Not much at stake for your boys tonight, other than the Presidents’ Trophy race and the team records of 52 wins and 112 points. Still home-ice in the first round for the taking for Pittsburgh.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Thursday, Apr. 5, 7:00 p.m.
CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Rangers: 51-22-7 (109 pts)
Penguins: 49-25-6 (104 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Apr. 3
The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG 2; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), in their final road game of the regular season. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank first in the league overall, with a record of 51-22-7 (109 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Philadephia Flyers, 5-3, on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center, and are now 7-2-0 in the last nine games. With the win, the Rangers clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins enter the contest with a 49-25-6 (104 pts) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of the last five games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, Apr. 7, at Madison Square Garden (6:30 p.m.), in their regular season finale.
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
- All-Time: 117-100-23-8 overall (65-48-9-3 at home; 52-52-14-5 on the road)
- 2011-12: Tonight is the sixth and final meeting this season, and the third at CONSOL Energy Center. New York is 2-3-0 overall (1-2-0 at home; 1-1-0on the road) following a 5-2 loss on Mar. 15 at Madison Square Garden. Brad Richards leads the team in with four assists and six points, while Marian Gaborik (two goals, three assists) and Carl Hagelin (two goals, two assists) are tied with Richards with a team-high, two goals. Henrik Lundqvist is 2-2-0 with a 2.28 GAA and .931 Sv%, and Martin Biron is 0-1-0 with a 5.00 GAA and .844 Sv%.
- 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 13 games against the Penguins (7-4-2 over the span), and have won four of their last seven meetings.
- New York has won five of their last six games in Pittsburgh, dating back to a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 12, 2010
- New York is tied for second with a 24-11-5 (53 pts) record on the road; Pittsburgh ranks fourth with a 27-10-2 (56 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers are 15-6-2 vs. the Atlantic Division; the Penguins are 11-10-1 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 — 42 GP, 22-15-5, 2.40 GAA, 2 SO
- Martin Biron — 34 GP, 13-16-3-2, 3.04 GAA, 2 SO
- Brad Richards — 32 GP, 8-26-34
- Marian Gaborik — 23 GP, 10-12-22
- Dan Girardi — 35 GP, 1-10-11
The Rangers’ power play has tallied seven goals in the last four games (7-18, 38.9% over the span), and are 12-47 (25.5%) in the last 13 games. New York’s penalty kill is 49-56 (87.5%) in the last 18 games. The Rangers are tied for seventh in the NHL with eight shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 25-1-4 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 34-12-3 when not allowing a power play goal.
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied three goals in six power play attempts (8:24) on Tuesday at Philadelphia. New York ranks 22nd overall (43-271, 15.9%) and 18th on the road (20-128, 15.6%). The Rangers are 4-17 (12:28) in five-on-three situations (last – 4/3 at PHI), 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 one goal to the Flyers in eight shorthanded situations (12:48) on Tuesday at Philadelphia. New York ranks fifth overall (221-256, 86.3%) and fifth on the road (123-141, 87.2%). The Rangers are 9-10 (6:17) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/28 at WPG), and 2-3 (2:24) when three-on-four (last – 2/16 vs. CHI). Shorthanded goals for (8): 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); 3/28 at WPG (Del Zotto).
- Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:18) on Tuesday at Philadelphia. The Rangers are plus-seven in 81 four-on-four situations (147:05), 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).
With a 5-3 win on Tuesday at Philadelphia, the Rangers tied the franchise record for most road wins in a season with their 24th victory away from MSG. New York also won 24 road games last season and in 1993-94.
Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal has faced off against his younger brother, Pittsburgh forward Jordan Staal, 25 times in his career, amassing an 11-12-2 record with eight points (two goals, six assists) and 28 penalty minutes. Jordan has registered a 14-6-5 mark with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) and 24 penalty minutes.
PLACE IN TEAM HISTORY
New York continues to climb the team’s all-time single season wins and points lists, currently ranking second in wins and tied for second in points. The Rangers reached the 50-win mark for the third time in franchise history with a 4-1 victory vs. Montreal on Mar. 30, and eclipsed the 100-point mark for the seventh time with a 4-3 shootout win at Toronto on Mar. 24. 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.
MARCHING INTO THE PLAYOFFS
Brad Richards ranked second in the NHL with 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) during the month of March, finishing one point behind Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin. Marian Gaborik tied for third in the league with 10 goals and 20 points in March.
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
- T-1st in points (109)
- T-1st in win% (.681)
- 1st in wins (51)
- 1st in regulation/overtime wins (47)
- 3rd in fewest regulation losses (22)
- 3rd in fewest goals against (173)
- 3rd in GAA (2.16)
- 1st in hits (2,378)
- 2nd in blocked shots (1,321)
- 4th in +/- rating (plus-38)
- 6th in goal differential (plus-45)
- New York clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 5-3 win on Tuesday at Philadelphia; It is the first time since 1993-94 the Rangers finished atop the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings
- 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
- The Rangers posted a combined record of 19-4-5 in back-to-back games this season, including a 9-2-3 (3-1-0 at home, 6-1-3 on the road) record in the first game and a 10-2-2 (6-0-0 at home, 4-2-2 on the road) mark in the second
- New York is 21-3-3 when leading after the first period and 30-0-3 when leading after the second
- The Rangers rank third in the league with a .227 win% when trailing after two periods (5-16-1), and are tied for 10th in the NHL with five third period comeback wins
- New York leads the NHL with a .714 win% when out-shooting their opponent (30-11-1)
- The Rangers rank third in the league when scoring first, posting a 35-5-3 mark (.814 win%) in those contests
- Henrik Lundqvist’s 39 wins are a career-high, and rank second on the Rangers’ single season wins list
- Ryan Callahan and Brad Richards have tied the franchise record for most game-winning goals in a season with nine apiece (Don Maloney – 1980-81; Mark Messier – 1996-97; Jaromir Jagr – 2005-06)
THE HOT LIST:
- The Rangers’ power play has tallied seven goals in the last four games (7-18, 38.9% over the span)
- Henrik Lundqvist — 7-2-0 in the last nine games; has held opponents to two or fewer goals in seven of the last 10 games (7-3-0, 2.18 GAA, .912 Sv% over the span)
- Marian Gaborik — six-game point streak (six goals, four assists over the span); 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in the last 14 games
- Brad Richards — nine points (one goal, eight assists) in the last six games; 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in the last 15 games
- Ryan McDonagh — five points (one goal, four assists) in the last five games
- Brian Boyle — four goals in the last seven games
- Michael Del Zotto — six points (three goals, three assists) in the last eight games
- Brandon Dubinsky — six points (two goals, four assists) in the last nine games
- Ruslan Fedotenko — three points (one goal, two assists) in the last five games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
- Martin Biron — 1 game from 500 NHL career
- Ryan Callahan — 2 points from 200 NHL career
- Derek Stepan — 4 points from 100 NHL career
- Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 56
- Steve Eminger (injured, 3/15) — 10
- Mats Zuccarello (injured, 3/23) — 6
Total Man-Games Lost: 231