The Rangers finish their three-game, four-night road trip in Toronto tonight and begin a home-and-home series with the Maple Leaves, who visit the Garden Wednesday.
The Rangers are 3-0-1 in their last four and trail the fifth-place Leaves by four points with 10 games left.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Monday, Apr. 8, 7:00 p.m.
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
Rangers: 19-15-4 (42 pts)
Maple Leafs: 21-13-4 (46 pts)
The Rangers will begin a home-and-home set when they face-off against Original Six opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs, at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in their third game in four days. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 19-15-4 (42 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, on Saturday at PNC Arena. New York has now registered a point in four straight games (3-0-1). The Maple Leafs enter the contest with a 21-13-4 (46 pts) record to rank fifth in the Eastern Conference, and have won four of their last five games. Following the contest, the Rangers will complete their home-and-home set against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, Apr. 10, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six matchup.
RANGERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS: – All-Time: 221-272-95-6 overall (128-111-56-3 at home; 93-161-39-3 on the road) – 2013: Tonight is the second of three meetings this season, and the first and only meeting at Air Canada Centre. The Rangers are 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 5-2 win on Jan. 26 at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts tallied four goals in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit. New York out-shot Toronto, 42-17, in the contest. Henrik Lundqvist made 15 saves in the win. – Last Season: New York was 2-2-0 overall (0-2-0 mark at home; 2-0-0 mark on the road). The Blueshirts’ penalty kill was 12-13 (92.3%) in the season series. Brad Richards led the team with three assists in the series. Henrik Lundqvist was 1-2-0 with a 3.30 GAA, while Martin Biron posted a 20-save shutout in his only appearance against Toronto last season. – The Rangers have recorded a point in 11 of their last 13 meetings with the Maple Leafs (9-2-2 over the span), and have out-scored Toronto, 48-25, during the stretch – New York ranks 20th in the NHL with a 7-9-2 (16 pts) record on the road; Toronto is tied for 18th in the NHL with a 10-7-2 (22 pts) mark at home – The Rangers are 4-7-1 vs. the Northeast Division this season; the Maple Leafs are 6-4-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season – New York lists one former Maple Leaf on their roster: Anton Stralman (2007-08 – 2008-09) – Toronto lists one former Ranger on their roster: Colton Orr (2005-06 – 2008-09)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS: – Henrik Lundqvist — 21 GP, 11-6-4, 2.62 GAA, 2 SO – Martin Biron — 32 GP, 14-11-2-3, 2.60 GAA, 2 SO – Brad Richards — 35 GP, 17-18-35 – Arron Asham — 36 GP, 6-8-14 – Rick Nash — 9 GP, 2-6-8 – Michael Del Zotto — 12 GP, 3-3-6
SPECIAL TEAMS: – The Rangers’ power play is 5-11 (45.5%) in the last three games, compared to 14.3% with the man advantage prior to the trade deadline – The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in each of the last four contests (14 times shorthanded) – New York has registered a point in 14 of 18 games (12-4-2) when not allowing a power play goal – Power Play: The Rangers tallied two goals in five power play attempts (9:21) on Saturday at Carolina. New York ranks 19th overall (20-116, 17.2%) and 22nd on the road (7-52, 13.5%). 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 Hurricanes scoreless in five power play attempts (9:47) on Saturday at Carolina. New York is tied for 11th overall (103-125, 82.4%) and ranks 16th on the road (43-54, 79.6%). 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 (0:13) on Saturday at Carolina, and are now minus-1 in 25 four-on-four situations (51:32) 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).
ORIGINAL SIX SHOWDOWN: – Tomorrow’s contest will be the eighth of nine scheduled games against Original Six opponents this season (3-4-0) – Henrik Lundqvist is 3-2-0 with a 2.54 GAA and Martin Biron is 0-2-0 with a 3.00 GAA against Original Six opponents this season – Rick Nash has tallied a team-high, five points (five assists) against Original Six opponents this season – Brad Richards (two goals, two assists) and Anton Stralman (two goals) are tied for the team lead with two goals apiece against Original Six opponents this season – Michael Del Zotto (one goal, two assists), Dan Girardi (three assists) and Marc Staal (one goal, two assists) are tied for the team lead in points by a defenseman with three apiece – New York is 57-36-12 against Original Six teams since 2005-06, including a 17-8-4 mark vs. Toronto over the span. The Rangers’ .600 win% ranks third, trailing Detroit (.638, 44-23-9) and Montreal (.613, 83-50-13), and ahead of Chicago (.551, 38-30-11), Boston (.530, 68-59-23), and Toronto (.486, 60-64-20).
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 87 consecutive games when leading after the second period, dating back to the 2009-10 season, posting a record of 81-0-6 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 11-0-0 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 — 2.26 – 5th (12th in NHL) in FO% — 50.9% – 2nd (2nd in NHL) in Fewest PIM/G — 9.6 – 3rd (3rd in NHL) in Hits — 1135 – 4th (6th in NHL) in BkS — 617
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 13 of 15 games when scoring the first goal this season (12-2-1), 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 11-0-0 when leading after the second period
THE HOT LIST: – Henrik Lundqvist — has allowed two or fewer goals in each of the last 10 games (6-2-2, 1.57 GAA, .945 Sv% over the span) – Derek Stepan — enters the contest with a four-game point streak (three goals, three assists over the span), and has recorded 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in the last 20 games – Ryane Clowe — nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last 11 games, including four points (two goals, two assists) in three games as a Ranger – Derick Brassard — six points (three goals, three assists) in his last five games – Brad Richards — eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last eight games – Rick Nash — eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last seven games – Ryan Callahan — five points (two goals, three assists) in the last four games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: – 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) — 38 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 17 – Derek Dorsett (broken clavicle, 3/7) — 3
Total Man-Games Lost: 97
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)