Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at COLORADO AVALANCHE
Thursday, Apr. 3, 9:00 p.m. ET
Pepsi Center – Denver, CO
Rangers: 43-30-4 (90 pts)
Avalanche: 48-21-6 (102 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center (9:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), as they conclude 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 43-30-4 (90 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Vancouver Canucks, 3-1, on Tuesday at Rogers Arena. The Blueshirts have posted an 8-2-0 record in their last 10 games, including a 7-1-0 record in their last eight games, and are 6-1-0 in their last seven games on the road. The Avalanche enter the contest with a 48-21-6 record (102 pts) to rank fourth in the Western Conference, and have won four straight games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, Apr. 5, at MSG (7:00 p.m. ET), as they begin a three-game homestand.
RANGERS vs. AVALANCHE:
• All-Time: 35-31-7-4 overall (21-12-4-2 at home; 14-19-3-2 on the road)
• 2013-14: Tonight is the second of two meetings this season, and the only meeting at Pepsi Center. New York is 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 5-1 win on Feb. 4 at MSG. Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello led all skaters with two assists, while Brad Richards and Derick Brassard each tallied two points (one goal, one assist). Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves.
• Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 0-1-0 overall (0-1-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 3-1 loss on Mar. 17 at MSG. The Rangers out-shot the Avalanche, 42-20, in the game. Mats Zuccarello notched the Blueshirt’s lone goal, while Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh each tallied an assist. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 17 of 19 shots faced.
• The Rangers last win in Colorado was on Jan. 31, 2010 (3-1).
• New York is 25-14-0 on the road; Colorado is 25-11-3 at home
• The Rangers are 14-13-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; the Avalanche are 20-9-1 vs. Eastern Conference opponents
• New York lists no former Avalanche players on their roster
• Colorado lists two former Rangers on their roster: John Mitchell (2011-12); PA Parenteau (2009-10)
• Marc-Andre Cliche was originally selected by the Rangers in 2005 (2nd round, 56th overall)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. AVALANCHE:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 6 GP, 2-3-1, 2.55 GAA
• Rick Nash – 33 GP, 12-12—24
• Brad Richards – 23 GP, 5-10—15
• Derick Brassard – 16 GP, 5-7 —12
• Martin St. Louis – 21 GP, 2-9—11
• The Blueshirts penalty kill is 38-41 (92.7%) with seven shorthanded goals in the last 15 games
• Ranks eighth in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.3%)
• Power Play: The Rangers were 1-3 (3:58) on Tuesday at Vancouver. New York ranks 12th in the NHL overall (46-247, 18.6%), and sixth on the road (28-124, 22.6%). 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 (4:00) with one shorthanded goal on Tuesday at Vancouver. New York ranks sixth in the NHL overall (188-222, 84.7%), and fifth on the road (102-120, 85.0%). 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 (8): 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); 3/30 at EDM (Nash); 3/30 at EDM (Zuccarello); 4/1 at VAN (St. Louis).
• Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Tuesday at Vancouver. The Rangers are -1 in 83 four-on-four situations (127:22), 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 Mar. 26 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, and the team’s all-time shutouts leader with his 50th career shutout on Mar. 22 at New Jersey. He registered his 300th career win with a 30-save shutout 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. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lundqvist is the fifth fastest goaltender to record 300 wins (560 games).
Ryan McDonagh tallied six goals in March, which were the most by a Rangers defenseman in one calendar month since Jan. 1998 (6 – Brian Leetch). He tallied the game-winning goal in two straight games – on Mar. 24 vs. Phoenix and Mar. 26 vs. Philadelphia – and notched three game-winning goals in a five-game span from Mar. 18-26. 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).
Mats Zuccarello tallied his 54th point of the season on Tuesday against Vancouver, the most by a Norwegian-born player in one season in NHL history. The record was previously held by Espen Knutsen, who had 53 points with Columbus during the 2000-01 season.
New York has won six of their last seven road games. The Rangers have posted two separate six-game road winning streaks this season for the first time in franchise history. The Blueshirts have established a franchise record for road wins in a season, posting a league-high 25 in 39 road games.
The Rangers scored a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the same game for the fifth time this season, and for the second consecutive contest on Tuesday against Vancouver. It is the second time this season that the Blueshirts have scored a shorthanded goal in consecutive games (Mar. 5-7). The last time the Rangers, in back-to-back games, tallied both a power play goal and a shorthanded goal, was Dec. 8-10, 2011. The Blueshirts tallied two shorthanded goals on Sunday against Edmonton, the second time they have had two shorthanded tallies in one game this season. The last time the Rangers scored two shorthanded goals in a game on two separate occasions in the same season was 2006-07.
The Rangers won their 40th game of the season with a 4-3 OT win on Mar. 24 vs. Phoenix. New York has won 40 or more games in seven of the last nine seasons (seven of the last eight full seasons), the first time in franchise history the Rangers have registered seven 40-win seasons in a nine-season span. The Rangers are one of six teams that have reached the 40-win mark at least seven times since the 2005-06 season (PIT, SJS, DET, ANA, and NSH).
THE HOT LIST:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 6-1-0 in the last seven games (2.00 GAA, .930 Sv%, 1 SO) and 9-3-0 in his last 12 (1.84 GAA, .937 Sv%, 2 SO)
• Ryan McDonagh – 7 points (3 G, 4 A) in the last 8 games, and 13 points (6 G, 7 A) in the last 16 games
• Derek Stepan – 18 points (5 G, 13 A) in the last 18 games
• Mats Zuccarello – 19 points (4 G, 15 A) in his last 20 games, including 9 points (2 G, 7 A) in the last 7 games
• Rick Nash – 6 points (5 G, 1 A) in the last 8 games
• Carl Hagelin – 8 points (4 G, 4 A) in the last 10 games
• Derick Brassard – 7 points (5 G, 2 A) in the last eight games
• Benoit Pouliot – 3-game point streak (1 G, 2 A); 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) in the last 5 games
• Derick Brassard – 2 games from 400th NHL career
• Dominic Moore – 2 games from 600th NHL career
INJURIES (112 Man-Games Lost):
• John Moore (head injury on 3/21) – 6
• Chris Kreider (hand injury on 3/21) – 4
Mar. 31 – Agreed to terms with free agent forward Chris McCarthy
April 2—Assigned J.T. Miller to Hartford (AHL)
Photo by Getty Images.