Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Thursday, Feb. 27, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 32-24-3 (67 pts)
Blackhawks: 35-11-14 (84 pts)
The Rangers will resume their regular season campaign when they face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), in an Original Six matchup. The Blueshirts rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 32-24-3 (67 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in the shootout on Feb. 7 at CONSOL Energy Center, to extend their road winning streak to six games. The Blueshirts are 16-6-1 in their last 23 games overall, including an 11-4-0 mark in their last 15, and rank fourth in the conference in ROW (28). The Blackhawks enter the contest with a 35-11-14 (84 pts) record to rank third in the Western Conference, and have points in five of their last six games (3-1-2). Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Mar. 1, at Wells Fargo Center (1:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set.
RANGERS vs. BLACKHAWKS:
All-Time: 237-243-98-2 overall (120-114-55-0 at home; 117-129-43-2 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the second of two meetings this season, and the only meeting at MSG. New York is 1-0-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 win on Jan. 8 at United Center. Brad Richards (one goal, one assist) and Marc Staal (two assists) each tallied two points in the contest, while Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves.
Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 0-2-0 overall (0-1-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road). Each game was decided by two goals or fewer, including a one-goal game on Mar. 9, 2012 at Chicago (L, 3-4). The Rangers out-shot the Blackhawks, 49-44, in the series, including a 21-9 advantage in the third period. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill held the Blackhawks scoreless in four power play opportunities in two games. New York had five different goal-scorers in the series, while Carl Hagelin (one goal, one assist) and Ryan McDonagh (two assists) tied for the team lead in scoring with two points apiece. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 18 of 21 shots in his only appearance.
The Rangers have registered a point in eight of their last 10 games against the Blackhawks (5-2-1-2)
The Blueshirts and Blackhawks have been separated by two goals or fewer in each of their last 11 meetings (5-3-1-2), including nine games decided by one goal or fewer over the span (4-2-1-2)
The Rangers are 4-2-0-0 in their last six home games against the Blackhawks, dating back to a 4-2 victory on Feb. 19, 2001
The Rangers last home win against Chicago was a 3-2 victory on Nov. 1, 2010
New York is 14-14-3 at home; Chicago is 17-7-7 on the road
New York is 9-10-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; Chicago is 12-2-5 vs. Eastern Conference opponents
New York lists one former Blackhawk on its roster: Daniel Carcillo (2011-12 – 2012-13)
Chicago lists one former Ranger on its roster: Michal Rozsival (2005-06 – 2010-11)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLACKHAWKS:
Henrik Lundqvist – 8 GP, 5-1-2, 1.98 GAA
Rick Nash – 56 GP, 24-27–51
Brad Richards – 22 GP, 4-25–29
Derick Brassard – 25 GP, 5-9–14
Kevin Klein – 33 GP, 3-8–11
The Rangers power play is 11-53 (20.8%) in the last 17 games, and 19-83 (22.9%) in the last 25
Have tallied two or more power play goals in eight games this season
Rank eighth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (102.9%)
Power Play: The Rangers were 2-5 (4:13) on Feb. 7 at Pittsburgh. New York ranks ninth in the NHL overall (39-194, 20.1%), and is tied for 21st at home (17-107, 15.9%). 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 2-4 (5:29) on Feb. 7 at Pittsburgh. New York ranks 12th in the NHL overall (144-174, 82.8%), and is tied for 13th at home (72-87, 82.8%). The Rangers are 3-6 (5:44) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/4 vs. COL), 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 (7:17) on Feb. 7 at Pittsburgh, and are now -1 in 66 four-on-four situations (107:33) 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).
SOCHI RECAP: The Rangers had seven players represent their native country at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Rick Nash captured the gold medal with Canada, while Henrik Lundqvist and Carl Hagelin took home silver medals for Sweden. Lundqvist also became the second winningest goalie in Olympic history, trailing only Vladislav Tretiak, with his 12th career Olympic victory in a 2-1 win against Finland in the Semifinal round.
Rick Nash (CAN) – Gold Medal; 6 GP, 0-1–1
Henrik Lundqvist (SWE) – Silver Medal; 6 GP, 5-1, 2 SO, 1.50 GAA, .943 Sv%
Carl Hagelin (SWE) – Silver Medal; 6 GP, 2-0–2
Ryan Callahan (USA) – 6 GP, 0-1–1
Ryan McDonagh (USA) – 6 GP, 1-1–2
Derek Stepan (USA) – 1 GP, 0-0–0
Mats Zuccarello (NOR) – 3 GP, 0-0–0
The Rangers are 17-0-0 when tallying four or more goals in a contest
The Rangers have registered five or more goals in seven games this season
The Rangers have nine skaters with 10 or more goals this season, which is tied for most in the league
The Rangers out-scored their opponents, 18-6, on their season-high, four-game winning streak from Jan. 26 – Feb. 4, with 14 different goal-scorers combining for their 18 goals during the streak
SHOOTING GALLERY: The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in 22 of the last 28 games, holding a 983-827 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have registered 40 or more shots 10 times this season, and have posted 30 or more shots in 26 of the last 32 contests. New York ranks third in the NHL with 32.9 shots per game.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in 35 of 59 games this season, including 12 of their last 15 contests, and in nine of the last 10 at home (each of the last four at MSG). New York is 27-8-0 when holding opponents to two goals or fewer.
KING HENRIK: Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a personal five-game winning streak, posting a 1.77 GAA and .940 Sv% during the stretch. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his last 12 games (10-2-0, 1.58 GAA, .948 Sv%, and one shutout over the span), and is 12-3-1 with a 1.91 GAA, .937 Sv%, and one shutout in his last 16 appearances. Lundqvist won his 20th game of the season with a 4-1 victory on Jan. 31 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 two wins away from the 300th of his NHL career, and three wins away from Mike Richter’s franchise record of 301 career victories.
ROAD WARRIORS: New York is in the midst of a six-game winning streak on the road, and has won 16 of their last 20 contests away from MSG. The Rangers also won six straight on the road from Oct. 26 – Nov. 23. It is the first time the Rangers posted two separate six-game winning streaks on the road in a season, and their 16 wins in the last 20 road games is the most during any 20-game road stretch in franchise history. New York is also one game shy of their franchise record, seven-game road winning streak, accomplished in 1934-35 and 1978-79. The Blueshirts are now 18-10-0 on the road this season, which leads the Eastern Conference and is tied for second in the league overall (road wins). The Blueshirts power play ranks second in the NHL on the road (22-87, 25.3%). Henrik Lundqvist has won each of his last four games on the road (2.20 GAA, .924 Sv%), and is 7-1-0 with a 2.33 GAA and .920 Sv% in his last eight contests away from MSG.
THE HOT LIST:
Henrik Lundqvist – Is 5-0-0 with a 1.77 GAA and .940 Sv% in his last five games; Has held opponents to two goals or less in 10 of his last 12 games (10-2-0, 1.58 GAA, .948 Sv%, 1 SO), and is 12-3-1 in his last 16 (1.91 GAA, .937 Sv%, 1 SO)
Derick Brassard – six-game point streak (three goals, five assists)
Brad Richards – 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in the last 17 games
Marc Staal – five points (one goal, four assists) in the last six games
Rick Nash – 11 goals in the last 16 games, including seven goals in the last 10
Derek Stepan – eight points (three goals, five assists) in the last 10 games
Ryan Callahan – five points (two goals, three assists) in the last six games
INJURIES (97 Man-Games Lost):
Derek Dorsett (broken fibula on 1/3, 4-6 weeks) – 17
Feb. 25 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL)
Photo by Getty Images.