Courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Sunday, Jan. 20, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden — New York, NY
Rangers: 0-1-0 (0 pts)
Penguins: 1-0-0 (2 pts)
The Rangers will complete a back-to-back set when they face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in their 2013 regular season home opener. The Blueshirts enter the contest having been defeated by the Bruins, 3-1, last night at Boston, and are now 25-28-9 in season-opening games away from MSG. The Rangers posted a 10-2-2 record in the second game of back-to-back sets last season. The Penguins enter the contest with a 1-0-0 (2 pts) record, following a 3-1 win in their season opener yesterday at Philadelphia. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.), in an Original Six matchup.
Tonight’s home opener will allow fans to experience the additional amenities that are part of Phase II of the historic three year, top-to-bottom Madison Square Garden Transformation. Among many other elements, Phase II marked the debut of a new exhibit honoring the Arena’s storied 130 year history called “Garden 366.”The exhibit wraps the circumference of the Madison Concourse (6th floor) and highlights a moment in Garden history for every day of the year. Today’s “Garden 366” moment is: January 20, 1995 – Rangers raise 1994 Stanley Cup banner following the NHL lockout.
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
All-Time: 117-100-23-8 overall (65-48-9-3 at home; 52-53-14-5 on the road)
2013: Tonight is the first of five meetings this season, and the first of three at Madison Square Garden.
Last Season: New York was 2-4-0 overall (1-2-0 mark at home; 1-2-0 mark on the road). The Rangers penalty kill was 15-17 (88.2%) in the season series. Brad Richards led the team with four assists and six points, while Marian Gaborik (two goals, three assists) and Carl Hagelin (two goals, two assists) tied Richards with a team-high, two goals apiece. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-2-0 with a 2.28 GAA and .931 Sv%, while Martin Biron was 0-2-0 with a 4.54 GAA and .857 Sv%.
The Rangers have registered at least one point in nine of their last 14 games against the Penguins (7-5-2 over the span)
New York ranked seventh with a 27-12-2 (56 pts) record at home last season; Pittsburgh ranked sixth with a 22-15-4 (48 pts) mark on the road last season
The Rangers were 15-7-2 vs. the Atlantic Division last season; the Penguins were 13-10-1 vs. the Atlantic Division last season
New York lists two former Penguins on their roster: Arron Asham (2010-11 – 2011-12); 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 — 35 GP, 13-17-3-2, 3.07 GAA, 2 SO
Brad Richards — 33 GP, 8-26-34
Marian Gaborik — 24 GP, 10-12-22
Dan Girardi — 36 GP, 1-11-12
The Blueshirts posted a record of 25-2-4 in games when tallying a power play goal last season, and 34-13-3 when not allowing a power play goal.
Power Play: The Blueshirts were 0-5 (7:11) yesterday at Boston. Last season, the Rangers’ power play tallied eight goals in the final six games of the regular season (8-27, 29.6% over the span), and 13-56 (23.2%) in the final 15 games. New York ranked 23rd overall (44-280, 15.7%) and 19th on the road (21-134, 15.7%). The Rangers were 4-18 (13:15) in five-on-three situations (last 4/5 at PIT), and 2-9 (12:08) when four-on-three (last 3/11 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (4): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski); 4/5 at PIT (Letang).
Penalty Killing: The Rangers were 7-7 (11:40) yesterday at Boston. Last season, New York’s penalty kill was 52-60 (86.7%) in the final 20 games, and tied for seventh in the NHL with eight shorthanded goals. New York ranked fifth overall (224-260, 86.2%) and sixth on the road (124-142, 87.3%). The Rangers were 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 two four-on-four situations (1:18) yesterday at Boston. Last season, the Rangers were plus-seven in 84 four-on-four situations (151:10), 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).
The Rangers have posted a record of 36-33-16 in 85 home openers all-time at Madison Square Garden
The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in seven of their last eight home openers, posting a record of 4-1-1-2 over the span dating back to the 2003-04 season
New York established franchise records for most goals for and largest margin of victory in a home opener with a 7-0 win vs. Toronto on Nov. 20, 1932
The Blueshirts have posted nine shutouts all-time in home openers, with the last shutout in a home-opening game on Oct. 16, 2003 vs. Atlanta (Mike Dunham, 0-0); Andy Aitkenhead has posted a franchise record, two shutouts in home openers (Nov. 20, 1932 vs. Toronto and Nov. 18, 1934 vs. St. Louis)
SEASON OPENERS RECAP:
The Rangers are now 35-37-14 all-time in 86 season-opening games, including a 25-28-9 record in 62 season openers away from MSG
New York has out-scored their opponents, 244-242 in season-openers
The Rangers are 22-22-5-1 all-time in the second game of the season when not winning their season opener
Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella has now posted a record of 6-3-1 in 10 career season-opening games for a .650 winning percentage
Henrik Lundqvist is now 4-2-1 with a 2.42 goals against average and .919 save percentage in seven career season-opening games. He is one win shy of Gump Worsley’s franchise record of five career wins in season openers.
The Blueshirts had four players make their Rangers debut in yesterday’s season opener at Boston –Jeff Halpern, Rick Nash (assist), Taylor Pyatt and Brandon Segal. In addition, Chris Kreider made his NHL regular season debut after skating in 18 playoff contests with the Rangers last season. Arron Asham, who served the final game of a four-game suspension he received during last season’s playoffs as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, will look to make his Rangers debut in tonight’s home opener against the Penguins.
The Rangers will conclude their first of six back-to-back sets this season tonight against Pittsburgh. Last season, New York posted a combined record of 19-4-5 in back-to-back games, 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, and were 7-1-1 in the second game when opening the set with a win. Since 2009-10, New York is 31-10-4 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 15-3-1 mark at MSG and 16-7-3 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 59 times in his career, posting a record of 38-14-7 with a 1.84 GAA, .934 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game.
RANGERS RECORD WHEN… (last season):
Leading after the 1st period — 21-3-3 (16th in NHL)
Leading after the 2nd period — 30-0-3 (8th in NHL)
Trailing after two periods — 5-18-1 (5th in NHL; five 3rd period comeback wins)
Out-shooting their opponent — 30-13-1 (1st in NHL)
Scoring first — 35-5-3 (3rd in NHL)
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
Ryan Callahan — 2 points from 200th NHL career
Steve Eminger — 4 points from 100th NHL career
Derek Stepan — 4 points from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
Chris Kreider — 1st career NHL game (1/19 at BOS)
Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 1
Jan. 13 — Agreed to terms with defenseman Michael Del Zotto
Jan. 13 — Agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy
Jan. 16 — Acquired forward Brandon Mashinter from San Jose for forward Tommy Grant and a conditional pick in 2014
Jan. 16 — Recalled forward Brandon Segal from Connecticut (AHL) Jan. 19 — Assigned forward Brandon Segal to Connecticut (AHL)