Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Friday, Dec. 20, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 16-17-2 (34 pts)
Islanders: 9-19-7 (25 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders 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 fifth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 10th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 16-17-2 (34 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in the shootout on Wednesday and are now 1-3-2 on their homestand. The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the conference in ROW (15). The Islanders enter the contest with a 9-19-7 (25 pts) record to rank 15th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost 13 of their last 14 games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, Dec. 22, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
All-Time: 120-99-19-7 overall (69-37-11-5 at home; 51-62-8-2 on the road).
2013-14: Tonight is the second of five meetings this season, and the first of three 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 3-2 win on Oct. 29 at Nassau Coliseum. The Rangers tallied two goals in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit. The Blueshirts’ power play was 2-4 (50.0%), while the penalty kill was 3-3 (100.0%) in the contest. Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh, and Benoit Pouliot each notched a goal, while Derek Stepan recorded two assists. Cam Talbot made 22 saves in the win.
Last Season: New York was 3-0-1 overall (1-0-1 at home; 2-0-0 on the road). Three of their four meetings were decided in extra time, including one that required the shootout. The Rangers out-scored the Islanders, 10-6, in the series, including a 4-1 advantage in the first period and a 4-1 advantage after the second. The Blueshirts’ power play was 3-13 (23.1%), while the penalty kill was 8-8 (100.0%). Carl Hagelin (one goal, two assists), Rick Nash (one goal, two assists), and Marc Staal (three assists) each tallied three points apiece. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-0-0 with a 0.65 GAA, .977 Sv%, and one shutout in three games.
The Rangers have registered at least one point in 18 of their last 21 games against the Islanders, posting a record of 15-3-3 over the span, dating back to a 5-2 win on Dec. 17, 2009, at Long Island.
The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 10-game point streak against the Islanders at Madison Square Garden (8-0-2), having out-scored Long Island, 40-18, during the stretch.
NY Rangers are 6-9-2 at home; NY Islanders are 4-13-0 on the road.
NY Rangers are 5-5-2 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; NY Islanders are 2-8-3 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents.
NY Rangers list two former Islanders on their roster: Arron Asham (2002-03 – 2006-07); Taylor Pyatt (2000-01).
NY Islanders list no former Rangers on their roster.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. ISLANDERS: Henrik Lundqvist – 44 GP, 27-11-5, 5 SO, 2.07 GAA; Cam Talbot – 1 GP, 1-0-0, 2.00 GAA; Brad Richards – 40 GP, 13-23–36; Ryan Callahan – 34 GP, 7-14–21; Rick Nash – 13 GP, 5-6–11; Dan Girardi – 40 GP, 5-7–12.
The Rangers’ power play is 7-34 (20.6%) in the last 11 games.
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 13 of the last 18 games (41-46, 89.1% over the span).
Is tied for second in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations.
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-4 (6:57) on Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh. New York ranks 14th in the NHL overall (21-116, 18.1%), and 24th at home (8-59, 13.6%). The Rangers are 3-11 (5:44) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/15 vs. CGY), and 0-2 (2:30) when four-on-three (last – 12/18 vs. PIT). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 1-2 (3:23) on Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh. New York is tied for seventh in the NHL overall (91-107, 85.0%), and 15th at home (40-48, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-3 (2:49) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/4 vs. ANA), and 4-6 (4:29) when three-on-four (last – 12/15 vs. CGY). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).
Four-on-Four: New York tallied one goal and yielded one goal in four, four-on-four situations (7:00) on Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh, and are now -1 in 39 four-on-four situations (60:09) this season. Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi); 12/18 vs. PIT (Hagelin). Four-on-four goals allowed (5): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes); 12/8 vs. WSH (Grabovski, PS); 12/18 vs. PIT (Sutter).
GOALIE GREATS: Henrik Lundqvist made his 538th career appearance on Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh to move into a tie with Ed Giacomin for third on the Rangers all-time goaltender appearances list. Below are the current leaders:
1. Mike Richter – 666
2. Gump Worsley – 582
3. Henrik Lundqvist – 538
Ed Giacomin – 538
WESTERN SHOOTOUT: The Rangers have required the shootout in each of the last two games after being the only team in the NHL to not participate in a shootout in their first 33 contests of the season. The Blueshirts’ 4-3 shootout victory against the Calgary Flames on Sunday at Madison Square Garden ended a stretch of 41 regular season games without a shootout, with their last shootout being on Apr. 10, 2013 vs. Toronto (3-2 SO win). New York tallied four shootout goals in seven rounds in Sunday’s win, tying a franchise record for most goals in a single shootout (3-2 SO win on Nov. 25, 2005 vs. Washington – 15 rounds; 3-2 SO win on Jan. 2, 2007 at New Jersey – eight rounds). Lundqvist is now 46-31 all-time in shootouts, ranking second in the NHL all-time in shootout wins (Ryan Miller, 47 shootout wins).
MILESTONES IN SIGHT: Derick Brassard – 5 points from 200th NHL career; Michael Del Zotto – 9 assists from 100th NHL career.
INJURIES (67 Man-Games Lost):
Marc Staal (IR – concussion on 12/7, out indefinitely) – 5
Ryan Callahan (IR – sprained MCL on 12/10, 4 weeks) – 3
Dec. 19 — Recalled J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL); assigned Arron Asham and Dylan McIlrath to Hartford.
Photo by Getty Images.