Post-game notes and quotes courtesy of the Rangers:
Rangers 3, Stars 2.
– The Rangers began a four-game homestand with a 3-2 victory against the Dallas Stars tonight at Madison Square Garden. Rick Nash notched the game-winning goal with 1:58 remaining in regulation. New York has now registered a point in 10 of their last 13 games (8-3-2), and six of their last seven at home (4-1-2).
– The Blueshirts improved to 23-20-3 overall (49 pts), including a 9-10-3 mark at home this season.
– New York swept the season series against Dallas (2-0-0), and has now won four of their last five games against Stars. The Blueshirts have out-scored the Stars, 14-9, in their last five meetings.
– The Rangers and Stars have been separated by one goal in each of their last four meetings (3-1-0 over the span), including a 3-2 shootout victory on Jan. 7, 2011 at Dallas.
– The Rangers power play was 1-3 (2:30) in the contest. The Blueshirts have notched a power play goal in nine of the last 12 games (13-43, 30.2% over the span), including in each of the last four games (5-14, 35.7% over the span).
– New York out-shot Dallas, 34-26, including a 13-6 advantage in the first period. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in 12 of the last 15 games, holding a 524-429 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have posted 30 or more shots in 15 of the last 19 contests, and now ranks fifth in the NHL with 32.2 shots per game.
– The Blueshirts out-hit the Stars, 37-21, including 13 players credited with at least one hit and six skaters with three or more hits. Daniel Carcillo led all skaters with a Rangers’ season-high, eight hits, while making his Madison Square Garden debut as a Blueshirt.
– The Rangers won a season-high, 45-73 faceoffs (61.6%), led by Derick Brassard’s game-high, 15 faceoff wins (15-21, 71.4%).
– Rick Nash notched the game-winning goal with 1:58 remaining in regulation to earn first star honors. The goal was his 10th of the season and his 50th career game-winner. Nash has registered seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last 11 games, including three goals in the last three contests.
– Brad Richards tallied two assists, including one on the power play, to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, four assists over the span), and won 13-25 faceoffs (52%) in 20:23 of ice time. He has posted multi-point efforts in each of the last two contests (one goal, three assists during the stretch), and now leads the team with 22 assists and 33 points this season.
– Ryan Callahan notched a goal to extend his point streak to four games (one goal, three assists over the span), and was credited with four hits and a game-high, four blocked shots in 19:22 of ice time. Callahan has now registered four points in five games since returning from injury on Jan. 3 against Pittsburgh.
– Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to improve to 14-16-3 overall, including a 6-9-3 mark at home this season. He has now won four of his last six starts, posting a record of 4-1-1 with a 2.60 goals against average and .917 save percentage over the span.
– Derick Brassard registered a power play goal, three shots, four hits, and won a game-high, 15-21 faceoffs (71%). He has recorded a point in eight of the last 12 games, registering 10 points (two goals, eight assists) over the span, and is now tied for the team lead with five power play goals this season.
– Mats Zuccarello recorded a power play assist, and was credited with two hits and two takeaways in 14:46 of ice time. He has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last seven games, including two power play points (one goal, one assist) in the last two contests. Zuccarello leads the team with 15 power play points this season.
– Chris Kreider tallied the primary assist on the game-winning goal and was credited with five hits in 16:55 of ice time. He has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last 11 games, including a point in three of the last four (one goal, two assists). Kreider is now tied fifth on the team in scoring with 25 points, and ranks second with 101 hits this season.
– Derek Stepan registered an assist on the game-winning goal, four shots, and won 11-17 faceoffs (65%) in 16:56 of ice time. The assist was his 20th of the season, and he ranks third on the team in assists and points (27). Stepan has now reached the 20-assist plateau in each of his four NHL seasons.
– Benoit Pouliot tallied an assist, two shots, and two hits in 12:10 of ice time. He has now tallied a point in 12 of his last 17 games, registering 12 points (six goals, six assists) over the span.
Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game… “We felt coming into tonight that this was an important game for us. The fact that we had gone to Chicago and won that game and played really well, we wanted to come home and follow it up. It was a grind. It was a hard game to get momentum, to get flow. There was fifty-somewhat face-offs after two periods and seventy-something in the whole game. That’s a lot of face-offs and a lot of time when you are changing lines and not getting a lot of rhythm in the game. The guys had to stay focused and I thought for the most part we played pretty solid. We were able to, in the first and in the third, spend some quality time in their end, working their defense. It took it to the final minutes and we got a big goal from Nash.”
Henrik Lundqvist on Rick Nash… “He is playing great. He is so strong with the puck and that goal was huge for us to get that win at home. We have a lot of home games coming up, so we need to build some confidence here and feel really good about ourselves playing in this building. We have been good on the road but we have to start to take care of business at home and gain some confidence here. This is a big game for us.”
Rick Nash on winning two games in a row… “That’s what we talked about before the game. Going to a team like Chicago and getting two points is huge, but it doesn’t mean much if we don’t get that win tonight. Tonight kind of puts the exclamation mark on [Wednesday’s] win, and now we have to worry about Sunday.”
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