Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Saturday, Nov. 23, 8:00 p.m. ET
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Rangers: 11-11-0 (22 pts)
Predators: 11-9-2 (24 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena (8:00 p.m. — TV: MSG 2; Radio: The Answer 970 AM), as they continue their five-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 11-11-0 (22 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Dallas Stars, 3-2, on Thursday at American Airlines Center, for their fifth straight road win. The Predators enter the contest with a 11-9-2 (24 pts) record to rank 11th in the Western Conference, and have won three straight games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, Nov. 25, at Tampa Bay Times Forum (7:30 p.m.), in an Eastern Conference matchup.
RANGERS vs. PREDATORS:
All-Time: 8-5-1-2 overall (3-4-1-1 at home; 5-1-0-1 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the first of two meetings this season, and the first and only meeting at Bridgestone Arena
Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 mark at home; 0-0-0 mark on the road), following a 3-0 win on Jan. 17, 2012 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers’ penalty kill was 3-3 in the contest, while Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan were among the goal scorers for the Blueshirts. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves in the shutout.
The Rangers have won each of their last two games against the Predators, and four of the last six
The Blueshirts have won three straight games at Nashville, out-scoring the predators 11-4 during the stretch
New York is 7-6-0 on the road; Nashville is 5-2-1 at home
New York is 2-6-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; Nashville is 5-4-0 vs. Eastern Conference opponents.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. PREDATORS: Henrik Lundqvist – 6 GP, 4-2-0, 1 SO, 1.50 GAA; Rick Nash – 51 GP, 20-16-36; Brad Richards – 21 GP, 5-18-23; Derick Brassard – 23 GP, 3-8-11; Marc Staal – 4 GP, 1-1-2
New York is tied for first in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations
The Rangers’ power play has registered a goal in five of the last seven games (5-23, 21.7% over the span)
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in four of the last five games (13-14, 92.9% over the span)
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-1 (0:36) on Thursday at Dallas. New York is tied for 15th in the NHL overall (14-73, 19.2%), and ranks third on the road (10-38, 26.3%). The Rangers are 3-9 (3:22) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/17 vs. LAK), and 0-1 (0:30) when four-on-three (last – 10/12 at STL). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 4-5 (7:41) on Thursday at Dallas. New York ranks ninth in the NHL overall (64-76, 84.2%), and 13th on the road (40-48, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-3 (2:49) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/4 vs. ANA), and 2-3 (0:55) when three-on-four (last – 11/21 at DAL). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).
Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two four-on-four situations (1:32) on Thursday at Dallas, and are now -1 in 24 four-on-four situations (36:09) this season. Four-on-four goals for (2): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes).
RARE OCCURENCE: The Rangers have been awarded a penalty shot in each of the last two games (Chris Kreider on Nov. 19 vs. BOS; Rick Nash on Nov. 21 at DAL). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks just the second time in franchise history – and first time in 79 years – the Rangers have been awarded penalty shots in consecutive games (Nov. 19-22, 1934). The most recent NHL team to attempt penalty shots in consecutive games was the Vancouver Canucks on Mar. 14-16 of last season.
SHUTTING THE DOOR: The Rangers have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 13 of the last 15 games, and 14 of the last 17. New York has allowed 25 goals over the last 15 games (1.67 goals against per game), and 29 goals in the last 17 games (1.71 goals against per game).
BIG D: Henrik Lundqvist made a season-high, 41 saves, including 23 in the first period, and tallied a power play assist in the Rangers’ 3-2 win on Thursday at Dallas. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 23 saves in the first established a career-high for saves in a single period, breaking his previous career-high of 20 saves in a period (Dec. 29, 2010 vs. NJD, Second Period; Apr. 6, 2013 vs. CAR, Third Period). It was also the 14th time in his career Lundqvist recorded 40 or more saves in a contest, improving to 9-0-5 with a 1.39 goals against average, .968 save percentage, and four shutouts in those games.
THE HOT LIST:
Henrik Lundqvist – 5-5-0 with a 1.71 GAA, .940 Sv%, and 1 SO in his last 10 games since returning from injury on Oct. 27 vs. MTL, having held opponents to two or fewer goals in eight of those contests
Cam Talbot – 4-0-0 with a 1.46 GAA, .951 Sv%, and 1 SO in his last four games
Chris Kreider – 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the last 12 games
Ryan Callahan – six points (three goals, three assists) in nine games since returning from injury
Brad Richards – six points (one goal, five assists) in the last eight games
Derek Stepan – 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last 12 games
Carl Hagelin – nine points (four goals, five assists) in 12 games since returning from injury
CLOSING TIME: The Blueshirts have registered a point in 99 consecutive regular season games when leading after the second period, dating back to the 2009-10 season, posting a record of 93-0-6 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 7-0-0 when leading after the second period this season, and have held opponents to a league-best, 11 goals against in the final frame.
STRONG BACKUP: Cam Talbot turned aside all 22 shots faced to post his first career shutout in the Rangers’ 1-0 win on Nov. 16 at Montreal. Signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent on Mar. 30, 2010, Talbot is now 4-1-0 with a 1.58 GAA, .943 Sv%, and one shutout in five career NHL appearances. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is one of two goaltenders in franchise history, along with Lorne Chabot in 1926-27, to hold opponents to two or fewer goals in each of his first five NHL starts. Talbot is also the first Rangers’ rookie goaltender to post a win in four straight appearances since Henrik Lundqvist won in four straight games from Feb. 1, 2006 vs. PIT to Feb. 10, 2006 vs. TOR.
Taylor Pyatt (concussion – 11/7, out indefinitely) – 6
Total Man-Games Lost: 51