Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Saturday, Jan. 4, 7:00 p.m. ET
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
Rangers: 20-20-2 (42 pts)
Maple Leafs: 21-16-5 (47 pts)
The Rangers will complete their five-game road trip when they face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts rank fifth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 11th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 20-20-2 (42 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2, Friday. The Blueshirts have won four of their last six games, and are tied for fifth in the conference in ROW (17). The Maple Leafs enter the contest with a 21-16-5 (47 pts) record to rank fifth in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last three games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, Jan. 6, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their third game in four nights.
RANGERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS:
All-Time: 223-273-95-6 overall (130-111-56-3 at home; 93-162-39-3 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the second of three meetings this season, and the only meeting at Air Canada Centre. New York is 1-0-0 (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 2-1 shootout win on Dec. 23 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers out-shot the Maple Leafs, 43-26, in the contest, including a 22-5 advantage in the second period. The Blueshirts penalty kill is 4-4 (100.0%) in the series. J.T. Miller notched the lone goal for New York, off a feed from Chris Kreider and Benoit Pouliot, while Derek Stepan tallied the game-deciding goal in the shootout. Cam Talbot made 25 saves through regulation/overtime, and stopped two of three shootout attempts for the win.
Last Season: New York was 2-1-0 overall (2-0-0 mark at home; 0-1-0 mark on the road). Two of their three meetings were separated by one goal, including a 3-2 SO victory for the Blueshirts on Apr. 10 at MSG. The Rangers out-shot the Maple Leafs, 104-70, with a 75-48 advantage after the first period, and out-scored Toronto 6-2 in the third period. Rick Nash (two goals, two assists) and Derek Stepan (one goal, three assists) tied for the team lead in scoring with four points apiece in the series, while Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 2.61 GAA.
The Rangers have recorded a point in 13 of their last 16 meetings with the Maple Leafs (11-3-2 over the span), including seven of their last eight games in Toronto (6-1-1) during the stretch
New York is 12-10-0 on the road; Toronto is 14-8-1 at home
New York is 9-4-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents; Toronto is 6-4-2 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
New York lists two former Maple Leafs on its roster: Dominic Moore (2007-08 – 2008-09); Anton Stralman (2007-08 – 2008-09)
Toronto lists one former Ranger on its roster: Colton Orr (2005-06 – 2008-09)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS:
Henrik Lundqvist – 23 GP, 12-7-4, 2 SO, 2.65 GAA
Cam Talbot – 1 GP, 1-0-0, 0.92 GAA
Brad Richards – 38 GP, 17-18–35
Benoit Pouliot – 18 GP, 4-10–14
Rick Nash – 12 GP, 4-6–10
Dan Girardi – 26 GP, 4-4–8
Have notched a power play goal in five of the last eight games (8-29, 27.6% over the span), and are 14-59 (23.7%) on the man advantage in the last 18 contests … Have tallied two or more power play goals in six games this season
Is tied for fourth in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations.
Power Play: The Rangers were 0-3 (6:00) tonight at Pittsburgh. New York ranks ninth in the NHL overall (28-141, 19.9%), and fourth on the road (17-69, 24.6%). The Rangers are 3-12 (5:58) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. TOR), and 0-3 (3:55) when four-on-three (last – 12/20 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille); 12/20 vs. NYI (Clutterbuck, PS); 12/20 vs. NYI (Grabner).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 1-2 (3:58) tonight at Pittsburgh. New York ranks eighth in the NHL overall (109-129, 84.5%), and 10th on the road (60-71, 84.5%). The Rangers are 2-4 (3:25) in three-on-five situations (last – 12/20 vs. NYI), and 4-6 (4:29) when three-on-four (last – 12/15 vs. CGY). Shorthanded goals for (2): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh); 12/27 at WSH (Hagelin).
Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) tonight at Pittsburgh, and are now -2 in 47 four-on-four situations (77:39) 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 (6): 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); 12/27 at WSH (Fehr).
Scheduled to play in 13 back-to-back sets this season
Combined record – 8-6-1
Record in 1st game – 4-3-1 (2-1-1 at home; 2-2-0 on the road)
Record in 2nd game – 4-3-0 (2-2-0 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 17-6-5 in the first half of back-to-back games dating back to the start of the 2011-12 season, and 17-8-2 in the second game over the span
Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 67 times in his career (41-19-7, 2.06 GAA, .930 Sv%, 6 SO in the 2nd game)
ORIGINAL SIX SHOWDOWN: Tonight’s contest will be the seventh of 14 scheduled games against Original Six opponents this season (3-3-0). Since 2005-06, New York has posted a record of 61-40-12 against Original Six teams, including a 19-9-4 mark vs. Toronto over the span. The Rangers’ .593 win% ranks third, trailing Detroit (.639, 47-24-12) and Montreal (.611, 87-53-13), and ahead of Chicago (.555, 40-31-11), Boston (.535, 73-62-23), and Toronto (.487, 65-69-23).
ROAD WARRIORS: New York has won 10 of its last 14 road contests, and are now 12-10-0 away from Madison Square Garden this season. The Rangers’ 12 road wins are tied for first in the Eastern Conference, and third in the league overall. The Blueshirts power play ranks fourth in the NHL on the road, tallying 17-69 (24.6%) with the man advantage on the road.
INJURIES (79 man-games lost):
Derek Dorsett (broken fibula) out 4-6 weeks.
Jan. 2 – Agreed to terms with forward Anthony Duclair to an entry level contract
Jan. 2 – Waived forward Taylor Pyatt (claimed by Pittsburgh)
Dec. 27 – Recalled defenseman Conor Allen from Hartford (AHL)
Photo by Getty Images.