First a reminder that we will have a Live Playoff Chat from downtown D.C. today at 2 p.m. So be there. Or else. Obviously. By the way, the new blog format allows for a better participation experience from your mobile device.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Game 5
Friday, May 10 (7:30 p.m.) – Verizon Center
Series tied 2-2
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 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup. The series is currently tied at two games apiece, following a 4-3 win in Game 4 on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers enter the contest with a 210-228-8 record all-time in 446 playoff contests (118-88-2 at home; 92-140-6 on the road). New York has posted a 24-33 record all-time in Game 5 of playoff series.
New York entered 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 — 210-228-8
Home — 118-88-2
Away — 92-140-6
Goals for — 1,227
Goals against — 1,222
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 21-24 mark in 45 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%). Derek Stepan led all skaters with three goals, 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
The Blueshirts have 18 players with previous playoff experience against the Capitals, led by Brad Richards (13 GP) who had tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) against Washington entering the series
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 PLAYOFF LEADERS vs. CAPITALS:
Henrik Lundqvist — 23 GP, 10-13, 2.29 GAA, 1 SO
Martin Biron — 7 GP, 4-3, 2.67 GAA, 1 SO
Brad Richards — 17 GP, 5-4-9
Carl Hagelin — 11 GP, 2-4-6
Michael Del Zotto — 11 GP, 2-5-7
The Blueshirts are 2-0 in games when tallying a power play goal during the playoffs, and are 2-0 when holding the Capitals scoreless with the man advantage
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 tallied one goal in four power play opportunities (4:59) in Game 4, and are now 2-10 (20.0%) in the last two games. New York is 2-17 (11.8%) in the playoffs. Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Capitals scoreless in two shorthanded situations (3:37) in Game 4, and are now 5-5 (100.0%) on the penalty kill in the last two games. New York is 10-12 (83.3%) in the playoffs. Shorthanded goals for (0).
Four-on-Four: The Blueshirts did not skate in a four-on-four situation in Game 4, and are now Even in two four-on-four situations (4:00) in the playoffs. Four-on-four goals for (0). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
The Rangers have won eight of their last 11 first round playoff series
All Original Six teams qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1996
Since 1992, the Blueshirts have posted a 5-3 series record when tied at two games apiece, including a 2-1 series record last season. The last time the Rangers won a series when tied 2-2 was against Washington in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Blueshirts were the least penalized team in the NHL this season with 183 penalties and 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 East and fourth in the league overall
Derek Stepan notched the game-winning goal in Games 3 and 4 to become the first Ranger since Adam Graves in 1997 (May 8, May 11) to tally the game-winner in consecutive playoff games.
Derick Brassard registered his first career playoff points with a three-point effort, including a power play goal and two assists, in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brassard’s three points were the most by a Ranger in their home playoff debut since Sergei Zubov on Apr. 17, 1994 vs. the NY Islanders (one goal, two assists). Brassard followed up his three-point effort with two assists in Game 4, becoming the first Blueshirt to record five points in consecutive playoff games since Jaromir Jagr in 2008 (Apr. 29 vs. PIT: one goal, one assist; May 1 vs. PIT: two goals, one assist).
Derek Dorsett made his Rangers debut in Game 2 to become the 12th player to make his Blueshirts debut in the playoffs (Chris Kreider, Lauri Korpikoski, Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Mike Richter, George McPhee, John Hughes, Bobby Sheehan, Steve Andrascik, Dennis Hextall, and Gordie Bell).
Debut — Derick Brassard (Game 1), John Moore (Game 1), Kris Newbury (Game 1)
Goal — Carl Hagelin (Game 1), Derick Brassard (Game 3)
Assist — Derick Brassard (Game 3), Mats Zuccarello (Game 3)
Point — Derick Brassard (Game 3, assist), Mats Zuccarello (Game 3, assist)
This is the first time the Blueshirts have faced 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.
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.
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 is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender for the fifth time
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.
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.
Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5/11) — 52
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 134
Total Man-Games Lost (Playoffs): 11