Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Sunday, Dec. 8, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-14-1 (31 pts)
Capitals: 15-12-2 (32 pts)
The Rangers will continue their franchise record, nine-game homestand, when they face-off against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts rank third in the Metropolitan Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-14-1 (31 pts). The Rangers were defeated by the New Jersey Devils, 4-3, in overtime Saturday at Madison Square Garden, and have now registered a point in 13 of their last 20 games (12-7-1). The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the conference, and ninth in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Capitals enter the contest with a 15-12-2 (32 pts) record to rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.).
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
All-Time: 88-86-18-6 overall (48-38-9-3 at home; 40-48-9-3 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the second of four meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-0-0 overall (0-0-0 at home;1-0-0 on the road), following a 2-0 win on Oct. 16 at Verizon Center. The Rangers out-shot the Capitals, 36-22, including a 32-14 advantage after two periods. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill was 4-4 (100.0%) in the contest. Ryan Callahan and John Moore each tallied a goal, while Brad Richards registered a team-high, two assists. Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves in the shutout.
Last Season: 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% in two games.
The Rangers have registered a point in nine of their last 11 meetings with the Capitals, dating back to a 7-0 win on Dec. 12, 2010. New York has posted an 8-2-1 record and has out-scored Washington, 36-19, during the stretch.
New York is 5-6-1 at home; Washington is 5-5-2 on the road.
New York is 5-3-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; Washington is 5-4-0 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. CAPITALS: Henrik Lundqvist – 25 GP, 15-7-3, 4 SO, 2.55 GAA; Brad Richards – 54 GP, 9-31–40; Ryan Callahan – 22 GP, 10-7–17; Rick Nash – 12 GP, 7-8–15; Ryan McDonagh – 10 GP, 1-5–6.
New York is tied for first in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations.
The Rangers have tallied a power play goal in four of their last six games (6-19, 31.6% over the span).
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 13 games (30-33, 90.9% over the span).
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-4 (6:49) earlier tonight vs. New Jersey. New York is tied for 11th in the NHL overall (20-101, 19.8%), and ranks 23rd at home (7-44, 15.9%). 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 2-3 (2:13) earlier tonight vs. New Jersey. New York is tied for fifth in the NHL overall (81-95, 85.3%), and 15th at home (30-36, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-3 (2:49) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/4 vs. ANA), and 3-5 (1:08) when three-on-four (last – 12/7 vs. NJD). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).
Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:02) earlier tonight vs. New Jersey, and are now -1 in 28 four-on-four situations (40:53) 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).
Scheduled to play in 13 back-to-back sets this season.
Combined record – 6-4-1.
Record in 1st game – 3-2-1 (1-1-1 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 16-5-5 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).
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL: The Rangers defeated the Capitals, 2-0, on Oct. 16 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.
STREAKING RANGERS: Ryan McDonagh and Brad Richards both enter the game with a Rangers’ season-high, six-game point streak, while Mats Zuccarello is riding a four-game point streak that includes a three-game goal streak. McDonagh’s streak establishes a career-high and includes a career-best, four-game assist streak (five assists), which ties the Rangers’ season-high. He has registered seven points (one goal, six assists) during the six-game streak which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is the longest by a Rangers defenseman since Brian Leetch registered a point in seven straight games during the 2003-04 season (Nov. 23 – Dec. 4). Richards has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) during his streak, which is his longest since he finished with at least one point in the final six games of last season. Zuccarello’sfour-game point streak (three goals, three assists) ties his career-high, posted earlier this season from Nov. 6 vs. PIT to Nov. 12 vs. NJD, while his three-game goal streak (three goals) establishes a career-high and ties for the Rangers’ season-high.
SAVING A POINT: Chris Kreider tallied a power play goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation earlier tonight to help the Rangers earn a point in a 4-3 OT loss vs. NJD. The last regular season game the Rangers tied in the final minute of regulation was on Jan. 1, 2011, at TBL (2-1 OT loss).
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: Derek Stepan – 1 assist from 100th NHL career; Rick Nash – 1 point from 600th NHL career.
INJURIES (57 Man-Games Lost): Derek Dorsett (sprained wrist on 12/2, day-to-day) – 2.