Reminder: We’ll hold a Live Game 2 Chat today from MSG at 3 p.m. Stop what you’re doing, put down whatever you’re holding, wake up if you’re sleeping, call in sick if you’re working, and be there. Ya hear?
Also, Happy Birthday to the new kid, Chris Kreider. He’s 21 today. Holy shishkebob.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 2 (NYR leads 1-0)
Monday, Apr. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers (Regular Season): 51-24-7 (109 pts), 1st in East
Capitals (Regular Season): 42-32-8 (92 pts), 7th in East
* All information through NHL games on Apr. 28
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.; TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The Blueshirts opened up their second round series with a 3-1 win over the Capitals in Game 1 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. New York has now won five of their last eight opening games of playoff series dating back to the 2007 playoffs. The Rangers enter the contest with a 203-219-8 record all-time in 430 playoff contests (113-85-2 at home; 90-134-6 on the road). New York has posted a 45-47-2 record all-time in Game 2 of playoff series.
New York entered the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference having posted a record of 51-24-7 overall (27-12-2 at home; 24-12-5 on the road) for 109 points. The Rangers’ 51 wins ranked second in franchise history, while their 109 points tied for second all-time. The Blueshirts finished second in the NHL overall, tied for first in wins and led the league with 47 wins in regulation and overtime. New York is one of four Eastern Conference teams to have posted 40 or more wins in at least six seasons since 2005-06, and one of four teams in the East to have advanced to the playoffs in six of the last seven years.
ALL-TIME RANGERS PLAYOFF RECORDS:
* Overall — 203-219-8
* Home — 113-85-2
* Away — 90-134-6
* Goals for — 1,192
* Goals against — 1,186
ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS — RANGERS vs. CAPITALS
The Rangers and Capitals are meeting in the playoffs for the seventh time overall and the third time in four years. Their last postseason encounter was in last year’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a series won by Washington 4-1. Overall, the Blueshirts have a 2-4 playoff series record vs. the Capitals, posting a 16-19 mark in 35 postseason contests.
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
* All-Time (Regular Season): 85-86-18-5 overall (47-38-9-2 at home; 38-48-9-3 on the road)
* 2011-12: New York was 2-2-0 overall (1-1-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Rangers out-shot the Capitals, 129-87, including a 47-24 advantage in the third. Ryan Callahan led the team with four assists and five points in the season series, while Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko tied for the team-high with two goals. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA, and Martin Biron was 0-1-0 with a 4.01 GAA.
* The Rangers have won five of their last seven regular season games against the Capitals, out-scoring Washington, 26-14, over the span
* New York lists one former Capital on their roster: Steve Eminger (2002-03 – 2007-08)
* Washington lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Knuble (1998-99 – 1999-00); Tom Poti (2001-02 – 2005-06)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. CAPITALS (Regular Season):
* Henrik Lundqvist — 22 GP, 13-7-2, 2.78 GAA, 3 SO
* Martin Biron — 23 GP, 11-9-1-2, 2.56 GAA, 1 SO
* Brad Richards — 50 GP, 8-27-35
* Ryan Callahan — 18 GP, 8-7-15
* Marc Staal — 17 GP, 1-6-7
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play attempts (6:27) in Game 1, and are now 5-36 (13.9%) in eight playoff contests. New York is 1-1 in five-on-three situations (0:40; last – 4/23 at OTT), and 0-1 while skating four-on-three (0:30; last – 4/23 at OTT). Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Capitals scoreless in four shorthanded situations (5:54) in Game 1, and are now 26-30 (86.7%) in eight playoff contests. New York is 1-1 in three-on-five situations (0:33; last – 4/28 vs. WSH). Shorthanded goals for (0).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:33) in Game 1. The Rangers are even in six four-on-four situations (7:47). Four-on-four goals for (0). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
Rangers rookie Chris Kreider notched his first goal at Madison Square Garden with the game-winner, and added his first career assist in Game 1 on Saturday. He became the youngest Rangers player to record two points in a playoff game since Niklas Sundstrom on May 11, 1996, and the first Blueshirt rookie to register a multi-point effort in the postseason since Brandon Dubinsky on May 1, 2008. Kreider is tied for first in the NHL with two game-winning goals in playoffs, and is the first New York rookie to register two game-winning goals in the postseason since Mike Allison in the 1981 playoffs.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in six of eight games this postseason, including four games in which he has held opponents to one goal or less. He has allowed five goals total in the last four games, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.26 GAA and .950 Sv% over the span.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
The Rangers have won their last six playoff series in which they held home-ice advantage, including a 4-1 series win against Washington in the 1994 Conference Semifinals.
