Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 3 (Series tied 1-1)
Wednesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
Verizon Center – Washington, DC
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. 30
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m.; TV: NBC Sports; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The series is tied at one game apiece following the Blueshirts 3-2 loss to the Capitals in Game 2 on Monday at Madison Square Garden. The loss ended New York’s three-game winning streak, which included victories in Games 6 and 7 against Ottawa. The Rangers enter the contest with a 203-220-8 record all-time in 431 playoff contests (113-86-2 at home; 90-134-6 on the road). New York has posted a 34-42 record all-time in Game 3 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 — 203-220-8
Home — 113-86-2
Away — 90-134-6
Goals for — 1,194
Goals against — 1,189
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 16-20 mark in 36 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, 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
The Blueshirts have 16 players with previous playoff experience against the Capitals, led by Brandon Dubinsky (12 GP) and Ruslan Fedotenko (18 GP) who have both tallied three goals and four assists entering the series
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, 2.77 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
Brian Boyle — 13 GP, 5-5-10
Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in three power play attempts (4:56) in Game 2, and are now 6-39 (15.4%) in nine 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 surrendered one goal to the Capitals in three shorthanded situations (4:04) in Game 2, and are now 28-33 (84.8%) in nine 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 tallied one goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) in Game 2. The Rangers are plus-one in seven four-on-four situations (9:47). Four-on-four goals for (1): Richards (4/30 vs. WSH). 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 the 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 nine games this postseason, including four games in which he has held opponents to one goal or less. He has allowed eight goals total in the last five games, posting a 3-2 record with a 1.61 GAA and .937 Sv% over the span.
The Rangers lead the NHL with 184 blocked shots in the playoffs, paced by Dan Girardi (36) and Ryan McDonagh (25) who rank first and third in the league, respectively. The Blueshirts also have three forwards who rank in the top five in blocked shots among forwards, including Ryan Callahan (T-1st, 14), Brad Richards (T-3rd, 12) and Ruslan Fedotenko (T-3rd, 12).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 9
Mats Zuccarello (fractured wrist, 3/23) — 9
Brandon Dubinsky (injured, 4/26) — 2
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 237
Total Man-Games Lost (Playoffs): 30