Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-14-0 (30 pts)
Devils: 11-12-6 (28 pts)
The Rangers will begin a franchise record, nine-game homestand, when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden (7:30p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts ranked third in the Metropolitan Division, and eighth in the Eastern Conference before Friday’s games, with a record of 15-14-0 (30 pts). The Rangers defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 3-1, on Thursday and are now 12-7-0 in their last 19 games. The Blueshirts ranked fourth in the conference, and ninth in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Devils were 11-12-6 (28 pts) to rank 11th in the Eastern Conference entering their contest Friday against Detroit, and hadlost five of their last seven games. Following the contest, the Rangers will play Washington tomorrow, Dec. 8, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.).
RANGERS vs. DEVILS:
All-Time: 104-87-27-6 overall (58-31-20-2 at home; 46-56-7-4 on the road).
2013-14: Tonight is the third of five meetings this season, and the second and final meeting at Madison Square Garden. New York is 0-2-0 (0-1-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-2 loss on Nov. 12 at MSG. The Rangers have out-shot the Devils, 57-47, in the series, including a 20-10 advantage in the third period. Each of the Rangers’ goals have been tallied by a defenseman – Dan Girardi and Marc Staal – while Chris Kreider leads the team with two assists in two games. Henrik Lundqvist is 0-2-0 with a 3.53 GAA.
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 16 of their last 23 meetings.
The Blueshirts have registered a point in 16 of their last 25 games against the Devils (14-9-2 over the span), dating back to a 3-0 win at Madison Square Garden on Mar. 30, 2009.
New York is 5-6-0 at home; New Jersey is 6-8-3 on the road.
New York is 5-3-0 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; New Jersey is 5-4-1 vs. Metropolitan Division 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).
SINCE 2007-08: The Rangers are 23-11-3 overall (13-5-1 at home; 10-6-2 on the road) against the Devils since 2007-08, dating back to a 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2007. Henrik Lundqvist is 23-11-2 with a 2.00 GAA, .925 Sv% and seven shutouts in 36 games over the span.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Henrik Lundqvist has faced-off against Martin Brodeur in 38 career regular season games, posting a record of 24-9-5 with a 1.69 GAA, .933 Sv% and five shutouts in those contests.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. DEVILS: Henrik Lundqvist – 47 GP, 28-14-5, 7 SO, 1.84 GAA; Brad Richards – 44 GP, 5-33–38; Ryan Callahan – 29 GP, 10-11–21; Derek Stepan – 18 GP, 4-9–13; Dan Girardi – 40 GP, 2-14–16.
New York is tied for first in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations.
The Rangers’ power play is 5-15 (33.3%) in the last five games.|
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 12 games (28-30, 93.3% over the span).
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-2 (3:18) on Thursday at Buffalo. New York ranks 12th in the NHL overall (19-97, 19.6%), and 23rd at home (6-40, 15.0%). The Rangers are 3-10 (4:24) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/25 at TBL), 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 2-2 (4:00) on Thursday at Buffalo. New York ranks sixth in the NHL overall (79-92, 85.9%), and 11th at home (28-33, 84.8%). 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 skate in a four-on-four situation on Thursday at Buffalo, and are now -1 in 27 four-on-four situations (39:51) 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).
HOMESTAND: Tonight’s contest will begin a nine-game homestand for the Rangers, lasting 17 days and ending with an Original Six matchup on Dec. 23 vs. Toronto. The nine-game stretch will establish a franchise record for longest homestand, breaking the team’s previous longest homestand of seven games done five times (1969-70, 1972-73, 1977-78, 2001-02, 2011-12). Five of the nine games will be against Metropolitan Division opponents, three will be against Western Conference opponents, and one will be against an Original Six opponent. The homestand will also be book-ended by back-to-back sets, beginning on Dec. 7 vs. New Jersey – Dec. 8 vs. Washington and ending on Dec. 22 vs. Minnesota – Dec. 23 vs. Toronto.
Scheduled to play in 13 back-to-back sets this season.
Combined record – 6-4-0.
Record in 1st game – 3-2-0 (1-1-0 at home; 2-1-0 on the road).
Record in 2nd game – 3-2-0 (1-1-0 at home; 2-1-0 on the road).
Last season – 7-4-1; 1st game, 4-1-1 (3-0-0 at home; 1-1-1 on the road); 2nd game, 3-3-0 (0-2-0 at home; 3-1-0 on the road).
The Rangers are 16-5-4 in the first half of back-to-back games dating back to the start of the 2011-12 season, and 16-7-2 in the second game over the span.
Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 66 times in his career (41-18-7, 2.03 GAA, .931 Sv%, 6 SO in the 2nd game).
STREAKING RANGERS: Brad Richards and Ryan McDonagh both enter the game with a five-game point streak. The five-game streaks are tied with Carl Hagelin’s (Nov. 2 – Nov. 10) as the longest for the Rangers this season. Richards has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) over the span, and also enters with a season-high four-game assist streak. Ryan McDonagh has registered six points (one goal, five assists) during the stretch, which establishes a career-high for longest point streak. He also enters with a three-game assist streak, which ties his career-high.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Rangers lead the Eastern Conference and are tied for second in the NHL with 10 road wins this season. The Blueshirts posted a six-game winning streak on the road from Oct. 26 at Detroit to Nov. 23 at Nashville, out-scoring their opponents, 16-8, including two shutouts over the span. The streak ended one win shy of the longest road winning streak in franchise history, and was the longest for the Blueshirts since the 1993-94 season (Oct. 30 – Nov. 24). It is also tied as the longest road winning streak in the league this season. The Rangers posted wins in seven of eight road games from Oct. 26 – Nov. 27, including their six-game road winning streak. The last time the Blueshirts won seven road games in an eight-game span was during the 1993-94 season, when they won eight out of nine games from Oct. 30 – Dec. 4 (8-1-0).
STARTING FRESH: The Rangers have posted a 1.95 goals against average since returning from their season-opening five-game west coast road trip, compared to a 5.00 goals against average prior to their Oct. 16 game at Washington. New York currently ranks 12th overall with a 2.48 goals against average this season.
SHUTTING THE DOOR: The Rangers have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 17 of the last 22 games, and 18 of the last 24. New York has allowed 43 goals over the last 22 games (1.95 goals against per game), and 47 goals in the last 24 games (1.96 goals against per game). The Blueshirts are tied for first in the NHL with four shutouts and have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 19 games this season, which is tied for second in the league.
FAST START: The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL with a 14-2-0 record (.875 win%) when tallying the game’s first goal this season. The Blueshirts have opened the game’s scoring in six of the last eight contests.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: Derek Stepan – 1 assist from 100th NHL career; Rick Nash – 1 point from 600th NHL career.
INJURIES (55 Man-Games Lost): None.
Dec. 6 – Acquired forward Kyle Beach from Chicago in exchange for forward Brandon Mashinter.
Dec. 6 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL).