Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Sunday, Mar. 10, 12:30 p.m.
Verizon Center – Washington, D.C.
Rangers: 12-9-2 (26 pts)
Capitals: 10-12-1 (21 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (12:30 p.m. — TV: NBC; Radio: ESPN 98.7), to begin a four-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 12-9-2 (26 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, on Friday at Madison Square Garden, to end their four-game winning streak. The Blueshirts have registered a point in three of their last four road games (2-1-1). The Capitals enter the contest with a 10-12-1 (21 pts) record to rank 12th in the Eastern Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, Mar. 12, at First Niagara Center (7:00 p.m.), as they continue their four-game road trip.
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS: – All-Time: 85-86-18-5 overall (47-38-9-2 at home; 38-48-9-3 on the road) – 2013: Today is the second of three meetings this season, and the first and only meeting at Verizon Center. The Rangers are 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 2-1 win on Feb. 17 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers’ power play was 1-4 (20.0%) in the contest, while the Blueshirts held the Capitals scoreless in four power play opportunities against. New York out-shot Washington, 40-28, in the game, including a 20-8 advantage in the first period. Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan each tallied a goal for the Rangers, while Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, and Brad Richards recorded one assist apiece. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves in the win. – Last Season: New York was 2-2-0 overall (1-1-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Rangers out-shot the Capitals, 129-87, including a 47-24 advantage in the third period. Ryan Callahan led the team with four assists and five points in the season series, while Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko tied for the team-high with two goals. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA, and Martin Biron was 0-1-0 with a 4.01 GAA. – The Rangers have won six of their last eight regular season games against the Capitals, out-scoring Washington, 28-15, over the span – New York ranks 25th in the NHL with a 3-4-1 (7 pts) record on the road; Washington ranks 18th in the NHL with a 7-5-0 (14 pts) mark at home – The Rangers are 4-1-0 vs. the Southeast Division this season; the Capitals are 2-6-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season – New York lists three former Capitals on their roster: Steve Eminger (2002-03 – 2007-08); Jeff Halpern (1999-00 – 2005-06; 2011-12); Roman Hamrlik (2011-12 – 2012-13) – Washington lists two former Rangers on their roster: Tom Poti (2001-02 – 2005-06); Wojtek Wolski (2010-11 – 2011-12)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. CAPITALS: – Henrik Lundqvist — 23 GP, 14-7-2, 2.70 GAA, 3 SO – Martin Biron — 23 GP, 11-9-1-2, 2.56 GAA, 1 SO – Brad Richards — 51 GP, 8-28-36 – Ryan Callahan — 19 GP, 8-7-15 – Rick Nash — 10 GP, 7-6-13 – Roman Hamrlik — 55 GP, 7-12-19
The Rangers’ power play has tallied a goal in seven of the last 11 games (8-36, 22.2% over the span), while the Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 35-40 (87.5%) in the last 14 games. New York has posted a record of 7-3-1 when not allowing a power play goal.
The Rangers have posted a record of 19-4-2 in their last 25 games against Southeast Division opponents, including a 4-1-0 mark against the Southeast Division this season. The Blueshirts have out-scored their Southeast Division opponents, 84-51, over the span.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Rick Nash currently leads the team with nine goals, having tallied his first eight goals of the season in the third period. Nash is the second player in NHL history whose first eight goals of a season were tallied in the third player, while fellow Ranger Arron Asham is the other to have accomplished the feat, in 2003-04, as a member of the New York Islanders.
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 113 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 (689) this season. Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan leads the team and ranks 10th in the NHL with 79 hits, while Brian Boyle ranks second on the Rangers and 11th in the league with 76 hits.
The Rangers have had 13 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, Micheal Haley, and Roman Hamrlik.
QUICK HITS: – The Rangers did not surrender a power play opportunity against on Thursday at Long Island, marking the first time the Blueshirts did not have a shorthanded situation in a game since Jan. 10, 2012, in a 2-1 shootout win vs. PHX. The last time the Rangers did not allow a power play attempt against the Islanders was Jan. 7, 1989, in a 5-1 win at Long Island. – 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 seven of the last 11 games (8-36, 22.2% over the span) – The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 35-40 (87.5%) in the last 14 games – New York has registered a point in eight of nine games when scoring the first goal this season (7-1-1), and are 5-8-1 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 12 of his last 17 games (10-6-1, 1.99 GAA, .929 Sv% over the span) – Rick Nash — enters the contest with a five-game point streak (six goals, three assists during the streak), including a Rangers’ season-high, five-game goal streak, and has now tallied a point in each of his last nine games (seven goals, seven assists over the span) – Derek Stepan — six points (two goals, four assists) in the last five games – Brad Richards — three points (one goal, two assists) in his last four games – Marian Gaborik — five points (one goal, four assists) in the last six games – Carl Hagelin — 11 points (six goals, five assists) in the last 13 games, including an assist in each of the last two games – Ryan Callahan — six points (four goals, two assists) in the last eight games – Ryan McDonagh — eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last 13 games, including three assists in the last five games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: – Ryan Callahan — 4 assists from 100th NHL career – Michael Del Zotto — 2 points from 100th NHL career – Steve Eminger — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Brad Richards — 4 points from 800th NHL career – Marc Staal — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Anton Stralman — 3 points from 100th NHL career
INJURIES: – Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 23 – Arron Asham (injured, 2/19) — 8 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 56
RECENT TRANSACTIONS: – 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