Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Monday, Jan. 6, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 21-20-2 (44 pts)
Blue Jackets: 18-20-4 (40 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), in their third game in four nights. The Blueshirts rank fourth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 10th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 21-20-2 (44 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-1, on Saturday at Air Canada Centre, to complete their five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 mark. The Blueshirts have won five of their last seven games, and are tied for fifth in the conference in ROW (18). The Blue Jackets enter the contest with an 18-20-4 (40 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at United Center (8:00 p.m.), in an Original Six matchup.
RANGERS vs. BLUE JACKETS:
All-Time: 6-7-1-0 overall (3-2-1-0 at home; 3-5-0-0 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the third of four meetings this season, and the second and final meeting at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-1-0 overall (0-1-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 4-2 loss on Dec. 12 at MSG. The Rangers have out-shot the Blue Jackets, 32-16, in the second period, and have out-scored Columbus 4-2 after the first period. The Blueshirts penalty kill is 4-4 (100.0%) in the series. Carl Hagelin leads all skaters with two goals, while Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello are tied for the series lead with two assists apiece. Cam Talbot is 1-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and .938 Sv% in two appearances.
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 six meetings with the Blue Jackets, including two of their last three meetings at Madison Square Garden
New York is 8-10-2 at home; Columbus is 9-11-2 on the road
New York is 5-8-2 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; Columbus is 8-7-1 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 four former Rangers on its roster: Artem Anisimov (2008-09 – 2011-12); Brandon Dubinsky (2006-07 – 2011-12); Marian Gaborik (2009-10 – 2012-13); Fedor Tyutin (2003-04 – 2007-08)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLUE JACKETS:
Henrik Lundqvist – 6 GP, 3-3-0, 3.11 GAA
Cam Talbot – 2 GP, 1-0-0, 1.67 GAA
Brad Richards – 22 GP, 9-13–22
Dominic Moore – 13 GP, 1-7–8
Dan Girardi – 7 GP, 2-3–5
SPECIAL TEAMS: Have notched a power play goal in six of the last nine games (9-32, 28.1% over the span), and are 15-62 (24.2%) on the man advantage in the last 19 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 1-3 (4:31) on Saturday at Toronto. New York ranks ninth in the NHL overall (29-144, 20.1%), and 23rd at home (11-72, 15.3%). 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 1-1 (2:00) on Saturday at Toronto. New York ranks eighth in the NHL overall (110-130, 84.6%), and is tied for ninth at home (49-58, 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) on Saturday at Toronto, and are now -2 in 48 four-on-four situations (79:39) 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).
GOALS GALORE: The Rangers concluded a five-game road trip with a 7-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at Air Canada Centre. The seven goals marked a season-high for New York, and are the most the Rangers have tallied in a game since an 8-4 win on Apr. 19, 2013 at Buffalo. Additionally, the six-goal margin of victory is the largest for the Rangers since a 7-0 win on Mar. 6, 2011 vs. Philadelphia. The last time the Blueshirts tallied seven or more goals in Toronto was an 8-2 victory on Mar. 14, 1990.
TEAM EFFORT: New York had 15 of 18 skaters register at least one point in their 7-1 win at Toronto on Saturday, including five of six defensemen with an assist in the contest. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Rangers had at least 15 skaters register a point in a game was Jan. 19, 2010 vs. Tampa Bay (8-2 win, 16 players), and the last time the Rangers had five defensemen with a point was Dec. 1, 2011 at Carolina (5-3 win).
SHOOTING GALLERY: The Blueshirts registered a season-high, 50 shots on goal in a 7-1 victory on Saturday at Toronto. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Rangers had 50 or more shots in a game was Dec. 27, 2010 vs. the NY Islanders (52 shots), and the last time they posted 50+ shots in a road game was Feb. 15, 2003 at Buffalo (52 shots). The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in 10 of the last 12 games, and hold a 415-327 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have registered 40 or more shots six times this season, including in two straight games on Dec. 23 vs. Toronto and Dec. 27 at Washington, and have posted 30 or more shots in 12 of the last 16 games.
MILESTONE MATS: Mats Zuccarello established a career-high with three power play points on Dec. 29 at Tampa Bay, while tying his career-best for most points in a game. On Dec. 20 vs. NY Islanders, he tallied a power play assist to establish a single-season career-high in scoring with his 24th point of the season. Zuccarello has registered 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in the last 21 games, with nine points (four goals, five assists) in the last nine, and has tallied 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in the last 35 games since his healthy scratch on Oct. 24 at Philadelphia. He leads the team in assists (20) and points (30), is tied for first in power play points (13), and second in goals (10) this season.
INJURIES (80 Man-Games Lost):
Derek Dorsett (broken fibula on 1/3, 4-6 weeks) – 1
Jan. 5 – Assigned defenseman Conor Allen to Hartford (AHL)
Jan. 4 – Acquired forward Daniel Carcillo from Los Angeles in exchange for a conditional seventh round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft
Jan. 2 – Agreed to terms with forward Anthony Duclair to an entry level contract
Jan. 2 – Waived forward Taylor Pyatt (claimed by Pittsburgh)
Photo by Getty Images.