Happy Cinco de Mayo! Please see the previous thread for the belated first-round predictions contest results.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 4 (NYR leads 2-1)
Saturday, May 5, 12:30 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 May 3
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (12:30 p.m.; TV: NBC; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The Blueshirts lead the series, 2-1, following a 2-1 triple overtime win over the Capitals in Game 3 on Wednesday at Verizon Center. It was the fifth longest game in franchise history, and ended New York’s seven-game overtime losing streak in the playoffs. The Rangers enter the contest with a 204-220-8 record all-time in 432 playoff contests (113-86-2 at home; 91-134-6 on the road). New York has posted a 39-30 record all-time in Game 4 of playoff series, including a 5-2 mark since 2007.
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 — 204-220-8
Home — 113-86-2
Away — 91-134-6
Goals for — 1,196
Goals against — 1,190
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 17-20 mark in 37 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 four power play attempts (6:45) in Game 3, and are now 7-43 (16.3%) in 10 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 three shorthanded situations (5:47) in Game 3, and are now 31-36 (86.1%) in 10 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 (0:13) in Game 3. The Rangers are plus-one in eight four-on-four situations (10:00). Four-on-four goals for (1): Richards (4/30 vs. WSH). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
A few notes on the Rangers’ 2-1 triple OT win in Game 3…
Was the fifth longest game in franchise history at 114:41
Marked the seventh time the Rangers skated in a game that required at least three OT periods
Was the longest Rangers game since Mar. 21, 1939 (119:25, 2-1 loss vs. Boston)
Was the second longest game resulting in a win for the Rangers all-time (Mar. 26, 1932; 119:32, 4-3 win at Montreal)
The last triple overtime game for the Rangers was a 3-2 win vs. Chicago on Apr. 29, 1971, in Game 6 of their Semifinals series at Madison Square Garden. Pete Stemkowski tallied the game-winning goal at 1:29 of triple overtime to send that series into a Game 7.
Was the longest NHL game since May 4, 2008, when Dallas defeated San Jose, 2-1, at 9:03 of the fourth OT*
The last NHL game that required at least three OT periods was on Apr. 22, 2010, when Ottawa’s Matt Carkner tallied the game-winning goal at 7:06 of the third OT in a 4-3 win at Pittsburgh*
*courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
The Rangers tied the franchise record for most shots on goal in a playoff game with 49 in Game 3, while the Blueshirts and Capitals combined for 95 shots in the contest. The 95 shots are the most in an NHL game since Boston and Philadelphia combined for 95 shots on goal on May 2, 2011. The Blueshirts registered 22 total shots on goal after regulation which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is the most by the Rangers in the expansion era (since 1967). The two teams combined for 39 shots in the three OT periods, which is also a franchise record for most shots on goal after regulation.
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. 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 seven of 10 games this postseason, including five games in which he has held opponents to one goal or less. He has allowed nine goals total in the last six games, posting a 4-2 record with a 1.31 GAA and .948 Sv% over the span.
The Rangers lead the NHL with 225 blocked shots in the playoffs, paced by Dan Girardi (42) and Ryan McDonagh (33) who rank first and second in the league, respectively. The Blueshirts also have three forwards who rank in the top four in blocked shots among forwards, including Ryan Callahan (1st, 19), Ruslan Fedotenko (3rd, 15) and Brad Richards (4th, 14).
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 14 times, posting a 7-7 record with a 1.69 GAA, .948 Sv% and two shutouts in those contests.
ON THE FARM
The Rangers organization is the only to still have both NHL and AHL teams in their respective league’s playoffs. The Rangers’ AHL affiliate, Connecticut Whale, is currently leading their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Norfolk Admirals, 1-0.
Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 10
Mats Zuccarello (fractured wrist, 3/23) — 10
Brandon Dubinsky (injured, 4/26) — 3
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 237
Total Man-Games Lost (Playoffs): 33