Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Saturday, Mar. 16, 1:00 p.m.
CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Rangers: 13-11-2 (28 pts)
Penguins: 20-8-0 (40 pts)
The Rangers will complete their four-game road trip when they face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center (1:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in an Atlantic Division matchup. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 13-11-2 (28 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Winnipeg Jets, 3-1, on Thursday at MTS Centre, and are now 5-3-0 in the last eight games. The Penguins enter the contest with a 20-8-0 (40 pts) record to rank second in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last seven games. Following today’s contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, Mar. 18, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS: – All-Time: 117-102-23-8 overall (65-50-9-3 at home; 52-53-14-5 on the road) – 2013: Today is the third of five meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers are 0-2-0 overall (0-2-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 3-0 loss on Jan. 31 at Madison Square Garden. Rick Nash, Taylor Pyatt and Ryan Callahan have each tallied a goal for the Rangers, while Brad Richards and Derek Stepan have recorded a team-high, two assists apiece in the series. Henrik Lundqvist is 0-2-0 with a 4.71 GAA and .851 Sv%, and Martin Biron is 0-0-0 with a 1.95 GAA and .950 Sv%. – 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 ranks 21st in the NHL with a 4-6-1 (9 pts) record on the road; Pittsburgh ranks 17th in the NHL with an 8-4-0 (16 pts) mark at home – The Rangers are 4-4-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season; the Penguins are 7-4-0 vs. the Atlantic Division this season – New York lists one former Penguin on their roster: Arron Asham (2010-11 – 2011-12) – Pittsburgh lists one former Ranger on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. PENGUINS: – Henrik Lundqvist — 44 GP, 22-17-5, 2.47 GAA, 2 SO – Martin Biron — 36 GP, 13-17-3-2, 3.05 GAA, 2 SO – Brad Richards — 35 GP, 8-28-36 – Marian Gaborik — 26 GP, 10-12-22 – Ryan Callahan — 30 GP, 9-7-16 – Dan Girardi — 38 GP, 1-11-12
The Rangers’ power play has tallied a goal in eight of the last 14 games (9-40, 22.5% over the span), while the Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 44-50 (88.0%) in the last 17 games. New York has posted a record of 8-4-1 when not allowing a power play goal. – Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play attempt (0:06) on Thursday at Winnipeg. New York ranks 23rd overall (13-84, 15.5%) and 24th on the road (4-33, 12.1%). The Rangers are 2-8 (7:46) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/3 vs. BUF), and 1-1 (0:21) when four-on-three (last – 3/7 at NYI). 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 one goal to the Jets in two power play attempts (0:18) on Thursday at Winnipeg. New York is tied for ninth overall (76-91, 83.5%) and eighth on the road (29-35, 82.9%). The Rangers are 5-5 (5:52) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/10 at WSH), and 3-3 (4:19) when three-on-four (last – 3/3 vs. BUF). Shorthanded goals for (2): 1/20 vs. PIT (Nash); 3/12 at BUF (Stepan). – Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:54) on Thursday at Winnipeg, and are now minus-1 in 16 four-on-four situations (31:16) 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).
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Rick Nash is currently tied for the team lead 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 second in the NHL in hits (794) this season. Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan leads the team and ranks eighth in the NHL with 90 hits, while Brian Boyle ranks second on the Rangers and is tied for 10th in the league with 88 hits.
The Rangers rank among the Eastern Conference leaders in several statistical categories… – 3rd (7th in NHL) in GAA — 2.38 – 3rd (7th in NHL) in FO% — 51.7% – 1st (2nd in NHL) in Fewest PIM/G — 10.8 – 2nd (2nd in NHL) in Hits — 794 – T-3rd (T-8th in NHL) in Blocked Shots — 412 – T-2nd (T-5th in NHL) in OT wins — 2 – T-4th in +/- Rating — +3
QUICK HITS: – The Rangers did not surrender a power play opportunity against on Mar. 7 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 have had 13 players make their regular season debut with the team this season – The Rangers’ power play has tallied a goal in eight of the last 14 games (9-40, 22.5% over the span) – The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 44-50 (88.0%) in the last 17 games – New York has registered a point in eight of 10 games when scoring the first goal this season (7-2-1), and are 6-9-1 when allowing the game’s first goal – The Blueshirts have posted a 6-0-1 mark when leading after the first period, and are 7-0-0 when leading after the second period
THE HOT LIST: – Henrik Lundqvist — has held opponents to two goals or less in 12 of his last 19 games (10-8-1, 2.04 GAA, .927 Sv% over the span) – Rick Nash — has tallied a point in 10 of his last 12 games (seven goals, nine assists over the span) – Derek Stepan — enters the contest with a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist over the span), and has tallied a point in seven of the last eight games (four goals, five assists during the stretch) – Ryan Callahan — enters the contest with a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist over the span), and has recorded six points (four goals, two assists) in the last six contests – Carl Hagelin — 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in the last 16 games, including four assists in the last five contests – Ryan McDonagh — 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his last 16 games, including six assists in the last eight contests – Marian Gaborik — five points (one goal, four assists) in the last seven games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: – Ryan Callahan — 3 assists from 100th NHL career – Michael Del Zotto — 1 point from 100th NHL career – Steve Eminger — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Rick Nash — 2 goals from 300th NHL career; 4 games from 700th NHL career – Brad Richards — 3 points from 800th NHL career – Marc Staal — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Anton Stralman — 3 points from 100th NHL career – John Tortorella — 3 wins from 400th NHL career
INJURIES: – Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 26 – Arron Asham (injured, 2/19) — 11 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 65