Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 30-23-3 (63 pts)
Avalanche: 35-14-5 (75 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the first of two straight games against Western Conference opponents. The Blueshirts rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 30-23-3 (63 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New York Islanders, 4-1, on Friday at Madison Square Garden, to extend their winning streak to three games. The Blueshirts have won 14 of their last 20 games (14-5-1) and nine of their last 12, and rank third in the conference in ROW (27). The Avalanche have posted a record of 35-14-5 (75 pts) to rank fifth in the Western Conference heading into their contest last night at New Jersey, and have won their last three games. Following thecontest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, Feb. 6 (7:00 p.m.), in the 6,000th game in franchise history.
RANGERS vs. AVALANCHE:
All-Time: 34-31-7-4 overall (20-12-4-2 at home; 14-19-3-2 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the first of two meetings this season, and the only meeting at Madison Square Garden.
Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 0-1-0 overall (0-1-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 3-1 loss on Mar. 17 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers out-shot the Avalanche, 42-20, in the contest, including a16-6 advantage in the first period and a 16-7 advantage in the third. Mats Zuccarello notched the Blueshirt’s lone goal, while Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh each tallied an assist. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 17 of 19 shots faced in the loss.
The Rangers last win against the Avalanche was on Jan. 31, 2010, a 3-1 victory at Colorado. The Blueshirts last win against the Avalanche at Madison Square Garden was on Feb. 28, 2009 (6-1).
New York is 13-13-3 at home; Colorado is 16-7-2*** on the road
The Rangers are 8-9-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; the Avalanche are 14-5-1*** vs. Eastern Conference opponents
New York lists no former Avalanche players on their roster
Colorado lists two former Rangers on their roster: John Mitchell (2011-12); PA Parenteau (2009-10)
Marc-Andre Cliche was originally selected by the Rangers in 2005 (2nd round, 56th overall)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. AVALANCHE:
Henrik Lundqvist – 5 GP, 1-3-1, 2.89 GAA
Rick Nash – 32 GP, 12-12–24
Brad Richards – 22 GP, 4-9–13
Derick Brassard – 15 GP, 4-6–10
Marc Staal – 6 GP, 1-3–4
The Rangers have notched a power play goal in eight of the last 14 games (9-45, 20.0%) and 13 of the last 22 (17-75, 22.7%)
Rank sixth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.6%)
Power Play: The Rangers were 0-3 (4:45) on Friday vs. NY Islanders. New York ranks 10th in the NHL overall (37-186, 19.9%), and 20th at home (17-104, 16.4%). 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 3-3 (6:00) on Friday vs. NY Islanders. New York ranks seventh in the NHL overall (139-166, 83.7%), and 12th at home (69-83, 83.1%). 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 tallied two goals in two four-on-four situations (3:09) on Friday vs. NY Islanders, and are now -1 in 63 four-on-four situations (100:16) this season. Four-on-four goals for (6): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi); 12/18 vs. PIT (Hagelin); 1/31 vs. NYI (Brassard); 1/31 vs. NYI (McDonagh). 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 eight of their last 11 games at MSG (7-3-1) and 10 of their last 14 at home (8-4-2). The Blueshirts will continue a three-game homestand tomorrow against the Avalanche.
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 Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium, and won by a 7-3 score over the Devils on Jan. 26 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 Rangers established several scoring records for regular season outdoor games in their 7-3 win over the Devils on Jan. 26, including most goals by a team (seven) and most goals by a team in a period (four in the 2nd Period).
RICK ROLLING: Rick Nash has notched 11 goals in the last 13 contests, and 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 25 games, holding a 863-739 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 23 of the last 29 contests. New York is tied for third in the NHL with 32.5 shots per game.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in 33 of 56 games this season, including 10 of their last 12 contests. The Rangers have also allowed two goals or fewer in seven of their last eight games at home and eight of their last 10 at Madison Square Garden. New York is 26-7-0 when holding opponents to two goals or less.
KING HENRIK: Henrik Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in nine of his last 10 games (8-2-0, 1.50 GAA, .951 Sv%, and one shutout over the span), and is 10-3-1 with a 1.91 GAA, .938 Sv%, and one shutout in his last 14 appearances. He won his 20th game of the season with a 4-1 victory on Friday against the Islanders, to extend his streak as the only goalie in the league with an active streak of nine-straight 20-win seasons. Now in his ninth season, Lundqvist is four wins away from the 300th of his NHL career, and five wins away from Mike Richter’s franchise record of 301 career victories. Lundqvist’s appearance on Friday was the 553rd of his career, moving him into a tie with Tiny Thompson for 50th on the NHL’s all-time goaltender appearances list.
THE HOT LIST:
Henrik Lundqvist – Has held opponents to two goals or less in nine of his last 10 games (8-2-0, 1.50 GAA, .951 Sv%, 1 SO), and is 10-3-1 in his last 14 (1.91 GAA, .938 Sv%, 1 SO)
Rick Nash – 11 goals in the last 13 games, including seven goals in the last seven
Derek Stepan – eight points (three goals, five assists) in the last seven games
Marc Staal – four points (one goal, three assists) in the last three games
Derick Brassard – three-game point streak (one goal, three assists)
Brian Boyle – three-game point streak (one goal, two assists)
Dominic Moore – five points (one goal, four assists) in the last six games
Brad Richards – 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 14 games
Mats Zuccarello – Has registered a point in eight of the last 12 games (five goals, four assists over the span), and 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in the last 17
COUNTDOWN TO 6K: The Rangers have played in 5,998 regular season games throughout the franchise’s 88 seasons, just two 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 Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium. In his 12th season as a head coach, Vigneault has posted a record of 452-311-35-64 (1,003 pts) in 862 career games coached. He is the 26th head coach all-time (ninth active) to reach the 1,000-point mark.
INJURIES (94 Man-Games Lost):
Derek Dorsett (broken fibula on 1/3, 4-6 weeks) – 14
Photo by Getty Images.