Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-15-1 (31 pts)
Predators: 13-14-3 (29 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden (7:30p.m. — TV: MSG 2; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), as they continue their franchise record nine-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-15-1 (31 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Washington Capitals, 4-1, on Sunday and are now 0-1-1 on their homestand. The Blueshirts have registered a point in 13 of the last 21 games (12-8-1), and are tied for fourth in the conference and 10th in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Predators enter the contest with a 13-14-3 (29 pts) record to rank 12th in the Western Conference, and have lost five straight games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, Dec. 12.
RANGERS vs. PREDATORS:
All-Time: 9-5-1-2 overall (3-4-1-1 at home; 6-1-0-1 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the second and final meeting this season, and the first and only meeting at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-0-0 (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 2-0 win on Nov. 23 at Bridgestone Arena. The Rangers out-shot the Predators, 34-17, in the contest, including a 27-12 advantage after the first period. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill was 2-2 (100.0%). Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan each tallied a goal, while Mats Zuccarello registered a team-high, two assists in the contest. Cam Talbot made 17 saves in the shutout.
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 Blueshirts enter the contest with a shutout streak of 179:50 against the Predators, dating back to the 5:10 mark of the first period in a 2-1 shootout victory on Nov. 27, 2010 at Nashville. The Rangers have won each of their last three games against the Predators, out-scoring Nashville, 7-1, during the stretch. The Blueshirts have won five of the last seven contests against the Predators.
New York is 5-7-1 at home; Nashville is 7-8-1 on the road. New York is 4-7-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; Nashville is 6-7-1 vs. Eastern Conference opponents.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. PREDATORS: Henrik Lundqvist – 6 GP, 4-2-0, 1 SO, 1.50 GAA; Cam Talbot – 1 GP, 1-0-0, 1 SO, 0.00 GAA; Rick Nash – 52 GP, 20-16–36; Brad Richards – 22 GP, 5-18–23; Derick Brassard – 24 GP, 3-8–11; Anton Stralman – 14 GP, 1-2–3.
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 seven games (6-21, 28.6% over the span).
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 11 of the last 14 games (32-35, 91.4% over the span)
Power Play: The Rangers were 0-2 (4:00) on Sunday vs. Washington. New York ranks 12th in the NHL overall (20-103, 19.4%), and 23rd at home (7-46, 15.2%). 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 Sunday vs. Washington. New York is tied for sixth in the NHL overall (83-97, 85.6%), and 12th at home (32-38, 84.2%). 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 surrendered one goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) on Sunday vs. Washington, and are now -2 in 29 four-on-four situations (42:53) this season. Four-on-four goals for (2): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard). Four-on-four goals allowed (4): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes); 12/8 vs. WSH (Grabovski, PS).
RINGMASTERS: The Rangers have won 99-175 faceoffs (56.6%) in the last three games, including a season-high, 41 faceoff wins (41-64, 64%), in a 3-1 victory on Thursday at BUF.
SHUTTING THE DOOR: The Rangers have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 17 of the last 24 games, and 18 of the last 26. New York has allowed 51 goals over the last 24 games (2.12 GAA), and 55 goals in the last 26 games (2.12 GAA). The Blueshirts are tied for second in the NHL with four shutouts and have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 19 games this season, which is tied for fourth in the league.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: Derek Stepan – 1 assist from 100th NHL career; Rick Nash – 1 point from 600th NHL career; Mats Zuccarello – 3 games from 100th NHL career; Derick Brassard – 7 points from 200th NHL career.
INJURIES (59 Man-Games Lost): Derek Dorsett (sprained wrist on 12/2, day-to-day) – 3; Marc Staal (injured on 12/7, out indefinitely) – 1.
RECENT TRANSACTIONS: Dec. 9 – Recalled forward Arron Asham from Hartford (AHL), and assigned forward J.T. Miller to Hartford.