Courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Saturday, Feb. 2, 7:00 p.m.
Tampa Bay Times Forum – Tampa, FL
Rangers: 3-4-0 (6 pts)
Lightning: 5-1-0 (10 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Plus; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), to begin a two-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank 11th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 3-4-0 (6 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden to close out their three-game homestand with a 2-1-0 mark, and are now 3-2-0 in their last five contests. The Lightning was 5-1-0 (10 pts) to rank second in the Eastern Conference, and have won four straight games heading into their contest Friday against Winnipeg. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will conclude their two-game road trip when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division matchup.
RANGERS vs. LIGHTNING:
- All-Time: 39-29-5-7 overall (22-13-2-4 at home; 17-16-3-3 on the road)
- 2013: Tonight is the first of three meetings this season.
- Last Season: New York was 2-0-2 overall (1-0-1 mark at home; 1-0-1 mark on the road). Three of their four meetings were decided in extra time, including one contest that required the shootout. The team who tallied the game’s first goal was winless in the series, posting a combined record of 0-1-3. The Rangers’ power play was 3-13 (23.1%) in the season series, while their penalty kill was 10-11 (90.9%) with one shorthanded goal. Derek Stepan registered a series-leading, six points, including a team-high, four assists in four games. Ryan Callahan led all skaters with two power play goals, while Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto tied for the series lead among defensemen with three assists/points apiece.
- Six of the last seven meetings between the Rangers and Lightning have been decided by one goal, including five that required extra time and two that went into the shootout
- The Rangers have registered a point in 13 of their last 16 games against the Lightning (9-3-4 over the span), dating back to a 2-1 win at Tampa Bay on Oct. 4, 2008
- Henrik Lundqvist has started 27 of the Rangers’ last 28 contests against Tampa Bay, posting a record of 14-7-6 with a 2.16 GAA, .923 Sv% and two shutouts over the span
- New York is tied for 28th in the NHL with an 0-2-0 (0 pts) record on the road; Tampa Bay ranks second in the NHL with a 4-0-0*** (8 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers have not skated against a Southeast Division opponent this season; the Lightning are 1-1-0 vs. the Atlantic Division this season
- New York lists three former Lightning on their roster: Steve Eminger (2008-09); Matt Gilroy (2011-12); Brad Richards (2000-01 – 2007-08)
- Tampa Bay lists one former Ranger on their roster: Adam Hall (2006-07)
- Rangers’ Head Coach John Tortorella served as Lightning Head Coach from 2000-01 to 2007-08, posting a record of 239-222-36-38 in 535 games while guiding Tampa Bay to four consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff appearances, two Southeast Division Championships (2002-03, 2003-04) and the franchise’s only Stanley Cup Championship in 2003-04; Rangers’ Assistant Coach Mike Sullivan served as an assistant coach with the Lightning in 2007-08 and 2008-09
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. LIGHTNING:
- Henrik Lundqvist — 27 GP, 14-7-6, 2.16 GAA, 2 SO
- Martin Biron — 20 GP, 11-7-2-0, 2.67 GAA
- Marian Gaborik — 15 GP, 8-8-16
- Jeff Halpern — 39 GP, 9-13-22
- Brad Richards — 7 GP, 3-7-10
- Michael Del Zotto — 7 GP, 0-6-6
- Power Play: The Blueshirts were 0-4 (7:09) on Thursday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now 3-28 (10.7%) 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 (11:10) on Thursday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now 29-36 (80.6%) this season. The Rangers are 2-2 (3:12) in three-on-five situations (last –1/29 vs. PHI), and 2-2 (1:57) when three-on-four (last – 1/31 vs. PIT). 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 (0:34) on Thursday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now minus-1 in eight four-on-four situations (7:49) 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 posted a record of 15-3-2 against the Southeast Division last season, out-scoring their opponents, 67-42, in those contests.
Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella and alternate captain Brad Richards were both key members of the Tampa Bay Lightning team that won the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship. In 2003-04, Tortorella guided the Lightning to a franchise record 46 wins and 106 points to win the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach, while Richards led the league with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 23 playoff contests to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP that season.
Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan both reached significant scoring milestones during the Rangers’ three-game homestand that concluded on Thursday. Stepan tallied his 100th career NHL point with an assist in a 5-2 victory on Jan. 26 against the Maple Leafs, while Callahan notched his 200th career NHL point with the game-winning, power play goal in a 2-1 win on Tuesday against the Flyers.
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 lead the league in hits (222) and are tied for fifth in blocked shots (105) this season. Brian Boyle ranks second in the NHL with 30 hits. Ryan McDonagh leads the Rangers and is tied for 17th in the NHL with 16 blocked shots, while Dan Girardi is tied for 20th in the league with 15 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 three of the last four contests; is 3-2-0 with a 2.20 GAA and a .919 Sv% in the last five games, including a 2-1-0 mark with a 2.00 GAA and .918 Sv% in the last three
- Michael Del Zotto — six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six games, including four points (two goals, two assists) in the last three contests
- Marian Gaborik — eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last five games
- Rick Nash — six points (one goal, five assists) in the last seven games, including three assists in the last three contests
- Brad Richards — six points (two goals, four assists) in the last seven games
- Derek Stepan — four assists in the last six games
- Marc Staal — three points (one goal, two assists) 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
- Benn Ferriero — 5 games from 100th NHL career
- Matt Gilroy — 5 games from 200th NHL career
- Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 7
- Chris Kreider (ankle, 1/25) — 3
- Ryan Callahan (shoulder, 1/29) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 13