Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. ST. LOUIS BLUES
Thursday, Jan. 23, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 27-22-3 (57 pts)
Blues: 33-11-5 (71 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in their seventh home game in an eight-game stretch. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 27-22-3 (57 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the New York Islanders, 5-3, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, to end their winning streak at three games. The Blueshirts have won 11 of their last 16 games (11-4-1) and six of their last eight, and are tied for third in the conference in ROW (24). The Blues enter the contest with a 33-11-5 (71 pts) record to rank third in the Western Conference, and have lost four of their last six games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, Jan. 26 (12:30 p.m.), in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium.
RANGERS vs. BLUES:
All-Time: 75-40-16-0 overall (45-12-6-0 at home; 30-28-10-0 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the second and final meeting this season, and the only meeting at Madison Square Garden. New York is 0-1-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0on the road), following a 5-3 loss on Oct. 12 at Scottrade Center. The Rangers power play was 2-5 (40.0%), with Ryan Callahan tallying two power play goals in the contest. Brad Richards (one goal, one assist) also registered two points in the game, while Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan recorded two assists apiece. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 16 of 17 shots in relief of Martin Biron (13-17, 40:00).
Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 0-1-0 overall (0-0-0 mark at home; 0-1-0 mark on the road), following a 4-1 loss on Dec. 15, 2011, at Scottrade Center. Michael Del Zotto notched the lone goal for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 32 of 35 shots faced.
The Rangers and Blues have been separated by two or fewer goals in 10 of their last 12 meetings dating back to Nov. 3, 2002, with eight of those contests being decided by one goal or fewer
New York is 12-12-3 at home; St. Louis is 15-6-3 on the road
New York is 8-8-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; St. Louis is 14-3-1 vs. Eastern Conference opponents
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLUES:
Henrik Lundqvist – 4 GP, 0-3-0, 3.05 GAA
Rick Nash – 49 GP, 20-19–39
Brad Richards – 19 GP, 3-19–22
Derick Brassard – 21 GP, 3-14–17
Anton Stralman – 12 GP, 0-4–4
The Rangers have notched a power play goal in eight of the last 10 games (9-35, 25.7%), including in each of the last three contests (3-13, 23.1% during the streak), and 13 of the last 18 (17-65, 26.2%)
The Rangers rank fifth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (104.9%)
Have tallied two or more power play goals in seven games this season
Tied for first in the league in 5-on-3 goals (five)
Posted a five-game power play goal scoring streak from Jan. 4 at TOR – Jan. 12 vs. PHI (6-18, 33.3% during the streak)
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-4 (5:29) on Tuesday vs. NY Islanders. New York is tied for sixth in the NHL overall (37-176, 21.0%), and ranks 19th at home (17-98, 17.4%). The Rangers are 5-16 (6:55) in five-on-three situations (last – 1/19 vs. WSH), and 0-6 (6:56) when four-on-three (last – 1/19 vs. WSH). 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 4-5 (5:37) on Tuesday vs. NY Islanders. New York is tied for eighth in the NHL overall (130-155, 83.9%), and 11th at home (65-78, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-5 (3:54) in three-on-five situations (last – 1/19 vs. WSH), and 6-8 (6:06) when three-on-four (last – 1/21 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals for (3): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh); 12/27 at WSH (Hagelin); 1/19 vs. WSH (Callahan).
Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in three four-on-four situations (2:53) on Tuesday vs. NY Islanders, and are now -3 in 59 four-on-four situations (93:07) 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 (7): 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); 1/6 vs. CBJ (Atkinson).
