But first, this important note: Time permitting, we will have our first ticket contest of the season today. You can enter when the contest rules are posted at noon, and entries will close at 6:30 p.m. when “It’s Go Time!” is posted. So don’t be a knucklehead and make your predictions until noon. There will be some new guidelines, and maybe a new judge.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Saturday, Oct. 19, 7:00 p.m. ET
Prudential Center – Newark, NJ
Rangers: 2-4-0 (4 pts)
Devils: 0-4-3 (3 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in their second of three straight divisional matchups. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 10th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 2-4-0 (4 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Capitals, 2-0, on Wednesday at Washington, in their first meeting since the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Devils enter the contest with a 0-4-3 (3 pts) record to rank 14th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost their last three games in regulation. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Wells Fargo Center (7:00 p.m.), as they continue their season-opening nine game road trip.
RANGERS vs. DEVILS:
All-Time: 104-85-27-6 overall (58-30-20-2 at home; 46-55-7-4 on the road)
2013-14: This is the first of five meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Prudential Center.
Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 overall (2-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Rangers out-scored the Devils, 12-6, including an 8-1 advantage at MSG and a 6-2 advantage after the first period. Ryan Callahan (three goals, two assists), Derek Stepan (two goals, three assists), and Brad Richards (five assists) tied for the series scoring lead with five points apiece, while Rick Nash tied Callahan with a series-high, three goals. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA, .940 Sv%, and one shutout.
The Rangers and Devils have been separated by two goals or less in 15 of their last 21 meetings
The Blueshirts have registered a point in 16 of their last 23 games against the Devils (14-7-2 over the span), dating back to a 3-0 win at Madison Square Garden on Mar. 30, 2009
New York is 2-4-0 on the road; New Jersey is 0-0-1 at home
New York is 1-0-0 vs. divisional opponents; New Jersey is 0-1-1 vs. divisional opponents
New York lists no former Devils on its roster
New Jersey lists two former Rangers on its roster: Ryane Clowe (2013); Jaromir Jagr (2003-04 – 2007-08
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. DEVILS: Henrik Lundqvist – 45 GP, 28-12-5, 1.77 GAA, 7 SO; Brad Richards – 42 GP, 5-33-38; Ryan Callahan – 28 GP, 10-11-21; Derek Stepan – 16 GP, 4-9-13; Dan Girardi – 38 GP, 1-14-15
Power Play: The Rangers were 0-3 (3:32) on Wednesday at Washington. New York is tied for 14th in the NHL overall (4-20, 20.0%), and 12th on the road (4-20, 20.0%). The Rangers are 2-2 (0:48) in five-on-three situations (last – 10/12 at STL), and 0-1 (0:30) when four-on-three (last – 10/12 at STL). Shorthanded goals allowed (1): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 4-4 (4:37) on Wednesday at Washington, and are now 14-16 (87.5%) in the last three games. New York ranks 20th in the NHL overall (19-24, 79.2%), and 18th on the road (19-24, 79.2%). The Rangers are 2-2 (1:59) in three-on-five situations (last – 10/16 at WSH), and 0-0 (0:00) when three-on-four. Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).
Four-on-Four: New York notched one goal in three four-on-four situations (4:28) on Wednesday at Washington, and are now -2 in seven four-on-four situations (11:33) this season. Four-on-four goals for (1): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes).
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL: The Rangers defeated the Capitals, 2-0, on Wednesday at Washington, in their first meeting since the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Including Games 6 and 7 of that series, New York has out-scored Washington, 8-0, in their last three contests. Henrik Lundqvist’s shutout streak against the Capitals is currently at 180:00 mins.
