Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at CAROLINA HURRICANES
Saturday, Apr. 6, 7:00 p.m.
PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC
Rangers: 18-15-4 (40 pts)
Hurricanes: 16-18-2 (34 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the second game of a back-to-back road set. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 18-15-4 (40 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, in the shootout last night at CONSOL Energy Center. New York has now registered a point in three straight games (2-0-1). The Hurricanes enter the contest with a 16-18-2 (34 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost 10 of their last 11 games. Following the contest, the Rangers will begin a home-and-home set against Original Six opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs, on Monday, Apr. 8, at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m.), in their third game in four days.
RANGERS vs. HURRICANES: – All-Time: 60-48-7-2 overall (37-17-4-2 at home; 23-31-3-0 on the road) – 2013: Tonight is the second of three meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at PNC Arena. The Rangers are 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 2-1 shootout win on Mar. 18 at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill held Carolina scoreless in three power play attempts against. The Rangers out-shot the Hurricanes, 30-16, after the first period. Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves and stopped 2-2 in the shootout win. – 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 seven of their last eight games against the Hurricanes, having out-scored Carolina, 26-17, over the span – The Rangers have won five of their last six meetings at Carolina, including a three-game winning streak entering tonight’s contest – New York ranks 21st in the NHL with a 6-9-2 (14 pts) record on the road; Carolina ranks 30th in the NHL with a 7-11-0 (14 pts) mark at home – The Rangers are 7-3-1 vs. the Southeast Division this season; the Hurricanes are 5-2-2 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 — 21 GP, 12-8-1, 2.30 GAA, 1 SO – Martin Biron — 22 GP, 13-4-1-2, 2.50 GAA, 1 SO – Brad Richards — 51 GP, 14-31-45 – Ryan Callahan — 16 GP, 5-4-9 – Rick Nash — 10 GP, 3-4-7 – Dan Girardi — 23 GP, 3-4-7
SPECIAL TEAMS: – The Rangers’ power play is 14-67 (20.9%) in the last 25 games – The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in each of the last three contests (9-9, 100.0%) – New York has posted a record of 11-4-2 when not allowing a power play goal – Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (4:00) last night at Pittsburgh. New York ranks 22nd overall (18-111, 16.2%) and 29th on the road (5-47, 10.6%). 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 Penguins scoreless in two power play attempts (4:00) last night at Pittsburgh. New York is tied for 14th overall (98-120, 81.7%) and ranks 19th on the road (38-49, 77.6%). 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 (5:00) last night at Pittsburgh, and are now minus-1 in 24 four-on-four situations (51:19) 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).
The Rangers will complete their fifth of six back-to-back sets this season tonight at Carolina. New York has posted a combined record of 4-4-1 in back-to-back games, including a 3-1-1 (2-0-0 at home; 1-1-1 on the road) record in the first game and a 1-3-0 (0-2-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road) mark in the second. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 63 times in his career, posting a record of 39-17-7 with a 1.92 GAA, .932 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game.
The Rangers have posted a record of 22-6-3 in their last 31 games against Southeast Division opponents, including a 7-3-1 mark against the Southeast Division this season. The Blueshirts have out-scored their Southeast Division opponents, 98-64, 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).
Newly acquired Rangers Ryane Clowe (two goals, one assist), Derick Brassard (one goal, three assists), and John Moore (one goal) combined for eight points while making their Rangers debut in a 6-1 win on Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in franchise history that three players tallied a goal while making their Rangers debut in the same game. Derick Brassard registered a career-high, four points, becoming the first player to record four or more points in their Rangers debut since Doug Bentley on Jan. 20, 1954, vs. Boston.
PASSING A LEGEND
Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves in a 6-1 win on Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh to record his 268th career win, passing Ed Giacomin for second on the Rangers’ all-time goalie wins list.
FINISHING THE JOB
The Blueshirts have registered a point in 86 consecutive games when leading after the second period, dating back to the 2009-10 season, posting a record of 80-0-6 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 10-0-0 when leading after the second period this season.
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 163 career wins as the Blueshirts’ head coach.
The Rangers rank among the Eastern Conference leaders in several statistical categories… – 3rd (4th in NHL) in GAA — 2.30 – T-1st (T-1st in NHL) in Fewest PIM/G — 9.6 – 2nd (2nd in NHL) in Hits — 1113 – 5th (7th in NHL) in BkS — 595
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 16 players make their regular season debut with the team this season – New York has registered a point in 12 of 14 games when scoring the first goal this season (11-2-1), and are 7-13-3 when allowing the game’s first goal – The Blueshirts have posted an 8-0-1 mark when leading after the first period, and are 10-0-0 when leading after the second period
THE HOT LIST: – Henrik Lundqvist — has allowed two or fewer goals in each of the last nine games (5-2-2, 1.63 GAA, .941 Sv% over the span) – Derick Brassard — six points (three goals, three assists) in his last four contests – Ryane Clowe — eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last 10 games – Brad Richards — seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last seven games – Rick Nash — six points (four goals, two assists) in the last six games – Derek Stepan — 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in the last 19 games, including four points (two goals, two assists) in the last three games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: – Steve Eminger — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Roman Hamrlik — 5 games from 1400th NHL career – Marc Staal — 3 points from 100th NHL career – Anton Stralman — 2 points from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED: – Ryan Callahan — 100th career NHL assist (4/1 vs. WPG) – Anton Stralman — 300th career NHL game (4/1 vs. WPG) – Carl Hagelin — 100th career NHL game (4/3 vs. PIT) – Derek Stepan — 200th career NHL game (4/3 vs. PIT) – Henrik Lundqvist — 500th career NHL game (4/5 at PIT)
INJURIES: – Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 37 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 16 – Derek Dorsett (broken clavicle, 3/7) — 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 94
RECENT TRANSACTIONS: – Apr. 1 — Agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Tommy Hughes – Apr. 2 — Acquired forward Ryane Clowe from San Jose in exchange for a 2nd round pick in 2013, a 3rd round pick in 2013 (originally Florida’s), and a conditional pick in 2014 – Apr. 3 — Acquired forwards Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett, defenseman John Moore, and a 6th round pick in 2014 from Columbus in exchange for forward Marian Gaborik, and defensemen Steven Delisle and Blake Parlett – Apr. 3 — Assigned forward Chris Kreider to Connecticut (AHL) – Apr. 3 — Assigned forward Jesper Fast to Connecticut (AHL)