pre-game notes from the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Sunday, Mar. 24, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-13-2 (32 pts)
Capitals: 14-16-1 (29 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7). The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-13-2 (32 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Florida Panthers, 3-1, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, to end their two-game winning streak. The Blueshirts are now 4-2-0 in their last six home games. The Capitals enter the contest with a 14-16-1 (29 pts) record to rank 10th in the Eastern Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, Mar. 26, at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m.), to begin a three-game road trip.
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS: – All-Time: 87-86-18-5 overall (48-38-9-2 at home; 39-48-9-3 on the road) – 2013: Tonight is the third and final meeting this season, and the second of two meetings at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are 2-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 4-1 win on Mar. 10 at Verizon Center. The Rangers’ power play is 2-7 (28.6%) in the series, while the Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held the Capitals scoreless in seven power play attempts. The Rangers have out-shot the Capitals, 70-57, including a 32-16 advantage in the first period, and New York has out-scored Washington, 6-2, in the series with a 5-0 advantage after the first period. Carl Hagelin (one goal, two assists), Ryan McDonagh (three assists), and Rick Nash (three assists) are tied for the series lead with three points apiece, while Derek Stepan leads all skaters with two goals. Henrik Lundqvist is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .964 Sv%, and Martin Biron is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .966 Sv%. – 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 seven of their last nine regular season games against the Capitals, out-scoring Washington, 32-16, over the span – New York is tied for ninth in the NHL with a 10-6-1 (21 pts) record at home; Washington ranks 19th in the NHL with a 6-9-1 (13 pts) mark on the road – The Rangers are 6-3-0 vs. the Southeast Division this season; the Capitals are 2-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season – New York lists two former Capitals on their roster: Steve Eminger (2002-03 – 2007-08); 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 — 24 GP, 12-9-1-2, 2.50 GAA, 1 SO – Brad Richards — 52 GP, 9-28-37 – Rick Nash — 11 GP, 7-8-15 – Ryan Callahan — 20 GP, 9-7-16 – Ryan McDonagh — 8 GP, 1-4-5
The Rangers’ power play is 9-50 (18.0%) in the last 18 games, while the Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 53-62 (85.5%) in the last 21 games. New York has posted a record of 9-4-1 when not allowing a power play goal. – Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in three power play attempts (5:02) on Thursday vs. Florida. New York is tied for 25th overall (13-94, 13.8%) and ranks 23rd at home (9-57, 15.8%). 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 (4): 2/19 vs. MTL (Diaz, EN); 2/21 at OTT (Silfverberg); 3/3 vs. BUF (Gerbe); 3/21 vs. FLA (Kopecky, EN). – Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Panthers in two power play attempts (2:26) on Thursday at MSG. New York ranks 12th overall (85-103, 82.5%) and is tied for 13th at home (51-61, 83.6%). The Rangers are 5-5 (5:52) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/10 at WSH), and 4-4 (4:24) when three-on-four (last – 3/18 vs. CAR). Shorthanded goals for (3): 1/20 vs. PIT (Nash); 3/12 at BUF (Stepan); 3/19 at NJD (Del Zotto). – Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Thursday vs. Florida, and are now minus-1 in 20 four-on-four situations (39:13) 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 posted a record of 21-6-2 in their last 29 games against Southeast Division opponents, including a 6-3-0 mark against the Southeast Division this season. The Blueshirts have out-scored their Southeast Division opponents, 92-59, over the span.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Rick Nash currently leads the team with 10 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 fifth with .45 goals per game since the beginning of the 2009-10 season.
A BROADWAY HIT
The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in hits (895) this season. Brian Boyle leads the Rangers and ranks 10th in the NHL with 101 hits, while Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan ranks second on the team and is tied for 11th in the league with 100 hits.
Rangers’ Head Coach John Tortorella is one win shy of earning his 400th career win as a National Hockey League head coach. He will be the 30th coach in league history to reach the mark. Tortorella’s 160 wins with the Blueshirts are four shy of Tom Renney for fourth on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list.
The Rangers rank among the Eastern Conference leaders in several statistical categories… – 3rd (5th in NHL) in GAA — 2.37 – 3rd (8th in NHL) in FO% — 51.3% – 1st (2nd in NHL) in Fewest PIM/G — 10.2 – 3rd (4th in NHL) in Hits — 895 – T-6th (T-10th in NHL) in Blocked Shots — 471 – 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 9-50 (18.0%) in the last 18 games – The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 53-62 (85.5%) in the last 21 games – New York has registered a point in nine of 11 games when scoring the first goal this season (8-2-1), and are 7-11-1 when allowing the game’s first goal – The Blueshirts have posted a 6-0-1 mark when leading after the first period, and are 8-0-0 when leading after the second period
THE HOT LIST: – Henrik Lundqvist — has held opponents to three goals or fewer in each of his last 11 games (6-5-0, 1.99 GAA, .929 Sv% over the span) – Rick Nash — has tallied a point in 12 of his last 16 games (eight goals, 10 assists over the span) – Derek Stepan — has tallied a point in nine of the last 12 games (five goals, six assists over the span) – Ryan Callahan — eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last 10 games – Carl Hagelin — 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in the last 20 games, including six points (one goal, five assists) in the last nine contests – Michael Del Zotto — three points (one goal, two assists) in the last two games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: – Ryan Callahan — 1 assist from 100th NHL career – Steve Eminger — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Rick Nash — 1 goal from 300th 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 — 1 win from 400th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED: – Michael Del Zotto — 100th career NHL point (3/19 at NJD) – Rick Nash — 700th career NHL game (3/21 vs. FLA)
INJURIES: – Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 30 – Arron Asham (injured, 2/19) — 15 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 9
Total Man-Games Lost: 77
RECENT TRANSACTIONS: – Mar. 20 — Recalled forward Chris Kreider from Connecticut (AHL) – Mar. 20 — Assigned forward Micheal Haley to Connecticut (AHL) – Mar. 23 — Recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut (AHL) – Mar. 23 — Montreal claimed forward Jeff Halpern off waivers