Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Wednesday, Apr. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 17-15-3 (37 pts)
Penguins: 28-8-0 (56 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. — TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: 970 The Apple), to begin a home-and-home set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 17-15-3 (37 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 4-2, on Monday at Madison Square Garden, and have now registered a point in six of their last eight home games (5-2-1). The Penguins currently own a 28-8-0 (56 pts) record to rank first in the Eastern Conference, and have won 15 straight games heading into their contest last night at Buffalo. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Penguins on Friday, Apr. 5, at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.), to complete their home-and-home set.
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS: – All-Time: 117-103-23-8 overall (65-50-9-3 at home; 52-54-14-5 on the road) – 2013: Tonight is the fourth of five meetings this season, and the third and final meeting at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are 0-3-0 overall (0-2-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-0 loss on Mar. 16 at CONSOL Energy Center. 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 0-3-0 with a 4.02 GAA and .865 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 12th in the NHL with an 11-6-2 (24 pts) record at home; Pittsburgh ranks third in the NHL with a 13-4-0 (26 pts) mark on the road – The Rangers are 6-5-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season; the Penguins are 11-4-0 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 — 45 GP, 22-18-5, 2.49 GAA, 2 SO – Martin Biron — 36 GP, 13-17-3-2, 3.05 GAA, 2 SO – Brad Richards — 36 GP, 8-28-36 – Marian Gaborik — 27 GP, 10-12-22 – Rick Nash — 13 GP, 6-5-11 – Dan Girardi — 39 GP, 1-11-12
SPECIAL TEAMS: – The Rangers’ power play is 11-61 (18.0%) in the last 23 games – The Blueshirts have posted a record of 10-4-1 when not allowing a power play goal – Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play attempt (1:54) on Monday vs. Winnipeg. New York ranks 25th overall (15-105, 14.3%) and is tied for 21st at home (10-60, 16.7%). The Rangers are 3-9 (7:53) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/24 vs. WSH), 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 held the Jets scoreless in five power play attempts (9:15) and notched a shorthanded goal on Monday at MSG. New York is tied for 17th overall (94-116, 81.0%) and ranks 14th at home (58-69, 84.1%). The Rangers are 7-7 (8:13) in three-on-five situations (last – 4/1 vs. WPG), and 4-4 (4:24) when three-on-four (last – 3/18 vs. CAR). Shorthanded goals for (4): 1/20 vs. PIT (Nash); 3/12 at BUF (Stepan); 3/19 at NJD (Del Zotto); 4/1 vs. WPG (Callahan). – Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (0:06) on Monday vs. Winnipeg, and are now minus-1 in 23 four-on-four situations (46:19) 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).
TYING A LEGEND
Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves in a 4-2 win on Monday vs. Winnipeg to record his 267th career win, and move into a tie with Ed Giacomin for second on the Rangers’ all-time goalie wins list.
FINISHING THE JOB
The Blueshirts have registered a point in 85 consecutive games when leading after the second period, dating back to the 2009-10 season, posting a record of 79-0-6 over the span. The Rangers’ last regulation loss in a game when entering the third with the lead was Feb. 4, 2010 (6-5 loss vs. WSH). New York is 9-0-0 when leading after the second period this season.
Rick Nash and Brad Richards both reached significant career milestones in the Rangers’ 5-2 win on Mar. 26 at Philadelphia. Rick Nash notched two goals, including his 300th career NHL goal, and added an assist in the contest, while Brad Richards registered two points (one goal, one assist) to record his 800th career NHL point.
A BROADWAY HIT
The Rangers rank third in the NHL in hits (1055) this season. Brian Boyle leads the Rangers and ranks seventh in the NHL with 125 hits, while Ryan Callahan ranks second on the team and is tied for eighth in the league with 119 hits.
Rangers’ Head Coach John Tortorella recorded his 400th NHL coaching victory with a 5-2 win on Mar. 26 at Philadelphia, becoming the 30th head coach in league history to reach the mark. He is now two wins shy of fourth place on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list, with 162 career wins as the Blueshirts’ head coach.
The Rangers rank among the Eastern Conference leaders in several statistical categories… – 5th (T-6th in NHL) in GAA — 2.37 – 5th (12th in NHL) in FO% — 51.1% – 1st (1st in NHL) in Fewest PIM/G — 9.5 – 3rd (3rd in NHL) in Hits — 1055 – 3rd (6th in NHL) in BkS — 571 – 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 – New York has registered a point in 11 of 13 games when scoring the first goal this season (10-2-1), and are 7-13-2 when allowing the game’s first goal – The Blueshirts have posted a 7-0-1 mark when leading after the first period, and are 9-0-0 when leading after the second period
THE HOT LIST: – Henrik Lundqvist — has held opponents to three goals or fewer in each of his last 15 games (8-6-1, 1.98 GAA, .929 Sv%) – Rick Nash — 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in his last 21 games – Derek Stepan — has tallied a point in 12 of the last 17 games (nine goals, nine assists over the span) – Brad Richards — four points (one goal, three assists) in the last five games – Michael Del Zotto — five points (one goal, four assists) in the last seven games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: – Steve Eminger — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Carl Hagelin — 1 game from 100th NHL career – Roman Hamrlik — 5 games from 1400th NHL career – Henrik Lundqvist — 2 games from 500th NHL career – Marc Staal — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Derek Stepan — 1 game from 200th NHL career – Anton Stralman — 2 points from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED: – Rick Nash — 300th career NHL goal (3/26 at PHI) – Brad Richards — 800th career NHL point (3/26 at PHI) – John Tortorella — 400th career NHL win (3/26 at PHI) – Brian Boyle — 300th career NHL game (3/28 at OTT) – Ryan Callahan — 100th career NHL assist (4/1 vs. WPG) – Anton Stralman — 300th career NHL game (4/1 vs. WPG)
INJURIES: – Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 35 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 14
Total Man-Games Lost: 88
RECENT TRANSACTIONS: – Mar. 28 — Agreed to terms with free agent forward Mats Zuccarello – Mar. 29 — Agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Conor Allen – Mar. 31 — Assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL) – Apr. 1 — Agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Tommy Hughes