RICK ROLLING: Rick Nash enters the contest with a three-game goal streak (five goals during the streak), and has registered nine goals in the last nine contests. He has notched the game’s opening goal in each of the last two games, at 1:10 of the first on Sunday vs. Washington, and 1:02 of the first on Tuesday vs. NY Islanders. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Rangers player to score a goal within the game’s opening 70 seconds in consecutive games was Jan Hlavac on Jan. 15, 2000 (0:50) and Jan. 16, 2000 (0:41). Nash was credited with the game-winning goal in four straight games in which he scored a goal from Jan. 10 vs. Dallas to Jan. 19 vs. Washington, becoming the first Blueshirt to do so since Tom Poti in 2003-04.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Rangers have registered a point in seven of their last nine games at Madison Square Garden (6-2-1), and nine of their last 12 at home (7-3-2). New York is currently playing a stretch of seven home games in an eight-game span, having already completed a four-game homestand with a 3-1-0 mark.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: The Blueshirts have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 30 of 52 games this season, including seven of their last eight games and nine of their last 12. The Rangers have also allowed two or fewer goals in five of their last six games at home, and seven of their last nine at Madison Square Garden. New York is tied for fourth in the NHL in games with two goals or fewer allowed this season, and are 24-6-0 when holding opponents to two goals or less.
KING HENRIK: Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two goals or fewer in each of his last six games (5-1-0, 1.34 GAA, .958 Sv%, 1 SO), and is 7-2-1 with a 1.97 GAA, .937 Sv%, and one shutout in his last 10 appearances. Now in his ninth season, Lundqvist is seven wins away from the 300th of his NHL career, and eight wins away from Mike Richter’s franchise record of 301 career victories. He is also four appearances shy of Tiny Thompson for 50th on the NHL all-time goaltender appearances list.
EARLY ADVANTAGE: The Blueshirts have tallied the first goal of the game in six of their last eight contests, and are tied for fifth in the NHL with a record of 21-4-1 (.808 win%) when scoring the game’s first goal. The Rangers are also 13-4-1 when leading after the first period, and 17-1-1 when leading after the second.
SHOOTING GALLERY: The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in 16 of the last 21 games, holding a 731-622 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have registered 40 or more shots eight times this season, and have posted 30 or more shots in 20 of the last 25 contests. New York ranks fourth in the NHL with 32.4 shots per game.
ROAD WARRIORS: New York has won 13 of their last 17 road contests, including five of their last six, and are now 15-10-0 away from Madison Square Garden this season. The Rangers’ 15 road wins are tied for first in the Eastern Conference and second in the league overall. The Blueshirts power play ranks third in the NHL on the road, tallying 20-78 (25.6%) with the man advantage on the road. Henrik Lundqvist is 4-1-0 with a 2.36 GAA and .923 Sv% in his last five road games.
THE HOT LIST:
Henrik Lundqvist – Is 5-1-0 with a 1.34 GAA, .958 Sv%, and one shutout in his last six games, and 7-2-1 with a 1.97 GAA, .937 Sv%, and one shutout in his last 10
Rick Nash – three-game goal streak (five goals), and nine goals in the last nine contests
Derek Stepan – three-game point streak (two goals, three assists)
Brad Richards – three-game power play point streak (one goal, two assists), and 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the last 10 games
Mats Zuccarello – has registered a point in five of the last eight games (three goals, two assists over the span), and has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the last 13 games
COUNTDOWN TO 6K: The Rangers have played in 5,992 regular season games throughout the franchise’s 88 seasons, just eight games shy of 6,000 all-time. The Blueshirts are scheduled to play their 6,000th game all-time on February 6 against the Edmonton Oilers at Madison Square Garden.
Alain Vigneault – 3 coaching points from 1,000th NHL career
Henrik Lundqvist – 7 wins from 300th NHL career
INJURIES (90 Man-Games Lost):
Derek Dorsett (broken fibula on 1/3, 4-6 weeks) – 10
Henrik Lundqvist (ill on 1/21) – 1
Jan. 21 – Agreed to terms with goaltender David LeNeveu
Jan. 22 – Acquired defenseman Kevin Klein from Nashville in exchange for defenseman Michael Del Zotto
Photo by Getty Images.