Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHOENIX COYOTES
Monday, Mar. 24, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 39-29-4 (82 pts)
Coyotes: 34-26-11 (79 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Phoenix Coyotes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the first of two straight home games. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Metropolitan Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 39-29-4 (82 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New Jersey Devils, 2-0, on Saturday at Prudential Center, to conclude their three-game road trip with a 3-0-0 record. The Blueshirts have won four of their last five games, including four straight on the road. The Coyotes enter the contest with a 34-26-11 (79 pts) record to rank eighth in the Western Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, Mar. 26, at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.), in a Metropolitan Division matchup.
RANGERS vs. COYOTES:
• All-Time: 38-25-6-0 overall (22-10-2-0 at home; 16-15-4-0 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 4-1 loss in the season opener on Oct. 3 at Jobing.com Arena. The Rangers’ power play was 1-4 (25.0%) in the contest. Marc Staal notched the Blueshirts’ lone goal, off a feed from Rick Nash and Derek Stepan. Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves.
• Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 2-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). Both contests were decided by one goal, including a 2-1 shootout win on Jan. 10, 2012, at MSG. The Rangers out-shot the Coyotes, 62-42, including a 21-10 advantage in the first period and a 23-12 advantage in the third period, and out-scored Phoenix 3-1 in the third period. Three different Rangers combined to score the team’s four goals in the series, including a game-winner by Brad Richards on Dec. 17, 2011 at Phoenix, and nine different Blueshirts tallied at least one point in the two games. Henrik Lundqvist was 1-0-0 with a 0.93 GAA and .947 Sv%, while Martin Biron was 1-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .913 Sv%.
• The Rangers have won eight of their last 11 games against the Coyotes, including a 5-1-0 mark at home over the span, dating back to a 3-2 win on Oct. 28, 2002
• The Blueshirts and Coyotoes have been separated by one goal in four of their last five meetings, including two contests that required the shootout
• New York is 16-16-4 at home; Phoenix is 13-14-8 on the road
• The Rangers are 11-12-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; the Coyotes are 15-10-3 vs. Eastern Conference opponents
• New York lists one former Coyote on their roster: Daniel Carcillo (2006-07 – 2008-09)
• Phoenix lists two former Rangers on their roster: Lauri Korpikoski (2008-09); Derek Morris (2008-09)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. COYOTES:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 5 GP, 4-1-0, 2.16 GAA
• Rick Nash – 35 GP, 17-17–34
• Brad Richards – 28 GP, 5-13–18
• Martin St. Louis – 18 GP, 8-8–16
• Dan Girardi – 8 GP, 3-1–4
• The Blueshirts penalty kill is 26-27 (96.3%) with four shorthanded goals in the last 10 games
• Ranks eighth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.5%)
• Power Play: The Rangers were 1-3 (5:55) on Saturday at New Jersey. New York ranks 12th in the NHL overall (44-233, 18.9%), and 23rd at home (18-119, 15.1%). The Rangers are 6-18 (8:36) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/21 at CBJ), 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 1-1 (2:00) on Saturday at New Jersey. New York is tied for sixth in the NHL overall (176-208, 84.6%), and ranks eighth at home (81-96, 84.4%). The Rangers are 4-7 (6:27) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/7 at CAR), and 7-9 (6:36) when three-on-four (last – 3/22 at NJD). 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 one four-on-four situation (1:30) on Saturday at New Jersey. The Rangers are now -1 in 76 four-on-four situations (119:25), 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).
If the playoffs began today, the Rangers would advance to the Metropolitan Division Semifinals as the #3 seed against the #2 seed Philadelphia Flyers.
Henrik Lundqvist established two franchise records in a five-day span, becoming the Rangers’ all-time wins leader with his 302nd career victory on Tuesday at Ottawa (8-4, 35 saves) and the team’s all-time shutouts leader with his 50th career shutout on Saturday at New Jersey (2-0, 21 saves). 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).
NHL ALL-TIME WINS LEADERS NHL ALL-TIME SHUTOUTS LEADERS
24. Billy Smith – 305 22. 4 tied with 51
25. Henrik Lundqvist – 304 T-26. Henrik Lundqvist – 50
26. Olaf Kolzig – 303 T-26. Chris Osgood – 50
27. Walter Broda – 302
28. Mike Richter – 301
New York is in the midst of a four-game road winning streak, and has won 21 of their last 28 contests on the road. The Rangers have posted two separate six-game road winning streaks this season for the first time in franchise history. The Blueshirts are now 23-13-0 on the road this season. Their 23 road wins lead all NHL teams, and is one shy of the franchise record for road wins in a season.
Ryan McDonagh enters the contest with a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) and has registered nine points (four goals, five assists) in the last 11 games, a stretch that began with a career-high, three-game goal streak. He has also logged 25:00+ of ice time in each of the last six games. He leads the Rangers and ranks 14th in the NHL in average ice time (24:45), and ranks second on the team with 121 blocked shots. McDonagh 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. He has also tied Brian Leetch’s single-season franchise record for most shorthanded goals by a defenseman with three shorthanded goals this season. McDonagh is tied for fifth in the league in shorthanded goals (three) and ninth in shorthanded points (four). He is currently one point shy of 100 career NHL points.
Rick Nash has posted four multi-goal performances and leads the Rangers with 23 goals this season. 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.
THE HOT LIST:
• Henrik Lundqvist – Has held opponents to two goals or less in 16 of his last 23 games (16-6-1, 1.96 GAA, .935 Sv%, 3 SO), and is 6-2-0 with a 1.63 GAA, .945 Sv%, and two shutouts in his last eight contests
• Derek Stepan – three-game goal/point streak (three goals, one assist), and has recorded a point in 11 of the last 13 games (five goals, 10 assists)
• Ryan McDonagh – three-game point streak (one goal, two assists), and nine points (four goals, five assists) in the last 11 games
• Mats Zuccarello – Has registered 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in his last 15 games, including four assists in the last three contests
• Rick Nash – three goals in the last three games
• Carl Hagelin – six points (five goals, one assist) in the last nine games, including five points (four goals, one assist) in the last five contests
• Derick Brassard – three goals and four points in the last three games
• Kevin Klein – four points (one goal, three assists) in the last seven games
• Ryan McDonagh – 1 point from 100th NHL career
• Brian Boyle – 3 points from 100th NHL career
INJURIES (102 Man-Games Lost):
• Mar. 17 – Agreed to terms with defenseman Ryan Graves
Photo by Getty Images.