Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Friday, Jan. 31, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 29-23-3 (61 pts)
Islanders: 21-27-8 (50 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the second game of a home-and-home set. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 29-23-3 (61 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Islanders, 2-1, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, to complete a sweep of the two-game Stadium Series. The Blueshirts have won 13 of their last 19 games (13-5-1) and eight of their last 11, and rank third in the conference in ROW (26). The Islanders enter the contest with a 21-27-8 (50 pts) record to rank 14th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, Feb. 4 (7:00 p.m.), as they continue a three-game homestand.
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
All-Time: 121-101-19-7 overall (69-39-11-5 at home; 52-62-8-2 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the fifth and final meeting this season, and the third meeting at Madison Square Garden. New York is 2-2-0 overall (0-2-0 at home; 2-0-0 on the road), following a 2-1 win on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. The Rangers power play is 5-16 (31.2%) in the series. Chris Kreider leads all skaters with five points, while Benoit Pouliot has tallied a series-high, three goals. Henrik Lundqvist is 1-1-0 with a 2.51 GAA and .900 Sv%, and Cam Talbot is 1-1-0 with a 3.04 GAA and .900 Sv%.
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 19 of their last 24 games against the Islanders (16-5-3)
The Rangers are 12-13-3 at home; the Islanders are 13-15-0 on the road
The Rangers are 9-9-3 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; the Islanders are 5-13-3 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. ISLANDERS:
Henrik Lundqvist – 46 GP, 28-12-5, 5 SO, 2.09 GAA
Brad Richards – 43 GP, 13-24–37
Ryan Callahan – 36 GP, 7-14–21
Rick Nash – 16 GP, 7-7–14
Dan Girardi – 43 GP, 5-8–13
The Rangers have notched a power play goal in eight of the last 13 games (9-42, 21.4%) and 13 of the last 21 (17-72, 23.6%)
Rank fifth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.6%)
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 0-1 (1:59) on Wednesday at NY Islanders. New York is tied for eighth in the NHL overall (37-183, 20.2%), and ranks 20th at home (17-101, 16.8%). 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 4-4 (6:03) on Wednesday at NY Islanders. New York ranks 10th in the NHL overall (136-163, 83.4%), and 14th at home (66-80, 82.5%). 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 (2:00) on Wednesday at NY Islanders, and are now -3 in 61 four-on-four situations (97:07) 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).
HOME SWEET HOME: The Rangers have registered a point in seven of their last 10 games at MSG (6-3-1) and nine of their last 13 at home (7-4-2). The Blueshirts will begin a three-game homestand tomorrow against the Islanders.
STADIUM SERIES RECAP: The Rangers swept their two-game Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium to improve to 3-0-0 all-time in regular season outdoor games. The Blueshirts are the only team in the NHL with two or more regular season outdoor victories, and have come back from behind in each of their three wins. The Rangers defeated the Islanders, 2-1, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, and won by a 7-3 score over the Devils on Sunday in their first Stadium Series game. The Blueshirts had 13 different skaters register at least one point in the series, and eight players with at least one goal. Mats Zuccarello (two goals, one assist), Dominic Moore (one goal, two assists), and Derick Brassard (three assists) tied for the team lead in scoring with three points apiece in the two games, while Henrik Lundqvist was 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .925 Sv%. 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 by NYR)
Most players on a team with a goal (6 by NYR)
First penalty shot goal (Stepan)
Highest +/- for a player (+4, Stralman and Staal)
RICK ROLLING: Rick Nash has notched 11 goals in the last 12 contests, and now leads the team with 18 goals this season. He posted a five-game goal streak, one game shy of his career-high, from Jan. 18 – Jan. 26 (seven goals during the streak), and tallied 11 goals in an 11-game stretch for the first time in his career from Jan. 6 – Jan. 26. He notched the opening goal in two straight games during his five-game goal 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.
SHOOTING GALLERY: The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in 19 of the last 24 games, holding a 826-700 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 22 of the last 28 contests. New York ranks fourth in the NHL with 32.4 shots per game.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in 32 of 55 games this season, including nine of their last 11 contests. The Rangers have also allowed two goals or fewer in six of their last seven games at home and seven of their last nine at Madison Square Garden. New York is 25-7-0 when holding opponents to two goals or less.
KING HENRIK: Henrik Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in eight of his last nine games (7-2-0, 1.56 GAA, .948 Sv%, and one shutout over the span), and is 9-3-1 with a 1.98 GAA, .934 Sv%, and one shutout in his last 13 appearances. Now in his ninth season, Lundqvist is five wins away from the 300th of his NHL career, and six wins away from Mike Richter’s franchise record of 301 career victories. He is also one appearance shy of Tiny Thompson for 50th on the NHL all-time goaltender appearances list.
Rangers All-Time Wins Leaders:
1. Mike Richter – 301
2. Henrik Lundqvist – 295
NHL All-Time Appearances List:
50. Tiny Thompson – 553
51. Henrik Lundqvist – 552
51. Johnny Bower – 552
THE HOT LIST:
Henrik Lundqvist – Has held opponents to two goals or less in eight of his last nine games (7-2-0, 1.56 GAA, .948 Sv%, 1 SO), and is 9-3-1 in his last 13 (1.98 GAA, .934 Sv%, 1 SO)
Rick Nash – 11 goals in the last 12 games, including seven goals in the last six
Derek Stepan – eight points (three goals, five assists) in the last six games
Brad Richards – 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the last 13 games
Mats Zuccarello – Has registered a point in seven of the last 11 games (five goals, three assists over the span), and 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in the last 16
Dominic Moore – four points (one goal, three assists) in the last five games
COUNTDOWN TO 6K: The Rangers have played in 5,997 regular season games throughout the franchise’s 88 seasons, just three 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 MSG.
COACHING MILESTONE: Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault surpassed 1,000 career points as a head coach with a 2-1 victory against the Islanders on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. In his 12th season as a head coach, Vigneault has posted a record of 451-311-35-64 (1,001 pts) in 861 career games coached. He is the 26th head coach all-time (ninth active) to reach the mark.
INJURIES (93 Man-Games Lost):
Derek Dorsett (broken fibula on 1/3, 4-6 weeks) – 13
Photo by Getty Images.