Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Thursday, Dec. 12, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-16-1 (31 pts)
Blue Jackets: 13-15-3 (29 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), as they continue their franchise record nine-game homestand. The Blueshirts rank fourth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-16-1 (31 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Nashville Predators, 4-1, on Tuesday, and are now 12-9-1 in their last 22 games. The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the conference and 10th in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Blue Jackets enter the contest with a 13-15-3 (29 pts) record to rank 13th 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 Calgary Flames on Sunday, Dec. 15,(7:00 p.m.).
RANGERS vs. BLUE JACKETS:
All-Time: 6-6-1-0 overall (3-1-1-0 at home; 3-5-0-0 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 4-2 win on Nov. 7 at Nationwide Arena. The Rangers’ power play was 1-3 (33.3%) in the contest, while their penalty kill was 2-2 (100.0%). Carl Hagelin led all skaters with two goals, while Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh each tallied one goal and one assist apiece. Cam Talbot made 32 saves in the win.
Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 19 at Madison Square Garden. Derek Stepan notched the game-winning goal 22 seconds into overtime, while Michael Del Zotto led all skaters with two assists in the contest. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves in the win.
The Rangers have won four of their last five meetings with the Blue Jackets, including each of their last two meetings at Madison Square Garden.
New York is 5-8-1 at home; Columbus is 5-8-2 on the road.
New York is 5-4-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; Columbus is 4-5-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
New York lists five former Blue Jackets on its roster: Derick Brassard (2007-08 – 2012-13); Derek Dorsett (2008-09 – 2012-13); John Moore (2010-11 – 2012-13); Rick Nash (2002-03 – 2011-12); Anton Stralman (2009-10 – 2010-11).
Columbus lists five former Rangers on its roster: Artem Anisimov (2008-09 – 2011-12); Brandon Dubinsky (2006-07 – 2011-12); Tim Erixon (2011-12); Marian Gaborik (2009-10 – 2012-13); Fedor Tyutin (2003-04 – 2007-08).
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLUE JACKETS: Henrik Lundqvist – 5 GP, 3-2-0, 2.62 GAA; Cam Talbot – 1 GP, 1-0-0, 2.00 GAA; Brad Richards – 21 GP, 9-12–21; Taylor Pyatt – 29 GP, 4-5–9; Dominic Moore – 12 GP, 0-7–7; Dan Girardi – 6 GP, 1-3–4.
New York is tied for first in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations.
The Rangers’ power play is 6-23 (26.1%) in the last eight games.
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 12 of the last 15 games (34-37, 91.9% over the span).
Power Play: The Rangers were 0-2 (4:00) on Tuesday vs. Nashville. New York ranks 13th in the NHL overall (20-105, 19.0%), and 24th at home (7-48, 14.6%). 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 Tuesday vs. Nashville. New York is tied for sixth in the NHL overall (84-98, 85.7%), and rank 11th at home (33-39, 84.6%). The Rangers are 2-3 (2:49) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/4 vs. ANA), and 2-4 (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 skate in a four-on-four situation on Tuesday vs. Nashville, 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).
STREAKING RANGERS: Ryan McDonagh and Brad Richards both posted a Rangers’ season-high, six-game point streak from Nov. 27 at Florida to Dec. 7 vs. New Jersey, while Mats Zuccarello recorded a three-game point streak from Dec. 2 vs. Winnipeg to Dec. 7 vs. New Jersey. McDonagh’s streak established a career-high and included a career-best, four-game assist streak (five assists), which tied the Rangers’ season-high. He 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). It is also tied as the third longest point streak by a defenseman in the NHL this season. Richards tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) during his streak, which was his longest since he finished with at least one point in the final six games of last season. Zuccarello’s three-game goal streak (three goals) established a career-high and tied for the Rangers’ season-high.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: Derek Stepan – 1 assist from 100th NHL career; Mats Zuccarello – 2 games from 100th NHL career; Derick Brassard – 6 points from 200th NHL career.
INJURIES (60 Man-Games Lost):
Marc Staal (concussion on 12/7, out indefinitely) – 2.
Ryan Callahan (sprained MCL on 12/10, 2-4 weeks).
Dec. 11 — Recalled defenseman Dylan McIlrath from Hartford (AHL).
Dec. 9 – Recalled forward Arron Asham from Hartford (AHL), and assigned forward J.T. Miller to Hartford.
Dec. 6 – Acquired forward Kyle Beach from Chicago in exchange for forward Brandon Mashinter.
Dec. 6 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL).