 vs. TBL (Lecavalier); 2/25 vs. BUF (Stafford); 3/2 at TBL (Malone).
The Rangers will begin their 14th and final back-to-back set tonight at Minnesota. New York has posted a combined record of 17-4-5 in back-to-back games, including an 8-2-3 (3-1-0 at home, 5-1-3 on the road) record in the first game and a 9-2-2 (6-0-0 at home, 3-2-2 on the road) mark in the second. Since 2009-10, New York is 30-10-4 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 15-3-1 mark at MSG and 15-7-3 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 58 times in his career, posting a record of 37-14-7 with a 1.84 GAA, .934 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game.
PLACE IN TEAM HISTORY
The Rangers eclipsed the 100-point mark for the seventh time in franchise history and moved into a tie for fifth on the team’s all-time single season wins list with a 4-3 shootout win at Toronto on Saturday. The Blueshirts reached the 40-win mark in 61 games, which is tied as the second fastest to 40-wins in team history.
The Rangers have posted a record of 8-2 in games decided in overtime (excluding shootouts) this season. Their eight overtime wins are tied with Tampa Bay for first in the league this season, and represent a new team record. The Blueshirts broke their previous record of six (1999-00, 2002-03) with a 4-3 overtime win on Mar. 11 vs. NYI. Marian Gaborik leads the team and ranks second in the NHL with a career-high (tied), three overtime goals, while Ryan Callahan ranks second on the Rangers and is tied for third in the league with a career-high, two overtime goals. Brad Richards, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh have also tallied one power play goal apiece.
MARCHING INTO THE PLAYOFFS
Brad Richards ranks second in the NHL with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) during the month of March, trailing Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin by one point.
The Rangers completed their seven-game homestand from Mar. 11 vs. NYI to Mar. 23 vs. BUF with a 4-3-0 mark. The Blueshirts’ power play converted at a 21.7% success rate over the span (5-23). Henrik Lundqvist was 3-2-0 with a 2.35 GAA, while Martin Biron was 1-1-0 with a 3.50 GAA. Brad Richards led the team in scoring with five goals and 10 points, while Marian Gaborik (three goals, four assists) and Carl Hagelin (two goals, five assists) finished with seven points apiece. The seven-game homestand tied as the longest in franchise history, and was their longest since 2001-02. The Blueshirts’ previous seven-game homestands were in 1969-70 (4-0-3-0), 1972-73 (4-3-0-0), 1977-78 (3-3-1-0), and 2001-02 (3-2-1-1).
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
- 2nd in points (101)
- 2nd in win% (.673)
- T-1st in wins (47)
- T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (43)
- T-2nd in fewest regulation losses (21)
- 3rd in fewest goals against (163)
- 3rd in GAA (2.17)
- 1st in hits (2,237)
- 4th in blocked shots (1,224)
- 4th in +/- rating (plus-34)
- 6th in goal differential (plus-38)
- The Rangers became the first Eastern Conference team, and second in the league overall, to clinch a playoff spot with a 4-2 win on Mar. 19 vs. NJD (game #72); The last time the Blueshirts clinched a playoff berth that early was in 1991-92, when New York clinched on Mar. 8 (through game #68) following a Philadelphia defeat to Vancouver
- This is the latest the Rangers have been in first place of the Eastern Conference standings since the team captured the Presidents’ Trophy during the 1993-94 season. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
- New York is 18-2-3 when leading after the first period and 28-0-3 when leading after the second
- The Rangers rank third in the league with a .238 win% when trailing after two periods (5-15-1), and are tied for ninth in the NHL with five third period comeback wins
- New York leads the NHL with a .711 win% when out-shooting their opponent (27-10-1)
- The Rangers rank second in the league when scoring first, posting a 32-4-3 mark (.821 win%) in those contests
THE HOT LIST:
- Brad Richards — 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in the last 16 games; 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in the last 10 games
- Marian Gaborik — 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in the last 14 games; 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the last nine games
- Brandon Dubinsky — four points (two goals, two assists) in the last four games
- Michael Del Zotto — 10 assists in his last 19 games (six assists on game-winning goals over the span)
- Martin Biron — 1 game from 500 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Tim Erixon — 1st career NHL assist/point (3/23 vs. BUF)
- Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 51
- Steve Eminger (injured, 3/15) — 5
- Mats Zuccarello (injured, 3/23) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 216
- Mar. 26 — Agreed to terms with forward Andrew Yogan to an entry level contract