We’re going to do the Live Chat Friday at noon … which should be very interesting if tonight turns out to be anything like the last game. Also, let’s remember all the bad blood from that first-round series last spring, when, among other things, Teflon Chris Neil threatened that he will catch Michael Del Zotto with his head down. Among other things.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at OTTAWA SENATORS
Thursday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Scotiabank Place – Ottawa, ON
Rangers: 8-6-1 (17 pts)
Senators: 9-6-2 (20 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in their first meeting since the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 8-6-1 (17 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, to conclude their three-game homestand with a 1-1-1 mark. The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in nine of their last 13 contests (8-4-1) after dropping the first two games of the season. The Senators enter the contest with a 9-6-2 (20 pts) record to rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last two games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m.), in their second meeting in four days.
RANGERS vs. SENATORS:
- All-Time: 33-35-3-3 overall (14-21-0-2 at home; 19-14-3-1 on the road)
- 2013: Tonight is the first of three meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Scotiabank Place
- Last Season: New York was 1-2-1 overall (0-1-1 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Two of the four meetings were decided by one goal, including one that required the shootout. Marian Gaborik led the Rangers in scoring with three goals and five points in four games, while Derek Stepan tallied a team-high, three assists to go along with a one goal. Henrik Lundqvist was 1-1-1 with a 2.92 GAA and .905 Sv%, and Martin Biron was 0-1-0 with a 3.08 GAA and .857 Sv%.
- The Rangers have registered at least one point in 10 of their last 15 games against the Senators, posting a record of 8-5-2 over the span
- The Blueshirts have won six of their last seven games at Ottawa, out-scoring the Senators, 20-12, in those contests
- Henrik Lundqvist has appeared in 26 of the Rangers’ last 27 meetings with Ottawa, dating back to Dec. 26, 2005
- New York ranks 26th in the NHL with a 2-3-0 (6 pts) record on the road; Ottawa is tied for second in the NHL with a 6-1-2 (14 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers are 3-2-0 vs. the Northeast Division this season; the Senators are 2-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season
- New York lists one former Senator on their roster: Matt Gilroy (2011-12)
- Ottawa lists no former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. SENATORS:
Henrik Lundqvist — 26 GP, 11-12-2, 2.05 GAA, 1 SO
Martin Biron — 31 GP, 14-10-2-2, 2.80 GAA, 2 SO
Brad Richards — 35 GP, 13-13-26
Marian Gaborik — 16 GP, 8-10-18
Arron Asham — 35 GP, 8-6-14
Derek Stepan — 8 GP, 3-4-7
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in each of the last six contests (17 times shorthanded). New York has posted a record of 4-2-1 when holding opponents scoreless on the power play.
Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (4:00) on Tuesday vs. Montreal. New York ranks 30th overall (6-55, 10.9%) and 28th on the road (1-20, 5.0%). The Rangers are 1-6 (7:05) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/14 vs. NYI), and 0-0 (0:00) when four-on-three. Shorthanded goals allowed (1): 2/19 vs. MTL (Diaz, EN).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Canadiens scoreless in one attempt (2:00) on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. New York ranks seventh overall (49-58, 84.5%) and 10th on the road (16-19, 84.2%). 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 skate in a four-on-four situation on Tuesday vs. Montreal, and are now minus-1 in 10 four-on-four situations (18:35) 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 have registered a point in six of seven games when scoring the first goal this season, posting a record of 5-1-1 in those contests, compared to 3-5-0 when allowing the game’s first goal. The Blueshirts have posted a 5-0-1 mark when leading after the first period, and are 5-0-0 when leading after the second period.
The Blueshirts have posted a record of 5-2-1 when out-shooting their opponents, which ranks ninth in the NHL. The Rangers are 3-4-0 when being out-shot by their opponent.
A BROADWAY HIT
The Rangers rank second in the NHL in hits (459) this season, led by captain Ryan Callahan who ranks seventh in the league with 53 hits. Brian Boyle ranks second on the team and is tied for eighth in the NHL with 52 hits, while Marc Staal leads all Rangers defensemen and is tied for 10th among NHL blueliners with 38 hits.
The Blueshirts have had nine players make their Rangers debut this season – Jeff Halpern, Rick Nash, Taylor Pyatt, Brandon Segal, Arron Asham, Benn Ferriero, Darroll Powe, J.T. Miller and Brandon Mashinter.
Rangers’ rookie J.T. Miller notched two goals while making his Madison Square Garden debut on Feb. 7 in a 4-1 win against the New York Islanders. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Ranger (rookie or otherwise) to tally multiple goals in his MSG debut was Chris Kontos in a 6-2 win against Detroit on Jan. 3, 1983. Miller (19 years, 330 days) is the youngest Ranger to tally multiple goals in a single game since Alex Kovalev posted a hat trick on Dec. 27, 1992, at the age of 19 years, 307 days.
THE HOT LIST:
The Rangers have registered at least one point in nine of their last 13 contests (8-4-1), including points in five of the last six games (4-1-1), after dropping the first two games of the season
The Rangers’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in each of the last six games (17 times shorthanded)
Henrik Lundqvist — is 7-4-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .924 Sv% in his last 11 games; has held opponents to two goals or less in seven of his last 10 games (6-4-0, 1.90 GAA, .927 Sv% over the span)
Carl Hagelin — enters the contest with a career-high, five-game point streak (five goals, three assists over the span); has tallied 10 points (six goals, four assists) in the last eight games
Dan Girardi — four points (one goal, three assists) in the last five games
Derek Stepan — has registered a point in three of the last four games (two goals, one assist over the span)
Ryan McDonagh — four points (one goal, three assists) in the last six games
Marc Staal — four assists in the last six games
Rick Nash — has tallied an assist/point in each of his last four games (one goal, four assists over the span)
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
Ryan Callahan — 6 assists from 100th NHL career
Michael Del Zotto — 4 points from 100th NHL career
Steve Eminger — 4 points from 100th NHL career
Brad Richards — 7 points from 800th NHL career
Marc Staal — 6 points from 100th NHL career
Anton Stralman — 6 points from 100th NHL career
Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 15
Darroll Powe (concussion, 2/17) — 1
Rick Nash (injured, 2/19) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 28
Feb. 13 — Assigned defenseman Steve Eminger to Connecticut (AHL) for conditioning
Feb. 15 — Assigned forward Chris Kreider to Connecticut (AHL)
Feb. 16 — Recalled forward Chris Kreider from Connecticut (AHL)
Feb. 18 — Recalled forward Brandon Mashinter from Connecticut (AHL)
Feb. 18 — Agreed to terms with goaltender Cam Talbot on a new contract