SHOOTING GALLERY: The Rangers out-shot the Capitals, 36-22, on Wednesday at Washington, including a 21-6 advantage in the second period. The 36 shots were a season-high for the Rangers, while their 21 shots in the second were the most for the Blueshirts in a single period since Mar. 15, 2011* (21 shots in the first period vs. NYI). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
SINCE 2007-08: The Rangers are 23-9-3 overall (13-4-1 at home; 10-5-2 on the road) against the Devils since 2007-08, dating back to a 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2007. Henrik Lundqvist is 23-9-2 with a 1.91 GAA, .930 Sv% and seven shutouts in 34 games over the span.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Henrik Lundqvist has faced-off against Martin Brodeur in 36 career regular season games, posting a record of 24-7-5 with a 1.75 GAA, .934 Sv% and five shutouts over the span.
GETTING STARTED: The Rangers have posted a record of 287-277-94 all-time in the month of October, including a 177-118-49 mark at home and a 110-159-45 record on the road. New York (2-4-0) is scheduled to play 12 games during the season’s opening month in 2013-14. Legendary Rangers’ defenseman Brian Leetch holds the franchise record for most points in the month of October, having registered 43 goals and 130 assists for 173 career points in the season’s opening month.
The Blueshirts’ all-time leader for most career wins in the month of October is Mike Richter, who registered 40 career wins during the season’s opening month. Henrik Lundqvist has recorded 37 career wins during the month of October. New York has posted two, seven-game winning streaks in the month of October, winning seven consecutive games during the season’s opening month in 2009-10 (Oct. 3 vs. Ottawa to Oct. 17 at Toronto) and 1988-89 (Oct. 16 vs. Vancouver to Oct. 30 vs. Pittsburgh).
ROAD WARRIORS: The Rangers are in the midst of a nine-game road trip to begin their 2013-14 regular season campaign. The trip will establish a franchise record for longest road trip to start the season, breaking the old record of seven games set in 2011-12. It will also tie the franchise mark for longest road trip overall, established during the 1955-56 season. The Blueshirts are slated to open their home schedule on Oct. 28 against Montreal, their latest home opener in a non-lockout shortened season since the 1947-48 season (Oct. 29).
FINISHING THE JOB: The Blueshirts have registered a point in 94 consecutive regular season games when leading after the second period, dating back to the 2009-10 season, posting a record of 88-0-6 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 2-0-0 when leading after the second period this season.
THE HOT LIST: Brad Richards – seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last five games, including four points (one goal, three assists) in the last two games; Derick Brassard – four assists in the last four games, including three assists in the last two contests; Derek Stepan – five assists in the last six games.
THE KING’S REIGN: Henrik Lundqvist is one of four active NHL goalies to reach the 20-win mark in eight consecutive seasons (Brodeur, 12; Luongo, 9; Vokoun, 9), and is the only goaltender with an active streak of eight straight 20-win seasons.
Was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, the fifth time in his eight-year career he has been voted a finalist for the award which he won in 2012.
Finished last 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).
Passed Ed Giacomin as the franchise leader in career total shutouts (regular season + playoffs) with a 20-save shutout in last season’s finale against New Jersey, the 51st total shutout of his career.
The Blueshirts’ netminder has captured Rangers’ MVP honors for a franchise record, seven consecutive years. His seven Rangers’ MVP awards are also a franchise record, passing Brian Leetch (six) for the most in franchise history.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: Marc Staal – 2 points from 100th NHL career.
Carl Hagelin (IR – 9/30; shoulder, out indefinitely) – 6
Rick Nash (IR – 10/14; head injury – 10/8, out indefinitely) – 3
Michael Del Zotto (flu, day-to-day) – 1
Ryan Callahan (broken thumb – 10/16, 3-4 weeks)
Total Man-Games Lost: 11
Oct. 17 – Recalled forward Darroll Powe and goaltender Jason Missiaen from Hartford (AHL); Assigned goaltender Cam Talbot to Hartford (AHL)
Oct. 15 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller and goaltender Cam Talbot from Hartford (AHL); Assigned forward Arron Asham and goaltender Martin Biron to Hartford (AHL)