Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1
Thursday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
Verizon Center – Washington, DC
Rangers (Regular Season): 26-18-4 (56 pts), 6th in Eastern Conference
Capitals (Regular Season): 27-18-3 (57 pts), 3rd in Eastern Conference
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup. On Saturday, the Blueshirts defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, in their regular season finale. New York posted a record of 10-3-1 in the month of April, marking the third time the team has won 10 games in a month since October of 2008. The Rangers enter the contest with a 208-226-8 record all-time in 442 playoff contests (116-88-2 at home; 92-138-6 on the road). New York has posted a 44-47-5 record all-time in Game 1 of playoff series.
New York enters the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference having posted a record of 26-18-4 overall (16-6-2 at home; 10-12-2 on the road) for 56 points. The Rangers are one of two teams in the Eastern Conference, along with Pittsburgh, to have advanced to the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons.
ALL-TIME RANGERS PLAYOFF RECORDS:
• Overall —208-226-8
• Home —116-88-2
• Away —92-138-6
• Goals for —1,218
• Goals against —1,212
ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS —RANGERS vs. CAPITALS
The Rangers and Capitals are meeting in the playoffs for the eighth time overall and fourth time in five years, including a third consecutive season. Their last postseason encounter was in last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals, a series won by New York 4-3. Overall, the Blueshirts have a 3-4 playoff series record vs. the Capitals, posting a 19-22 mark in 41 postseason contests.
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
All-Time (Regular Season): 87-86-18-6 overall (48-38-9-3 at home; 39-48-9-3 on the road)
2012-13: New York was 2-0-1 overall (1-0-1 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). Two of the three contests were decided by one goal, including one game that required the shootout. The Rangers out-scored the Capitals, 5-0, after the first period, and out-shot Washington, 102-81, in the series. The Blueshirts’ power play was 3-9 (33.3%), while their penalty kill was 9-10 (90.0%) in three games. Derek Stepan led all skaters with three goals in the series, while Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash tied for the series-high
with three assists apiece. Carl Hagelin (one goal, two assists) and Brad Richards (one goal, two assists) also tallied three points in the series. Henrik Lundqvist was 1-0-1 with a 1.44 GAA and .942 Sv%, and Martin Biron was 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .966 Sv%.
The Rangers have registered a point in eight of their last 10 regular season games against the Capitals (7-2-1 over the span), out-scoring Washington, 34-19, over the span
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 (Regular Season): Henrik Lundqvist — 24 GP, 14-7-3, 2.66 GAA, 3 SO; Martin Biron — 24 GP, 12-9-1-2, 2.50 GAA, 1 SO; Brad Richards — 53 GP, 9-29-38; Rick Nash — 12 GP, 7-8-15; Ryan McDonagh — 9 GP, 1-4-5.
The Rangers’ power play was 9-48 (18.5%) in the final 13 games of the season, compared to 14.3% with the man advantage prior to the trade deadline
New York registered a point in 19 of 23 games (17-4-2) when not allowing a power play goal this season
Power Play: The Rangers ranked 23rd overall (24-153, 15.7%) and 28th on the road (8-70, 11.4%). The Rangers were 3-12 (10:36) in five-on-three situations (last – 4/27 vs. NJD), and 2-2 (1:20) when four-on-three (last – 4/13 at NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (4): 2/21 at OTT (Silfverberg); 3/3 vs. BUF (Gerbe); 3/21 vs. FLA (Kopecky, EN); 4/23 at FLA (Shore, EN).
Penalty Killing: New York tied for 15th overall (120-148, 81.1%) and ranked 26th on the road (51-68, 75.0%). The Rangers were 8-8 (8:24) 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 (5): 1/20 vs. PIT (Nash); 3/12 at BUF (Stepan); 3/19 at NJD (Del Zotto); 4/1 vs. WPG (Callahan); 4/27 vs. NJD (Callahan).
