Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 1
Monday, May 14, 8:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers (Regular Season): 51-24-7 (109 pts), 1st in East
Devils (Regular Season): 48-28-6 (102 pts), 6th in East
* All information through NHL games on May 11
The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.; TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: ESPN Radio), in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. New York is coming off a 2-1 win on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, in Game 7 of their Conference Semifinal series against the Washington Capitals. The Blueshirts improved to 5-0 all-time in Game 7s played at MSG, and 38-28 in potential series clinchers as they advanced to the Conference Final for the first time since 1997. The Rangers enter the contest with a 206-222-8 record all-time in 436 playoff contests (115-86-2 at home; 91-136-6 on the road). New York has posted a 43-47-5 record all-time in Game 1 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 — 206-222-8
* Home — 115-86-2
* Away — 91-136-6
* Goals for — 1,204
* Goals against — 1,198
ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS — RANGERS vs. DEVILS
The Rangers and Devils are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time overall and the third time in seven years. Their last postseason encounter was in the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a series won by the Rangers, 4-1. Overall, the Blueshirts have a 4-1 playoff series record vs. the Devils, posting a 16-12 mark in 28 postseason contests.
RANGERS vs. DEVILS:
* All-Time (Regular Season): 101-84-27-6 overall (56-30-20-2 at home; 45-54-7-4 on the road)
* 2011-12: New York was 3-2-1 overall (2-1-0 at home; 1-1-1 on the road). Four of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less. Carl Hagelin led all skaters with six assists and eight points in the season series. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-2-0 with a 1.41 GAA, .940 Sv% and one shutout, while Martin Biron made 26 saves in his only appearance (4-3 shootout loss).
* Thirteen of their last 17 regular season meetings have been decided by two goals or less
* The Blueshirts have seven players with previous playoff experience against the Devils, led by Brad Richards (11 GP) who has registered three goals and eight assists against New Jersey entering the series
* New York lists one former Devil on their roster: Mike Rupp (2002-03 – 2003-04, 2006-07 – 2008-09)
* New Jersey lists one former Ranger on their roster: Petr Sykora (2005-06)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. DEVILS (Regular Season):
* Henrik Lundqvist — 41 GP, 25-11-5, 1.79 GAA, 6 SO
* Brad Richards — 38 GP, 5-28-33
* Marian Gaborik — 24 GP, 8-12-20
* Ryan Callahan — 25 GP, 7-9-16
* Dan Girardi — 35 GP, 1-13-14
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (3:38) in Game 7, and are now 9-57 (15.8%) in 14 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 one shorthanded situation (1:38) in Game 7, and are now 38-46 (82.6%) in 14 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 (0:22) in Game 7. The Rangers are plus-one in nine four-on-four situations (10:22). Four-on-four goals for (1): Richards (4/30 vs. WSH). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers have won their last seven playoff series in which they held home-ice advantage, including a 4-3 series win against New Jersey in the 1994 Conference Final.
SETTING THE PACE
New York has posted a 32-11 series record when winning Game 1, including wins in seven of the last eight playoff series in which the Rangers won the opening game.
The Rangers advanced to the Conference Final behind a pair of 2-1 Game 7 victories, defeating the Ottawa Senators in their Conference Quarterfinal series and the Washington Capitals in the Conference Semifinals. New York remains undefeated in Game 7s played at MSG, having posted a record of 5-0 in those contests. The Rangers are 5-5 all-time in Game 7s, with eight of the 10 games being decided by one goal. Head Coach John Tortorella is 4-1 all-time in Game 7s, with the final score of all five contests being 2-1.
The Rangers won their 100th victory all-time against the New Jersey Devils franchise on Feb. 27. The Blueshirts held the Devils to a season-low, 13 shots against in the 2-0 victory, the fewest shots allowed by the Rangers in a game since they held Calgary to 11 shots on goal on Jan. 19, 1981 at MSG. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
The Rangers are 20-8-3 overall (11-4-1 at home; 9-4-2 on the road) against the Devils in the regular season since 2007-08, dating back to a 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2007. Henrik Lundqvist is 20-8-2 with a 1.96 GAA, .929 Sv% and six shutouts in 30 games over the span.
Henrik Lundqvist has faced-off against Martin Brodeur in 34 career regular season games, posting a record of 23-6-5 with a 1.73 GAA, .935 Sv% and five shutouts over the span.
Eleven of the Rangers’ 14 playoff games have been decided by one goal, including four that were decided in OT. The other three games were decided by two goals. The Blueshirts and Capitals were separated by one goal in six of seven games, with two games requiring OT, and were tied or separated by one goal for 91.1% of the total playing time in the series.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
The team that scored the first goal of the game in the Rangers’ Semifinal series against the Capitals was undefeated. Overall, New York has tallied the game’s first goal in nine games during the playoffs, posting a record of 7-2 in those contests.
New York leads the league with 486 hits in the playoffs. The Blueshirts have five players ranked in the top 11 in the NHL – Ryan Calahan (1st, 63), Michael Del Zotto (5th, 47), Brandon Prust (T-6th, 45), Brian Boyle (9th, 42), and Dan Girardi (T-11th, 40).
The Rangers rank second in the NHL with 267 blocked shots in the playoffs, paced by Dan Girardi (47) and Ryan McDonagh (39) who rank first and second in the league, respectively. The Blueshirts also have three forwards who rank in the top six in blocked shots among forwards, including Ryan Callahan (2nd, 23), Ruslan Fedotenko (3rd, 17) and Brad Richards (6th, 15).
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
Brad Richards’ goal with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation in Game 5 was the latest game-tying goal scored by the Rangers in the playoffs in franchise history, and the sixth game-tying goal tallied by the Blueshirts in the final minute of regulation all-time in the playoffs. Below is a complete list of last minute, game-tying goals by the Rangers in postseason action.
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 OT game for the Rangers was a 3-2 win vs. Chicago on Apr. 29, 1971, in Game 6 of their Semifinals series at MSG. Pete Stemkowski tallied the GWG at 1:29 of triple OT 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 GWG at 7:06 of the third OT in a 4-3 win at Pittsburgh*
*courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
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.
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 have had both NHL and AHL teams advance to the second round of their respective league’s playoffs. The Rangers’ AHL affiliate, Connecticut Whale, lost to Norfolk, 4-2, in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 14
* Mats Zuccarello (fractured wrist, 3/23) — 14
* Brandon Dubinsky (injured, 4/26) — 7
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 237
Total Man-Games Lost (Playoffs): 45