In case you’re wondering why I chose the photo above … Look over Derek Dorsett’s right shoulder … now look at the guy with his hand against the glass. Now look behind him at the guy in the upper corner wearing the alternate jersey, with the Fighting Sioux hat. Try and guess who that is. Hint: He brought me some Sioux-venirs (below, a giant flag and a couple of beer koozies). I also think that’s the Mrs.’ hand raised right next to him. (AP photo).
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at CALGARY FLAMES
Friday, Mar. 28, 9:00 p.m. ET
Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB
Rangers: 41-29-4 (86 pts)
Flames: 30-36-7 (67 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome (9:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Plus; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), to begin a four-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and fifth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 41-29-4 (86 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games. The Blueshirts have won six of their last seven games, and three of their last four games at home. The Flames enter the contest with a 30-36-7 (67 pts) record to rank 13th in the Western Conference, and have won five of their last eight games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, Mar. 30, at Rexall Place (8:00 p.m. ET), as they continue their four-game road trip.
RANGERS vs. FLAMES:
• All-Time: 40-53-15-0 overall (27-24-5-0 at home; 12-29-10-0 on the road)
• 2013-14: Tonight is the second and final meeting this season, and the first and only meeting at Scotiabank Saddledome. New York is 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home;0-0-0 on the road), following a 4-3 shootout win on Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers out-shot the Flames, 32-21, in the contest, including a 26-10 advantage after the first period. Derek Stepan registered two points (one goal, one assist), while Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin each tallied a goal. Benoit Pouliot notched the game-deciding goal in the seventh round of the shootout, while Henrik Lundqvist (18 saves) stopped four of seven shootout attempts.
• Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 1-0-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 overtime win on Oct. 20, 2011 at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Rangers’ power play was 1-2 (50.0%), while the penalty kill tallied a shorthanded goal in the contest. Ryan McDonagh notched his first career overtime, game-winning goal with less than 0:02 remaining in the extra frame, while Dan Girardi, Brian Boyle, Brad Richards, and Derek Stepan each tallied an assist. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves in the win.
• The Blueshirts enter the contest with a three-game winning streak against the Flames
• The Rangers and Flames have been separated by two or fewer goals in 11 of their last 13 meetings (8-3-0-0 when separated by two goals), with eight of those contests being decided by one-goal (7-1-0-0 when separated by one goal)
• New York is 23-13-0 on the road; Calgary is 17-18-3 at home
• The Rangers are 12-12-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; the Flames are 12-10-4 vs. Eastern Conference opponents
• New York lists one former Flame on their roster: Martin St. Louis (1998-99 – 1999-00)
• Calgary lists no former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. FLAMES:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 5 GP, 3-2-0, 2.72 GAA
• Rick Nash – 35 GP, 9-15—24
• Brad Richards – 18 GP, 8-11—19
• Martin St. Louis – 10 GP, 8-5—13
• Dan Girardi – 6 GP, 2-4—6
• The Blueshirts penalty kill is 31-33 (93.9%) with four shorthanded goals in the last 12 games
• Ranks eighth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.2%)
• Power Play: The Rangers were 0-2 (3:32) on Wednesday vs. Philadelphia. New York ranks 13th in the NHL overall (44-237, 18.6%), and sixth on the road (26-114, 22.8%). 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 2-2 (3:28) on Wednesday vs. Philadelphia. New York ranks seventh in the NHL overall (181-214, 84.6%), and is tied for fourth on the road (95-112, 84.8%). The Rangers are 4-7 (6:27) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/7 at CAR), and 8-10 (8:06) when three-on-four (last – 3/24 vs. PHX). 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 yielded one goal in two four-on-four situations (2:28) on Wednesday vs. Philadelphia. The Rangers are now -1 in 81 four-on-four situations (125:06), and even in one three-on-three situation (1:03) this season. Four-on-four goals for (8): 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); 3/24 vs. PHX (McDonagh). Four-on-four goals allowed (9): 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); 3/26 vs. PHI (Voracek).
Henrik Lundqvist registered his 30th win of the season with a 30-save effort in a 3-1 win on Wednesday vs. Philadelphia. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first goaltender in NHL history to reach the 30-win milestone in eight of his first nine NHL seasons. Lundqvist established two franchise records in a five-day span, becoming the Rangers’ all-time wins leader with his 302nd career victory on Mar. 18 at Ottawa (8-4, 35 saves) and the team’s all-time shutouts leader with his 50th career shutout on Mar. 22 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).
Ryan McDonagh enters the contest with a five-game point streak (three goals, four assists) and has registered 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in the last 13 games, a stretch that began with a career-high, three-game goal streak. He has tallied the game-winning goal in each of the last two games, and three of the last five contests. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McDonagh is the first Rangers defenseman to score the winning goal in consecutive games since Dec. 29-30, 2003 (Tom Poti). He has now tallied six goals in March, which are the most by a Rangers defenseman in one calendar month since Jan. 1998 (6 – Brian Leetch).
The Rangers won their 40th game of the season with a 4-3 overtime win over Phoenix on Monday at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts have won 40 or more games in seven of the last nine seasons (seven of the last eight full seasons), and 17 times in franchise history. It is the first time in franchise history the Rangers have registered seven 40-win seasons in a nine-season span. The Blueshirts are one of six teams that have reached the 40-win mark at least seven times since the 2005-06 season, along with Pittsburgh, San Jose, Detroit, Anaheim, and Nashville.
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 rank second among all NHL teams, and is one shy of the franchise record for road wins in a season.
THE HOT LIST:
• Henrik Lundqvist – five-game winning streak (1.79 GAA, .935 Sv%, 1 SO), and is 8-2-0 with a 1.70 GAA, .941 Sv%, and two shutouts in his last 10 contests; has held opponents to two goals or less in 17 of his last 25 games (18-6-1, 1.96 GAA, .934 Sv%, 3 SO)
• Ryan McDonagh – five-game point streak (three goals, four assists), and 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in the last 13 games
• Derek Stepan – 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in the last 15 games
• Mats Zuccarello – 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in his last 17 games, including five assists in the last five contests
• Carl Hagelin – seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last seven games
• Derick Brassard – four goals and five points in the last five games
• Brian Boyle – 2 points from 100th NHL career
INJURIES (106 Man-Games Lost):
• John Moore (head injury on 3/21) – 3
• Chris Kreider (hand injury on 3/21) – 1
• Mar. 26 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL)