Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS
Sunday, Mar. 16, 4:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 36-28-4 (76 pts)
Sharks: 44-17-7 (95 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden (4:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in their third straight game against a Western Conference opponent. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 36-28-4 (76 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 4-2, on Friday at MTS Centre, in the second game of a back-to-back road set. The Blueshirts are now 20-10-2 in their last 32 games, and 18-7-0 in their last 25 contests on the road. The Sharks enter the contest with a 44-17-7 (95 pts) record to rank second in the Western Conference, and have won their last five games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, Mar. 18, at Canadian Tire Centre (7:30 p.m.), to begin a three-game road trip.
RANGERS vs. SHARKS:
• All-Time: 20-7-3-0 overall (9-3-1-0 at home; 11-4-2-0 on the road)
• 2013-14: Tonight is the second and final meeting this season, and the only meeting at Madison Square Garden. New York is 0-1-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 9-2 loss on Oct. 8 at SAP Center. The Rangers power play was 1-3 (33.3%) in the contest. Derek Dorsett and Brad Richards each notched a goal for the Rangers, while Brian Boyle, Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, and Anton Stralman tallied one assist apiece. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 26 shots before being replaced by Martin Biron at 9:19 of the second period.
• Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 5-2 win against the Sharks on Oct. 31, 2011, at Madison Square Garden. Ryan Callahan led all skaters with two goals and three points in the contest, while Martin Biron made 24 saves. The victory sparked a seven-game winning streak for the Rangers.
• The Rangers have registered at least a point in eight of their last 11 games against the Sharks (7-3-1-0 over the span) dating back to Dec. 28, 2001, and have won two of their last three meetings
• New York is 16-15-4 at home; San Jose is 19-13-3 on the road
• The Rangers are 11-11-0 against Western Conference opponents; the Sharks are 20-6-3 against Eastern Conference opponents
• New York lists one former Shark on their roster: Dominic Moore (2011-12)
• San Jose lists no former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. SHARKS:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 5 GP, 2-2-0, 3:09 GAA
• Rick Nash – 34 GP, 17-7–24
• Brad Richards – 26 GP, 9-13–22
• Martin St. Louis – 19 GP, 11-4–15
• Anton Stralman – 10 GP, 0-7–7
• The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal against in the last seven games (20 times shorthanded), and have tallied three shorthanded goals over the span; the Rangers penalty kill is 26-27 (96.3%) in the last nine games
• Have tallied two or more power play goals in eight games this season
• Ranks fifth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (104.2%)
• Power Play: The Rangers were 0-4 (8:00) on Friday at Winnipeg. New York ranks 11th in the NHL overall (43-220, 19.6%), and 22nd at home (18-116, 15.5%). 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 (8:00) on Friday at Winnipeg. New York ranks sixth in the NHL overall (170-201, 84.6%), and is tied for eighth at home (80-95, 84.2%). 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 skate in a four-on-four situation on Friday at Winnipeg. 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 made 30 saves in a 4-2 win on Friday at Winnipeg to move into a tie with Mike Richter for the franchise record with 301 career wins. He registered his 300th career win with a 30-save shutout, the 49th of his career, in the Rangers 3-0 victory over Detroit on Mar. 9 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 games). He is now tied with Ed Giacomin for the franchise lead in career regular season shutouts (49).
New York has won 18 of their last 25 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 20-13-0 on the road this season, which is tied for first in the Eastern Conference and second in the league overall (road wins). The Rangers’ power play ranks fifth in the NHL on the road (25-104, 24.0%), while their penalty kill is tied for fourth in the league (90-106, 84.9%).
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL
The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or less in 40 of 68 games this season, including 17 of their last 24 contests, and in six of their last eight at home. New York is 31-9-0 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), 23rd in power play points (19), 28th in assists (33), and ranks fourth among league forwards in average ice time (21:28). St. Louis recorded his first point as a Ranger with a power play assist on Mar. 7 at Carolina, and has now registered 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) over his last 26 games.
Rick Nash notched his 20th goal of the season in the Rangers 4-2 win on Mar. 7 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 six points (three goals, three assists) in the last seven 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 3-1-0 with a 1.77 GAA, .942 Sv%, and 1 shutout in his last four games, and has held opponents to two goals or less in 13 of his last 19 games (13-5-1, 2.05 GAA, .932 Sv%, 2 SO)
• Derek Stepan – Has recorded a point in eight of the last nine games (two goals, nine assists), and 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in the last 19 contests
• Ryan McDonagh – six points (three goals, three assists) in the last seven games
• Mats Zuccarello – Has tallied a point in eight of his last 11 contests (two goals, eight assists), and has assists in seven of his last 10 games
• Martin St. Louis – 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in his last 26 games
• Carl Hagelin – four goals in the last five games
• Chris Kreider – five points (four goals, one assist) in the last eight games, with three goals in the last four
• Brad Richards – eight points (three goals, five assists) in the last 13 games
• Henrik Lundqvist – 1 shutout from 50th NHL career
• 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.