Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS at MINNESOTA WILD
Thursday, Mar. 13, 8:00 p.m. ET
Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN
Rangers: 35-27-4 (74 pts)
Wild: 34-22-9 (77 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (8:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 35-27-4 (74 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1, on Tuesday at PNC Arena, in a Metropolitan Division matchup. The Blueshirts have registered a point in 15 of their last 22 games (14-7-1), and are 19-9-2 in their last 30. The Wild enter the contest with a 34-22-9 (77 pts) record to rank seventh in the Western Conference, and have lost their last three games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, Mar. 14, at MTS Centre (8:00 p.m.), in their third road game in four days.
RANGERS vs. WILD:
• All-Time: 10-5-0-0 overall (5-2-0-0 at home; 4-3-0-0 on the road)
• 2013-14: Tonight is the second and final meeting this season, and the only meeting at Xcel Energy Center. New York is 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 4-1 victory on Dec. 22 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers power play was 1-2 (50%) in the contest, while their penalty kill was 2-2 (100.0%). Derick Brassard recorded a game-high, two assists, and Carl Hagelin tallied the eventual game-winning goal. Cam Talbot made 24 saves in the win.
• Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 1-0-0 overall (0-0-0 mark at home; 1-0-0 mark on the road), following a 3-2 win on Mar. 27, 2012 at Xcel Energy Center. Brian Boyle opened the game’s scoring at 11:23 of the first period, and Ruslan Fedotenko notched the game-winning goal with 6:23 remaining in regulation. Ryan McDonagh led all skaters in scoring with two points (two assists) in the contest, while Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves in the win.
• The Blueshirts have won four of their last six games against the Wild, including three of their last four
• The Rangers and Wild have been separated by two or fewer goals in 12 of their 15 meetings all-time
• New York is 19-12-0 on the road; Minnesota is 22-7-4 at home
• The Rangers are 10-10-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; the Wild are 12-9-2 vs. Eastern Conference opponents
• New York lists three former Wild on its roster: Justin Falk (2009-10 – 2012-13); Dominic Moore (2006-07 – 2007-08); Benoit Pouliot (2006-07 – 2009-10)
• Minnesota lists one former Ranger on its roster: Mike Rupp (2011-12 – 2012-13)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. WILD:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 6 GP, 3-3-0, 2.76 GAA
• Rick Nash – 33 GP, 13-14–27
• Brad Richards – 19 GP, 7-15–22
• Martin St. Louis – 16 GP, 3-6–9
• Dan Girardi – 7 GP, 0-4–4
• The Rangers power play is 5-24 (20.8%) in the last eight games
• The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal against in the last five games (13 times shorthanded), and have tallied three shorthanded goals over the span; the Rangers penalty kill is 19-20 (95.0%) in the last seven games
• Have tallied two or more power play goals in eight games this season
• Ranks fifth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.7%)
• Power Play: The Rangers were 0-3 (4:29) on Tuesday at Carolina. New York ranks 11th in the NHL overall (42-213, 19.7%), and third on the road (24-97, 24.7%). The Rangers are 6-17 (8:07) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/7 at CAR), and 0-6 (6:56) when four-on-three (last – 1/19 vs. WSH). Shorthanded goals allowed (6): 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); 3/2 vs. BOS (Campbell).
• Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 4-4 (7:06) on Tuesday at Carolina. New York ranks eighth in the NHL overall (163-194, 84.0%), and ninth on the road (83-99, 83.8%). The Rangers are 4-7 (6:27) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/7 at CAR), and 6-8 (6:06) when three-on-four (last – 1/21 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals for (6): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh); 12/27 at WSH (Hagelin); 1/19 vs. WSH (Callahan); 3/5 vs. TOR (McDonagh); 3/5 vs. TOR (D. Moore); 3/7 at CAR (McDonagh).
• Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two four-on-four situations (0:54) on Tuesday at Carolina. The Rangers are now -1 in 74 four-on-four situations (116:48), and even in one three-on-three situation (1:03) this season. Four-on-four goals for (7): 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); 3/7 at CAR (Nash). Four-on-four goals allowed (8): 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); 3/5 vs. TOR (Bozak).
Henrik Lundqvist registered his 300th career win with a 30-save shutout, the 49th of his career, in the Rangers 3-0 victory over Detroit on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. He became the 29th goaltender in NHL history to reach the 300-win mark, and is one of six active goalies with at least 300 wins. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lundqvist is the fifth fastest goaltender to record 300 wins (560 career regular season games). Lundqvist is now tied with Ed Giacomin for the franchise lead in career regular season shutouts (49), and is one win shy of Mike Richter’s franchise record 301 career victories.
New York has won 17 of their last 23 contests on the road, including a six-game winning streak from Jan. 4 – Feb. 7. The Rangers also won six straight on the road from Oct. 26 – Nov. 23, marking the first time the Rangers posted two separate six-game winning streaks on the road in a season. The Blueshirts are now 19-12-0 on the road this season, which ranks second in the Eastern Conference and is tied for fourth in the league overall (road wins). The Rangers’ power play ranks third in the NHL on the road (24-97, 24.7%).
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL
The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or less in 38 of 66 games this season, including 15 of their last 22 contests, and in five of their last nine on the road. New York is 30-8-0 when holding opponents to two goals or less.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS
Martin St. Louis made his Rangers debut on Mar. 5 vs. Toronto after being acquired from Tampa Bay earlier in the day. He is currently tied for eighth in the NHL in goals (29), 16th in points (62), ninth in power play goals (nine), 22nd in power play points (19), 28th in assists (33), and ranks fourth among league forwards in average ice time (21:32). St. Louis recorded his first point as a Ranger with a power play assist on Friday at Carolina, and has now registered 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) over his last 24 games.
Rick Nash notched his 20th goal of the season in the Rangers 4-2 win on Friday at Carolina. He has tallied at least 20 goals in each season since his rookie year in 2002-03 (17 goals), and is the only player in the NHL with an active streak of 10 straight 20-goal seasons.
Ryan McDonagh has registered five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games, a stretch that began with a career-high, three-game goal streak. He notched a shorthanded goal in consecutive games on Mar. 5-7, to become the first Rangers player to record a shorthanded goal in consecutive games since Michal Rozsival on Nov. 17-19, 2007. McDonagh has also tied Brian Leetch’s single-season franchise record for most shorthanded goals by a defenseman with three shorthanded goals this season.
THE HOT LIST:
• Henrik Lundqvist – Is 2-1-0 with a 1.69 GAA, .944 Sv%, and 1 shutout in his last three games, and 14-6-2 in his last 22 (2.21 GAA, .927 Sv%, 2 SO); Has held opponents to two goals or less in 12 of his last 18 games (12-5-1, 2.05 GAA, .932 Sv%, 2 SO)
• Mats Zuccarello – Has tallied a point in eight of his last nine contests, registering 10 points (two goals, eight assists) over the span, and has assists in seven of his last eight games
• Derek Stepan – nine points (one goal, eight assists) in the last seven games, and 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in the last 17
• Ryan McDonagh – five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games
• Martin St. Louis – 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in his last 24 games
• Brad Richards – seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last 11 games
• Dominic Moore – three points (one goal, two assists) in the last four games
• Brian Boyle – 3 points from 100th NHL career
INJURIES (102 Man-Games Lost):
• Mar. 12 – Agreed to terms with free agent forward Ryan Haggerty
• Mar. 5 – Acquired Martin St. Louis from Tampa Bay in exchange for Ryan Callahan, a 2nd round pick in 2014 and a 1st round pick in 2015
• Mar. 5 – Acquired Raphael Diaz from Vancouver in exchange for a 5th round pick in 2015
• Mar. 5 – Assigned J.T. Miller to Hartford (AHL)
Photo by Getty Images.