The Rangers visit Uniondale tonight in the most important meeting between the teams in years, the Islanders two points up on the Rangers, the Rangers with a game in hand. After tonight the Isles will have six games left, the Rangers seven.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Saturday, Apr. 13, 7:00 p.m.
Nassau Coliseum – Uniondale, NY
Rangers: 20-16-4 (44 pts)
Islanders: 21-16-4 (46 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in an Atlantic Division matchup. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 20-16-4 (44 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, in the shootout on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, and have now registered a point in five of their last six games (4-1-1). The Islanders enter the contest with a 21-16-4 (46 pts) record to rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have registered a point in nine of their last 10 games (8-1-1). Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, Apr. 16, at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division matchup.
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS: – All-Time: 118-99-19-7 overall (69-37-11-5 at home; 49-62-8-2 on the road) – 2013: Tonight is the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second of two meetings at Nassau Coliseum. The Rangers are 2-0-1 overall (1-0-1 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 2-1 overtime win on Mar. 7 at Long Island. Two of their three meetings have been decided in extra time, including one that required the shootout. The Blueshirts’ power play is 3-9 (33.3%) in the series, while the penalty kill is 6-6 (100.0%) through three games. Carl Hagelin (one goal, two assists), Rick Nash (one goal, two assists), and Marc Staal (three assists) are tied for the series lead in scoring with three points apiece. Henrik Lundqvist is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .965 Sv%, while Martin Biron is 0-0-1 with a 2.77 GAA and .903 Sv%. – Last Season: New York was 4-1-1 overall (3-0-0 mark at home; 1-1-1 mark on the road). Five of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less, including two contests that required extra time. The Rangers out-scored the Islanders, 20-14, including a 16-9 advantage after the first period. The Blueshirts’ power play was 5-25 (20.0%), led by Brad Richards’ two power play goals. Marian Gaborik led the team with five goals and seven points in the season series, while Anton Stralman tallied a team-high, five assists. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-1-0 with a 1.97 GAA, .929 Sv% and one shutout, while Martin Biron was 1-0-1 with a 2.41 GAA and .906 Sv%. – The Rangers have registered at least one point in 16 of their last 19 games against the Islanders, posting a record of 13-3-3 over the span, dating back to a 5-2 win on Dec. 17, 2009, at Long Island – New York ranks 21st in the NHL with a 7-10-2 (16 pts) record on the road; Long Island ranks 25th in the NHL with a 9-11-2 (20 pts) mark at home – The Rangers are 7-5-2 vs. the Atlantic Division this season; the Islanders are 7-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division this season – New York lists four former Islanders on their roster: Arron Asham (2002-03 – 2006-07); Martin Biron (2009-10); Roman Hamrlik (2000-01 – 2003-04); Taylor Pyatt (2000-01) – Long Island lists no former Ranger on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. ISLANDERS: – Henrik Lundqvist — 43 GP, 26-11-5, 2.13 GAA, 4 SO – Martin Biron — 29 GP, 21-4-1-2, 2.06 GAA, 2 SO – Brad Richards — 38 GP, 13-22-35 – Ryan Callahan — 33 GP, 7-14-21 – Rick Nash — 12 GP, 5-6-11 – Dan Girardi — 38 GP, 4-7-11
SPECIAL TEAMS: – The Rangers’ power play is 5-16 (31.3%) in the last five games, compared to 14.3% with the man advantage prior to the trade deadline – The Blueshirts’ penalty kill is 17-18 (94.4%) in the last six games – New York has registered a point in 15 of 19 games (13-4-2) when not allowing a power play goal – Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in three power play attempts (6:00) on Wednesday vs. Toronto. New York ranks 21st overall (20-121, 16.5%) and 23rd on the road (7-54, 13.0%). 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 Maple Leafs scoreless in two power play attempts (4:00) on Wednesday at MSG. New York is tied for 14th overall (106-129, 82.2%) and ranks 19th on the road (44-56, 78.6%). 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) on Wednesday vs. Toronto, and are now minus-1 in 26 four-on-four situations (56:32) 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).
EXCLUSI VE CLUB
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. On Wednesday, Tortorella passed Tom Renney for fourth on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list with his 165th victory as the Blueshirts’ head coach.
The Rangers rank among the Eastern Conference leaders in several statistical categories… – 3rd (5th in NHL) in GAA — 2.30 – 5th (12th in NHL) in FO% — 50.7% – 2nd (2nd in NHL) in Fewest PIM/G — 9.4 – 3rd (4th in NHL) in Hits — 1208 – 5th (8th in NHL) in BkS — 639
THE HOT LIST: – Henrik Lundqvist — has allowed two or fewer goals in 11 of his last 12 games (7-3-2, 1.80 GAA, .936 Sv% over the span) – Derek Stepan — enters the contest with a six-game point streak (four goals, five assists over the span); 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in the last 22 games – Rick Nash — 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in the last nine games – Derick Brassard — seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last seven games, including five points (one goal, four assists) in five games as a NYR – Ryane Clowe — nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last 13 games; four points (two goals, two assists) in five games as a NYR – Ryan McDonagh — four points (two goals, two assists) in the last six games, including a point in each of the last three home games – Brad Richards — eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last 10 games – Ryan Callahan — five points (two goals, three assists) in the last six games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: – Anton Stralman — 2 points from 100th NHL career – Steve Eminger — 2 points from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED: – Henrik Lundqvist — 500th career NHL game (4/5 at PIT)
INJURIES: – Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 40 – Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 19 – Derek Dorsett (broken clavicle, 3/7) — 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 103
RECENT TRANSACTIONS: – 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) – Apr. 9 — Assigned forward J.T. Miller to Connecticut (AHL)
Photo by Getty Images.