Four-on-Four: The Blueshirts were plus-one in 33 four-on-four situations (66:39). Four-on-four goals for (3): 1/23 vs. BOS (Gaborik); 4/13 at NYI (Girardi); 4/25 at CAR (Callahan). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 1/20 vs. PIT (Letang); 1/23 vs. BOS (Horton).
The Rangers have won eight of their last 11 first round playoff series
The Blueshirts are 32-12 all-time in playoff series when winning Game 1, including wins in seven of the last nine playoff series in which the Rangers won the opening game
New York has won six of their last nine Game 1s
All Original Six teams qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1996
The Blueshirts were the least penalized team in the NHL this season with 183 penalties assessed for an average of 9.2 penalty minutes per game
New York ranked third in the NHL with 1,413 hits, and sixth in the league with 773 blocked shots this season
The Rangers held opponents to 2.25 goals against per contest, which ranked third in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the league overall
This is the first time the Blueshirts will face the same opponent in three consecutive playoff seasons since New York played Philadelphia in the 1985, 1986 and 1987 playoffs. The Rangers are meeting the Capitals in the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years. The last time that happened was against the Flyers from 1983-87.
The Blueshirts led the NHL in goal scoring since the trade deadline on Apr. 3, averaging 3.6 goals per contest. Prior to the trade deadline, the Rangers averaged 2.4 goals per game.
FINISHING THE JOB
The Blueshirts have registered a point in 92 consecutive regular season games when leading after the second period, dating back to the 2009-10 season, posting a record of 85-0-6 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 posted a 16-0-0 record when leading after the second period this season.
Henrik Lundqvist finished the season tied for the league lead with 24 wins, becoming the first Rangers goaltender to lead the league in wins since Mike Richter in 1993-94 (42)
Lundqvist posted his 20th win of the season in a 6-1 victory on Apr. 18 against Florida, to become one of five active NHL goalies to reach the 20-win mark in eight consecutive seasons (Brodeur, 12; Luongo, 9; Vokoun, 9; Kiprusoff, 8).
Lundqvist posted a 20-save shutout, his second of the season and 45th of his career, in the season finale against New Jersey to pass Ed Giacomin as the franchise leader in career total shutouts (regular season + playoffs), having posted 51 total shutouts in his career.
The Blueshirts’ netminder captured Rangers’ MVP honors for a franchise record, seventh consecutive year. His seven Rangers’ MVP awards are also a franchise record, passing Brian Leetch (six) for the most in franchise history.
Derek Stepan was named the NHL’s Third Star for the month of April, after finishing second in the league in scoring with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) and posting a plus-14 rating in 14 games. He registered points in 12 of 14 games, including seven multi-point efforts, and tallied three game-winning goals over the span. A few weeks prior, Henrik Lundqvist was named the NHL’s Third Star for the week ending Apr. 7, after posting a record of 3-0-1 with a 1.22 goals against average and a .962 save percentage over the span.
NINE STRAIGHT FOR NASH
Rick Nash notched two goals in the season finale against New Jersey, including his 20th goal of the season, to become the only player in the NHL with an active streak of nine consecutive 20-goal seasons.
Brad Richards notched his first career hat trick in an 8-4 win at Buffalo on Apr. 19, tallying three goals in the contest. Richards tied Ryan Callahan for second on the Rangers in scoring during the month of April, registering 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) and posting a plus-nine rating over the span.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Ryan Callahan was named winner of the 2013 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award on Apr. 18, marking the fourth time he has captured the honor (2008-09, 2009-10,
2011-12). The Rangers’ captain also captured the Players’ Player Award for the third consecutive year.
INJURIES: Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 48; Marc Staal (injured, 3/5) — 27; Derek Dorsett (broken clavicle, 3/7) — 13; Brian Boyle (injured, 4/16) — 6; Ryan Clowe (injured, 4/25) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 134
Apr. 25 — Recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut (AHL)
Apr. 28 — Recalled Stu Bickel, Ryan Bourque, Micheal Haley, Brandon Mashinter, Dylan McIlrath, Jason Missiaen, J.T. Miller, Brandon Segal, Cameron Talbot, and Christian Thomas from Connecticut (AHL)