pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Thursday, Mar. 7, 7:00 p.m.
Nassau Coliseum – Uniondale, NY
Rangers: 11-8-2 (24 pts)
Islanders: 10-11-2 (22 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 11-8-2 (24 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, to extend their winning streak to three games and complete their four-game homestand with a 3-1-0 record. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 1-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets this season. The Islanders enter the contest with a 10-11-2 (22 pts) record to rank 10th in the Eastern Conference, and have recorded a point in three straight games (2-0-1). Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow, Mar. 8, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to conclude their back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
• All-Time: 117-99-19-7 overall (69-37-11-5 at home; 48-62-8-2 on the road)
• 2013: Tonight is the third of four meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Nassau Coliseum. The Rangers are 1-0-1 overall (1-0-1 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 4-3 shootout loss on Feb. 14 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have out-scored the Islanders, 7-4, through two games, including a 4-0 advantage in the first period. The Blueshirts’ power play is 2-6 (33.3%) in the series, while the penalty kill is 6-6 (100.0%) through two games. Marian Gaborik (two goals, one assist) and Marc Staal (three assists) are tied for the series lead with three points apiece. Rangers’ rookie J.T. Miller is tied with Marian Gaborik for the series lead with two goals each. Henrik Lundqvist is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .964 Sv%, while Martin Biron is 0-0-1 with a 2.77 GAA and .903 Sv%.
• Last Season: New York was 4-1-1 overall (3-0-0 mark at home; 1-1-1 mark on the road). Five of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less, including two contests that required extra time. The Rangers out-scored the Islanders, 20-14, including a 16-9 advantage after the first period. The Blueshirts’ power play was 5-25 (20.0%), led by Brad Richards’ two power play goals. Marian Gaborik led the team with five goals and seven points in the season series, while Anton Stralman tallied a team-high, five assists. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-1-0 with a 1.97 GAA, .929 Sv% and one shutout, while Martin Biron was 1-0-1 with a 2.41 GAA and .906 Sv%.
• The Rangers have registered at least one point in 15 of their last 18 games against the Islanders, posting a record of 12-3-3 over the span, dating back to a 5-2 win on Dec. 17, 2009, at Long Island
• New York ranks 29th in the NHL with a 2-4-1 (5 pts) record on the road; Long Island ranks 29th in the NHL with a 4-8-1 (9 pts) mark at home
• The Rangers are 3-4-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season; the Islanders are 4-5-0 vs. the Atlantic Division this season
• New York lists five former Islanders on their roster: Arron Asham (2002-03 – 2006-07); Martin Biron (2009-10); Micheal Haley (2009-10 – 2011-12); Roman Hamrlik (2000-01 – 2003-04); Taylor Pyatt (2000-01)
• Long Island lists no former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. ISLANDERS:
• Henrik Lundqvist — 42 GP, 25-11-5, 2.15 GAA, 4 SO
• Martin Biron — 29 GP, 21-4-1-2, 2.06 GAA, 2 SO
• Marian Gaborik — 29 GP, 21-15-36
• Brad Richards — 38 GP, 13-22-35
• Ryan Callahan — 32 GP, 7-14-21
• Marc Staal — 30 GP, 3-9-12
The Rangers’ power play has tallied a goal in six of the last nine games (7-31, 22.6% over the span), while the Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 33-37 (89.2%) in the last 12 games. New York has posted a record of 6-3-1 when holding opponents scoreless on the power play.
• Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in four power play attempts (6:02) on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia. New York ranks 24th overall (11-75, 14.7%) and 27th on the road (2-26, 7.7%). The Rangers are 2-8 (7:46) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/3 vs. BUF), and 0-0 (0:00) when four-on-three. Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 2/19 vs. MTL (Diaz, EN); 2/21 at OTT (Silfverberg); 3/3 vs. BUF (Gerbe).
• Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered two goals to the Flyers in three attempts (2:42) on Tuesday at MSG. New York is tied for 10th overall (65-78, 83.3%) and ranks 17th on the road (20-25, 80.0%). The Rangers are 4-4 (5:21) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/3 vs. BUF), and 3-3 (4:19) when three-on-four (last – 3/3 vs. BUF). 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. Philadelphia, and are now minus-1 in 12 four-on-four situations (25:41) 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 will begin their third of six back-to-back sets this season tonight at Long Island. New York has posted a combined record of 1-3-0 in back-to-back games, including a 1-1-0 (1-0-0 at home, 0-1-0 on the road) record in the first game and an 0-2-0 (0-1-0 at home, 0-1-0 on the road) mark in the second.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Rick Nash is currently tied for the team lead with seven goals on the season, with all seven of his goals being tallied in the third period. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first player in franchise history whose first seven goals to begin the season all came in the third period.
GOAL SCORING LEADERS SINCE 2009-10
Marian Gaborik has been among the league’s goal scoring leaders since joining the Rangers in 2009-10. Last season, Gaborik became the fifth player in Rangers history to record 100 goals in his first three seasons with the club, and became the third Ranger in franchise history to register multiple 40-goal seasons with the team. Entering this season, his 105 goals from 2009-10 to 2011-12 ranked seventh in the NHL, while his .48 goals per game average ranked third (behind Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin) over that time period. Including games played this season, Gaborik currently ranks seventh in the league with 112 goals scored and is tied for third with .46 goals per game since the beginning of the 2009-10 season.
A BROADWAY HIT
The Rangers rank third in the NHL in hits (640) this season. Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan leads the team and ranks 10th in the NHL with 75 hits, while Brian Boyle ranks second on the Rangers and 11th in the league with 73 hits.
The Rangers have had 12 players make their regular season debut with the team this season – Jeff Halpern, Rick Nash, Taylor Pyatt, Chris Kreider, Brandon Segal, Arron Asham, Benn Ferriero, Darroll Powe, J.T. Miller, Brandon Mashinter, Christian Thomas, and Micheal Haley.
• The Blueshirts out-shot the Lightning, 42-25, including a 20-3 advantage in the first period of their meeting on Feb. 28 at MSG. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Rangers had a 17-shot advantage in a period was on Jan. 9, 2010, when New York out-shot Boston, 21-3, in the second period.
• The Rangers’ power play has tallied a goal in six of the last nine games (7-31, 22.6% over the span)
• The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 33-37 (89.2%) in the last 12 games
• New York has registered a point in eight of nine games when scoring the first goal this season (7-1-1), and are 4-7-1 when allowing the game’s first goal
• The Blueshirts have posted a 6-0-1 mark when leading after the first period, and are 6-0-0 when leading after the second period
THE HOT LIST:
• Henrik Lundqvist — has held opponents to two goals or less in 11 of his last 15 games (9-5-1, 1.98 GAA, .927 Sv% over the span)
• Rick Nash — has tallied a point in each of his last seven games (five goals, six assists over the span)
• Derek Stepan — has tallied a point in seven of the last 10 games (four goals, four assists over the span)
• Ryan Callahan — six points (four goals, two assists) in the last six games
• Ryan McDonagh — eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last 11 games, including three assists in the last three games
• Dan Girardi — three assists in the last four games
• Marian Gaborik — four assists in the last four games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
• Ryan Callahan — 4 assists from 100th NHL career
• Michael Del Zotto — 3 points from 100th NHL career
• Steve Eminger — 3 points from 100th NHL career
• Brad Richards — 5 points from 800th NHL career
• Marc Staal — 3 points from 100th NHL career
• Anton Stralman — 4 points from 100th NHL career
• Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 21
• Arron Asham (injured, 2/19) — 6
• Brad Richards (injured, 3/3) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 49
• Mar. 5 — Agreed to terms with free agent forward Josh Nicholls
• Mar. 5 — Recalled forward Micheal Haley from Connecticut (AHL)
• Mar. 6 — Claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik off waivers from Washington