New York has posted a 31-11 series record when winning Game 1, including wins in six of the last seven playoff series in which the Rangers won the opening game.
The Blueshirts’ 2-1 win in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Ottawa was the first time in franchise history the Rangers had multiple goals scored by defensemen in Game 7 of a playoff series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was also the first time since 1950 that any NHL team won a Game 7 without having a forward score a goal in the contest.
New York became only the second team since 2005-06 to win Games 6 and 7 of a playoff series after losing Games 4 and 5, following Philadelphia in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Buffalo. Teams in that situation are now 2-15 over the span. It was also just the second time in franchise history the Rangers have come back from a 2-3 series deficit to advance in the playoffs, having also done so in the 1994 Conference Finals against New Jersey.
The Rangers 41 shots in Game 5 of their first round matchup against Ottawa were the most by the Blueshirts in a playoff game since they registered 46 shots in a 2-1 double overtime win against Buffalo on Apr. 29, 2007, in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. The last time the Rangers registered at least 41 shots in a playoff game that ended in regulation was Apr. 20, 1997, when they registered 44 shots on goal against Florida in a 3-0 win in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
The Blueshirts’ 1-0 win in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Ottawa was the 200th playoff victory in franchise history and the Rangers’ 38th postseason shutout all-time. It was also the 11th time New York won a playoff game with a final score of 1-0, but only the second time since the 1940 playoffs.
SETTING THE PACE
The Rangers held the lead for 191:52, were tied for 159:35 and trailed for 72:32 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Ottawa. The Blueshirts tallied the first goal in five of the seven games.
* Six Rangers have made their NHL playoff debut this year – Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Anton Stralman, and Chris Kreider (NHL debut)
* Seven Rangers have registered their first career playoff point this year – Brian Boyle (goal), Anton Stralman (assist), Carl Hagelin (assist), Michael Del Zotto (assist), Derek Stepan (goal), Chris Kreider (goal), and Ryan McDonagh (assist)
* Five Rangers have notched their first career playoff goal this year – Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and Dan Girardi
* Seven Rangers have tallied their first career playoff assist this year – Artem Anisimov, Anton Stralman, Carl Hagelin, Michael Del Zotto, Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Chris Kreider
KING HENRIK’S ASCENSION
Henrik Lundqvist continues to climb the Rangers’ all-time playoff leaders list in several goaltending categories. He posted a 39-save shutout, his fourth career in the playoffs, in a 1-0 win in Game 3 of the Conference Quarterfinals at Ottawa, to pass Andy Aitkenhead for fifth place on the Rangers’ all-time playoff shutouts list. Lundqvist passed John Vanbiesbrouck for third in franchise history with his 39th career playoff appearance in Game 4 at Ottawa, while his 25-save effort in a 3-2 win in Game 6 at Ottawa moved him past Dave Kerr for third all-time with 18 playoff victories.
COOL UNDER PRESSURE
Henrik Lundqvist has posted 30 or more saves in the playoffs 13 times, posting a 6-7 record with a 1.85 GAA, .945 Sv% and two shutouts in those contests.
THREE OF A KIND
On Apr. 16, Henrik Lundqvist became the third goaltender in NHL history, and second in as many days (Jonathan Quick, LAK), to post 39 or more saves in a 1-0 shutout victory in a non-overtime playoff game. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
PLACE IN TEAM HISTORY
The Blueshirts’ 51 wins this season ranked second in franchise history, while their 109 points tied for second all-time. The Rangers also tied the franchise record for most road wins in a season with 24 victories away from MSG. 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 tied as the second fewest games to reach 40 wins in team history.
New York ascended to the top position in the Eastern Conference following games played on Dec. 26 (game #34), and held that position for two days before reclaiming the top spot for good following games played on Dec. 30 (game #36). The Blueshirts clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 5-3 win on Apr. 3 at Philadelphia. It is the first time since 1993-94 the Rangers finished atop the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings.
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 8
* Mats Zuccarello (fractured wrist, 3/23) — 8
* Brian Boyle (injured, 4/21) — 3
* Brandon Dubinsky (injured, 4/26) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 237
Total Man-Games Lost (Playoffs): 27
* Apr. 10 – Agreed to terms with forward Chris Kreider to an entry level deal