Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Monday, Mar. 18, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 13-12-2 (28 pts)
Hurricanes: 15-11-1 (31 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank 10th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 13-12-2 (28 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0, on Saturday at CONSOL Energy Center, to complete their four-game road trip. The Blueshirts have posted a combined record of 2-4-0 in back-to-back games this season, including a 2-1-0 (1-0-0 at home) record in the first game. The Hurricanes enter the contest with a 15-11-1 (31 pts) record to rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, and have lost their last two games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will complete their back-to-back set when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils tomorrow, Mar. 19, at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division matchup.
RANGERS vs. HURRICANES: – All-Time: 59-48-7-2 overall (36-17-4-2 at home; 23-31-3-0 on the road) – 2013: Tonight is the first of three meetings this season, and the only meeting at Madison Square Garden – Last Season: New York was 4-0-0 overall (2-0-0 mark at home; 2-0-0 mark on the road). The Rangers out-scored the Hurricanes, 17-8, including a 7-1 advantage in the third period. New York was 2-13 (15.4%) on the power play, while the penalty kill was 10-12 (83.3%) in the series. Marian Gaborik led the Rangers with four assists and seven points, while Gaborik and Brad Richards tied for the series high with three goals apiece. Henrik Lundqvist was 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .971 Sv%, and Martin Biron was 3-0-0 with a 2.34 GAA and .916 Sv%. – The Blueshirts have won six of their last seven games against the Hurricanes, having out-scored Carolina, 24-16, over the span – The Rangers enter the contest with a three-game winning streak against the Hurricanes at MSG, and have out-scored Carolina, 11-4, in those contests – New York ranks 14th in the NHL with a 9-5-1 (19 pts) record at home; Carolina is tied for ninth in the NHL with an 8-5-1 (17 pts) mark on the road – The Rangers are 5-2-0 vs. the Southeast Division this season; the Hurricanes are 5-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season – New York lists no former Hurricanes on their roster – Carolina lists one former Ranger on their roster: Bobby Sanguinetti (2009-10)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. HURRICANES: – Henrik Lundqvist — 20 GP, 11-8-1, 2.37 GAA, 1 SO – Martin Biron — 22 GP, 13-4-1-2, 2.50 GAA, 1 SO – Brad Richards — 50 GP, 14-31-45 – Marian Gaborik — 18 GP, 10-11-21 – Jeff Halpern — 52 GP, 16-13-29 – Ryan McDonagh — 6 GP, 1-3-4
The Rangers’ power play is 9-42 (21.4%) in the last 15 games, while the Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 46-53 (86.8%) in the last 18 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 two power play attempts (3:55) on Saturday at Pittsburgh. New York ranks 24th overall (13-86, 15.1%) and 20th at home (9-51, 17.6%). 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 Penguins in three power play attempts (5:34) on Saturday at Pittsburgh. New York is tied for 10th overall (78-94, 83.0%) and ranks 17th at home (47-56, 83.9%). 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 two four-on-four situations (2:05) on Saturday at Pittsburgh, and are now minus-1 in 18 four-on-four situations (33:21) 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 fourth of six back-to-back sets this season tonight against Carolina. New York has posted a combined record of 2-4-0 in back-to-back games, including a 2-1-0 (1-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road) record in the first game and an 0-3-0 (0-2-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road) mark in the second.
The Rangers have posted a record of 20-5-2 in their last 27 games against Southeast Division opponents, including a 5-2-0 mark against the Southeast Division this season. The Blueshirts have out-scored their Southeast Division opponents, 89-55, over the span.
HOW SWEEP IT IS
New York swept their season series against Carolina last season with a 4-0-0 record, marking the first time since the 2002-03 season the Rangers completed a season series sweep against the Hurricanes (4-0-0).
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 fourth in the NHL in hits (820) this season. Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan and forward Brian Boyle are tied for the team lead and eighth in the NHL with 92 hits apiece.
The Rangers rank among the Eastern Conference leaders in several statistical categories… – 3rd (5th in NHL) in GAA — 2.41 – 2nd (6th in NHL) in FO% — 52.0% – 1st (2nd in NHL) in Fewest PIM/G — 10.7 – 3rd (4th in NHL) in Hits — 820 – T-3rd (T-7th in NHL) in Blocked Shots — 430 – T-2nd (T-5th in NHL) in OT wins — 2
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 is 9-42 (21.4%) in the last 15 games – The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 46-53 (86.8%) in the last 18 games – New York has registered a point in eight of 10 games when scoring the first goal this season (7-2-1), and are 6-10-1 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 three goals or fewer in each of his last eight games (4-4-0, 2.12 GAA, .926 Sv% over the span) – Rick Nash — has tallied a point in 10 of his last 13 games (seven goals, nine assists over the span) – Derek Stepan — has tallied a point in seven of the last nine games (four goals, five assists over the span) – Ryan Callahan — six points (four goals, two assists) in the last seven contests – Carl Hagelin — 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in the last 17 games, including four assists in the last six contests – Ryan McDonagh — 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his last 17 games, including six assists in the last nine contests
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; 3 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) — 27 – Arron Asham (injured, 2/19) — 12 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 6
Total Man-Games Lost: 68