Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CALGARY FLAMES
Sunday, Dec. 15, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-17-1 (31 pts)
Flames: 13-15-4 (30 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Calgary Flames at Madison Square Garden (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), as they continue their franchise record nine-game homestand. The Blueshirts rank sixth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 12th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-17-1 (31 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2, on Thursday and are now 0-3-1 on their homestand. The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the conference and 11th in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Flames enter the contest with a 13-15-4 (30 pts) record to rank 13th in the Western Conference, and have won five of their last seven games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.).
RANGERS vs. FLAMES:
All-Time: 39-53-15-0 overall (26-24-5-0 at home; 12-29-10-0 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the first of two meetings this season, and the first and only meeting at Madison Square Garden.
Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 1-0-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 overtime win on Oct. 20, 2011 at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Rangers’ power play was 1-2 (50.0%), while the penalty kill tallied a shorthanded goal in the contest. Ryan McDonagh notched his first career overtime, game-winning goal with less than 0:02 remaining in the extra frame, while Dan Girardi, Brian Boyle, Brad Richards, and Derek Stepan each tallied an assist. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves in the win.
The Blueshirts enter the contest with a two-game winning streak against the Flames.
The Rangers and Flames have been separated by two or fewer goals in 10 of their last 12 meetings (7-3-0-0 when separated by two goals), with seven of those contests being decided by one-goal (6-1-0-0 when separated by one goal)
The Blueshirts won their last meeting against the Flames at Madison Square Garden with a 2-1 victory on Nov. 22, 2010.
New York is 5-9-1 at home; Calgary is 7-8-1 on the road.
New York is 4-8-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; Calgary is 7-3-2 vs. Eastern Conference opponents.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. FLAMES: Henrik Lundqvist – 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.70 GAA; Rick Nash – 34 GP, 9-14–23; Brad Richards – 17 GP, 8-11–19; Taylor Pyatt – 34 GP, 6-10–16; Dan Girardi – 5 GP, 2-3–5.
New York is tied for first in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations.
The Rangers’ power play is 6-26 (23.1%) in the last nine games.
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 13 of the last 16 games (36-39, 92.3% over the span).
Power Play: The Rangers were 0-3 (6:00) on Thursday vs. Columbus. New York ranks 14th in the NHL overall (20-108, 18.5%), and 25th at home (7-51, 13.7%). 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 (2:03) on Thursday vs. Columbus. New York ranks seventh in the NHL overall (86-100, 86.0%), and 10th at home (35-41, 85.4%). 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 tallied one goal in three four-on-four situations (5:57) on Thursday vs. Columbus, and are now -1 in 32 four-on-four situations (48:50) this season. Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi). 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 162-293 faceoffs (55.3%) in the last five games, including a season-high, 41 faceoff wins (41-64, 64%), in a 3-1 victory on Dec. 5 at Buffalo. New York won 39-63 faceoffs (62%) on Thursday vs. Columbus, led by Derek Stepan’s game-high, 14 faceoff wins (14-25, 56%). Brian Boyle also won 10-11 faceoffs (91%) in the contest, while Dominic Moore won all seven of his faceoffs.
BROADWAY DEBUT: Rangers’ defenseman Dylan McIlrath was credited with one hit in 8:55 of ice time while skating in his NHL debut on Thursday against Columbus at Madison Square Garden. He became the second Blueshirt to make his NHL debut this season, along with forward Jesper Fast in the season opener on Oct. 3, 2013 at Phoenix. McIlrath was originally selected by the Rangers as a first round choice, 10th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
MOVING ON UP: Dan Girardi notched his second goal of the season on Thursday against Columbus, and is now tied for second among Rangers defensemen with seven points this season. The game was his 521st career NHL appearance, passing Jeff Beukeboom for 27th – and ninth among defensemen – on the Rangers’ all-time games played list.
FAST START: The Rangers are tied for seventh in the NHL with a 14-2-1 record (.824 win%) when tallying the game’s first goal this season. The Blueshirts have opened the game’s scoring in seven of the last 12 contests.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
Derek Stepan – 1 assist from 100th NHL career.
Mats Zuccarello – 1 game from 100th NHL career.
Derick Brassard – 6 points from 200th NHL career.
Michael Del Zotto – 9 assists from 100th NHL career.
INJURIES (63 Man-Games Lost):
Marc Staal (IR – concussion on 12/7, out indefinitely) – 3
Ryan Callahan (IR – sprained MCL on 12/10, 4 weeks) – 1
Derick Brassard (lower-body injury on 12/10, day-to-day) – 1
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)