Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium – Bronx, NY
Rangers: 28-23-3 (59 pts)
Islanders: 21-26-8 (50 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium (7:30 p.m. — TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7). The Blueshirts rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 28-23-3 (59 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New Jersey Devils, 7-3, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. The Blueshirts have won 12 of their last 18 games (12-5-1) and seven of their last 10, and are tied for third in the conference in ROW (25). The Islanders enter the contest with a 21-26-8 (50 pts) record to rank 14th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost their last three games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the New York Islanders on Friday, Jan. 31 (7:00 p.m.), in the second game of a home-and-home set.
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
All-Time: 120-101-19-7 overall (69-39-11-5 at home; 51-62-8-2 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the fourth of five meetings this season, and the second and final road meeting. New York is 1-2-0 overall (0-2-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 5-3 loss on Jan. 21 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers power play is 5-15 (33.3%) in the series. Chris Kreider leads all skaters with five points, and is tied for the series lead in goals (two) and assists (three). Henrik Lundqvist is 0-1-0 with a 4.03 GAA, and Cam Talbot is 1-1-0 with a 3.04 GAA.
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 23 games against the Islanders (15-5-3)
The Rangers are 16-10-0 on the road; the Islanders are 8-11-8 at home
The Rangers are 8-9-3 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; the Islanders are 5-12-3 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. ISLANDERS:
Henrik Lundqvist – 45 GP, 27-12-5, 5 SO, 2.12 GAA
Brad Richards – 42 GP, 13-24–37
Ryan Callahan – 35 GP, 7-14–21
Rick Nash – 15 GP, 7-7–14
Dan Girardi – 42 GP, 5-8–13
The Rangers have notched a power play goal in eight of the last 12 games (9-41, 22.0%) and 13 of the last 20 (17-71, 23.9%)
Power Play: The Rangers were 0-3 (4:19) on Sunday at New Jersey. New York is tied for seventh in the NHL overall (37-182, 20.3%), and ranks third on the road (20-81, 24.7%). 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 1-2 (0:41) on Sunday at New Jersey. New York is tied for 11th in the NHL overall (132-159, 83.0%), and seventh on the road (66-79, 83.5%). 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 one four-on-four situation (1:41) on Sunday at New Jersey, and are now -3 in 60 four-on-four situations (95:07) 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).
The following records were established for regular season outdoor games in the Rangers 7-3 win over the Devils on Sunday:
Most goals by a team (7)
Most goals in a period by a team (4 by NYR, 2nd Period)
Tied for most combined goals (10)
Most combined goals in a period (5, 1st Period)
Most players on a team with a point (12)
Most players on a team with a goal (6)
First penalty shot goal (Stepan)
Highest +/- for a player (+4, Stralman and Staal)
LET’S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE: Tonight’s contest will mark the fourth time in franchise history the Blueshirts compete in an outdoor game. On Sunday, New York became the first NHL team to win two regular season outdoor games, improving to 2-0-0 with a 7-3 victory over New Jersey. The Rangers defeated Philadelphia, 3-2, in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2, 2012 in front of 46,967 fans at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. The Blueshirts tallied a pair of goals in the third period, including the game-winner from Brad Richards, to complete the comeback. On Sept. 27, 1991, the Rangers and Los Angeles Kings played in the first outdoor game between two NHL teams. The pre-season match-up, which was won by the Kings (5-2), took place in the parking lot of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV, in front of approximately 14,000 fans.
OUTDOORSMEN: Prior to Sunday’s game against New Jersey, the Rangers had 13 players with previous experience playing outdoors, including 10 who skated with the Blueshirts in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic.
Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, Anton Stralman, Carl Hagelin, and Henrik Lundqvist skated with the Rangers in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic. Lundqvist stopped 34 of 36 shots, including a save on the only penalty shot attempt in an NHL Winter Classic game with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to preserve the victory. Richards notched the game-winning goal in the third period, with Callahan picking up an assist on the goal.
Daniel Carcillo (PHI) also skated in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic, while Benoit Pouliot (MTL) competed in the 2011 Heritage Classic
Chris Kreider skated in two Frozen Fenway outdoor games with Boston College (2010, 2012). He notched the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Northeastern in Frozen Fenway 2012.
Carl Hagelin (Univ. of Michigan) faced-off against Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh (Univ. of Wisconsin) in the Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic on Feb. 6, 2010 at Madison, WI. Hagelin recorded an assist, while Stepan tallied two assists to help lead the Badgers to a 3-2 victory.
Hagelin also tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in a 5-0 win over Michigan State in The Big Chill at the Big House on Dec. 11, 2010, at Ann Arbor, MI. The game set a world record at the time for largest attendance at a hockey game (104,173).
GRACIOUS HOSTS: The visiting team has won eight of 10 NHL regular season outdoor games (8-1-1), including five wins in the NHL Winter Classic (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014), the 2003 Heritage Classic, and the first two games of the Stadium Series. New York enters the contest with a four-game road winning streak overall, and has won 14 of their last 18 games away from MSG.
RICK ROLLING: Rick Nash enters the contest with a five-game goal streak (seven goals), and has 11 goals in the last 11 contests. This is the first time in Nash’s career he has tallied 11 goals in an 11-game span, and he is one game shy of the longest goal streak in his career. He notched the opening goal in two straight games on his current streak – Jan. 19 (1:10 of the 1st) and Jan. 21 (1:02 of the 1st). 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 in 1999-00. Nash was also credited with the game-winning goal in four straight games in which he scored a goal from Jan. 10 – Jan. 19, becoming the first Blueshirt to do so since Tom Poti in 2003-04.
COUNTDOWN TO 6K: The Rangers have played in 5,996 regular season games throughout the franchise’s 88 seasons, just four 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.
COACHING MILESTONE: Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault is one point shy of his 1,000th career point as a head coach, having posted a record of 450-311-35-64 (999 pts) in 860 career games coached. He would become the 26th head coach all-time (ninth active) to reach the mark.
INJURIES (92 Man-Games Lost):
Derek Dorsett (broken fibula on 1/3, 4-6 weeks) – 12
Photo by Getty Images.