Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WINNIPEG JETS
Wednesday, Mar. 28, 7:00 p.m.
MTS Centre – Winnipeg, MB
Rangers: 48-21-7 (103 pts)
Jets: 35-33-8 (78 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 27
The Rangers will face-off against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Plus; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), to conclude their final back-to-back set of the season. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 48-21-7 (103 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Minnesota Wild, 3-2, last night at Xcel Energy Center, and have won four of the last five games. The Jets enter the contest with a 35-33-8 (78 pts) record to rank 10th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost four of the last five games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, Mar. 30, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.), in an Original Six matchup.
RANGERS vs. JETS:
* All-Time: 22-15-1-9 overall (9-9-1-5 at home; 13-6-0-4 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second at MTS Centre. New York is 3-0-0 (2-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) following a 3-0 win on Jan. 24 at MSG. The Rangers have out-scored the Jets, 8-1, including a pair of 3-0 victories at MSG. The Rangers power play is 3-15 (20.0%), while the penalty kill has held the Jets scoreless in seven shorthanded situations. Marian Gaborik (two goals, one assist), Ryan Callahan (two goals, one assist), Derek Stepan (one goal, two assists), and Michael Del Zotto (three assists) are tied for the team lead with three points apiece. Henrik Lundqvist is 1-0-0 with a 0.00 GAA, 1.000 Sv% and one shutout, while Martin Biron is 2-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA, .980 Sv% and one shutout.
* Last Season: New York was 1-3-0 overall (0-2-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Three of their four meetings were decided by two goals or less, including a 3-2 shootout win on Jan. 22 at Atlanta. Brian Boyle led the Rangers with two goals in the series, and Henrik Lundqvist posted a 1-2-0 mark with a 2.61 GAA in three games.
* The Rangers’ 2-1 victory on Oct. 24 was the team’s first win in Winnipeg since a 5-4 victory against the previous Winnipeg Jets franchise on Nov. 21, 1992
* New York ranks third with a 22-11-5 (49 pts) record on the road; Winnipeg ranks ninth with a 23-12-4 (50 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers are 14-2-2 vs. the Southeast Division; the Jets are 6-9-3 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists no former Jets on their roster
* Winnipeg lists one former Ranger on their roster: Nik Antropov (2008-09)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. JETS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 20 GP, 8-5-6, 2.12 GAA, 2 SO
* Martin Biron — 20 GP, 8-11-0-0, 3.02 GAA, 4 SO
* Brad Richards — 49 GP, 18-36-54
* Marian Gaborik — 16 GP, 10-9-19
* Michael Del Zotto — 9 GP, 1-7-8
The Rangers’ power play is 5-29 (17.2%) in the last nine games, while the penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 14 games (33-38, 86.8.7%) and are 38-44 (86.4%) in the last 16 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 four power play attempts (8:00) last night at Minnesota. New York ranks 29th overall (36-253, 14.2%) and ranks 27th on the road (15-117, 12.8%). 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 surrendered two goals to the Wild in two shorthanded situations (1:34) last night at Minnesota. New York ranks fifth overall (205-238, 86.1%) and seventh on the road (111-128, 86.7%). 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 skate in a four-on-four situation last night at Minnesota. 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 conclude their 14th and final back-to-back set tonight at Winnipeg. New York has posted a combined record of 18-4-5 in back-to-back games, including a 9-2-3 (3-1-0 at home, 6-1-3 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. The Rangers have posted a record of 6-1-1 in the second game of back-to-backs when opening the set with a win.
PLACE IN TEAM HISTORY
New York continues to climb the team’s all-time single season wins and points lists, currently sitting in a tie for fourth in wins and ranking fifth in points. The Rangers eclipsed the 100-point mark for the seventh time in franchise history 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 fewest games to reach 40 wins in team history.
SINGLE SEASON WINS
SINGLE SEASON POINTS
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 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) during the month of March, trailing Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin by two points. Marian Gaborik is tied for second in the league with nine goals and fourth with 16 points in March.
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* 2nd in points (103)
* 2nd in win% (.678)
* T-1st in wins (48)
* T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (44)
* T-2nd in fewest regulation losses (21)
* 3rd in fewest goals against (165)
* 3rd in GAA (2.17)
* 1st in hits (2,267)
* 4th in blocked shots (1,240)
* 4th in +/- rating (plus-37)
* 6th in goal differential (plus-39)
* 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 19-2-3 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 .718 win% when out-shooting their opponent (28-10-1)
* The Rangers rank second in the league when scoring first, posting a 33-4-3 mark (.825 win%) in those contests
THE HOT LIST:
* Brad Richards — 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in the last 17 games; 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in the last 11 games
* Marian Gaborik — six goals in the last nine games; 11 points (six goals, five assists) in the last 10 games
* Brandon Dubinsky — five points (two goals, three assists) in the last five games
* Ryan McDonagh — three assists in the last six games
* Dan Girardi — four points (one goal, three assists) in the last eight games
* Anton Stralman — five assists in his last eight games
* Martin Biron — 1 game from 500 NHL career
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 52
* Steve Eminger (injured, 3/15) — 6
* Mats Zuccarello (injured, 3/23) — 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 219