pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Thursday, Jan. 31, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 3-3-0 (6 pts)
Penguins: 3-3-0 (6 pts)
The Rangers will complete a three-game homestand when they face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in an Atlantic Division matchup. The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 3-3-0 (6 pts) record, following a 2-1 win against the Flyers on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have won nine of their last 10 games against the Flyers, including a five-game winning streak at home. New York has won three of their last four contests, including three straight at home. The Penguins enter the contest with a 3-3-0 (6 pts) record, following a 4-1 loss on Tuesday against the Islanders. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Tampa Bay Times Forum (7:00 p.m.).
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
- All-Time: 117-101-23-8 overall (65-49-9-3 at home; 52-53-14-5 on the road)
- 2013: Tomorrow will be the second of five meetings this season, and the second of three meetings at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are 0-1-0 overall, following a 6-3 loss against the Penguins in the home opener on Jan. 20. The Blueshirts’ power play is 1-4 (25.0%) in the season series.
- 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%.
- New York is tied for fifth in the NHL with a 3-1-0 (6 pts) record at home; Pittsburgh is tied for second in the NHL with a 3-1-0 (6 pts) mark on the road
- The Rangers are 1-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division this season; the Penguins are 2-1-0 vs. the Atlantic Division this 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 — 43 GP, 22-16-5, 2.46 GAA, 2 SO
- Martin Biron —36 GP, 13-17-3-2, 3.05 GAA, 2 SO
- Brad Richards — 34 GP, 8-28-36
- Marian Gaborik — 25 GP, 10-12-22
- Rick Nash — 11 GP, 6-5-11
- Dan Girardi — 37 GP, 1-11-12
- Power Play: The Blueshirts were 1-2 (2:29) on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia, and are now 3-24 (12.5%) this season. The Rangers are 1-4 (5:15) in five-on-three situations (last – 1/24 at PHI), and 0-0 (0:00) when four-on-three. Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
- Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 5-6 (9:41) on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia, and are now 24-30 (80.0%) this season. The Rangers are 2-2 (3:12) in three-on-five situations (last –1/29 vs. PHI), and 1-1 (0:31) when three-on-four. Shorthanded goals for (1): 1/20 vs. PIT (Nash).
- Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:29) on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia, and are now minus-1 in seven four-on-four situations (7:15) this season. Four-on-four goals for (1): 1/23 vs. BOS (Gaborik). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 1/20 vs. PIT (Letang); 1/23 vs. BOS (Horton).
The Rangers are undefeated when scoring the first goal this season, posting a record of 2-0-0 in those contests, compared to 1-3-0 when allowing the game’s first goal. The Blueshirts have posted a 2-0-0 mark when leading after the first and second periods.
The Blueshirts are undefeated when out-shooting their opponents, posting a record of 3-0-0 in those contests. The Rangers are 0-3-0 when being out-shot by their opponent.
DOING THE DIRTY WORK
The Rangers are tied for first in the league in hits (188) and sixth in blocked shots (92) this season. Brian Boyle is tied for second in the NHL with 27 hits. Ryan McDonagh leads the Rangers and is tied for 11th in the NHL with 15 blocked shots, while Dan Girardi is tied for 16th in the league with 14 blocked shots. Rangers captain Ryan Callahan was tied for second in the league in hits (27) and sixth among NHL forwards in blocked shots (nine) at the time of his injury on Tuesday.
Marian Gaborik posted his 14th career hat trick, and fifth as a Ranger, in a 4-3 overtime win against the Boston Bruins on Jan. 23 at Madison Square Garden. He moved into a tie with Adam Graves, Andy Bathgate and Ron Duguay for 10th on the Rangers’ all-time hat trick list and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is now tied with Dallas’ Jaromir Jagr for second most career hat tricks among active NHL players. Gaborik’s game-winning goal 0:27 into overtime was his seventh tally and eighth point in the last six games against Boston.
THE HOT LIST:
- Henrik Lundqvist — has held opponents to two or fewer goals in each of the last three contests, and is 3-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA and a .925 Sv% in the last four games
- Michael Del Zotto — six points (two goals, four assists) in the last five games, including four points (two goals, two assists) in the last two contests
- Marian Gaborik — eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last four games
- Rick Nash — six points (one goal, five assists) in the last six games, including three assists in the last two contests
- Brad Richards — six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six games
- Derek Stepan — four assists in the last five games
- Marc Staal — three points (one goal, two assists) in the last four games
- Taylor Pyatt — three goals in the last five games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
- Michael Del Zotto — 5 points from 100th NHL career
- Steve Eminger — 4 points from 100th NHL career
- Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 6
- Chris Kreider (ankle, 1/25) — 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 10