Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Tuesday, Apr. 8, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 43-31-5 (91 pts)
Hurricanes: 34-33-11 (79 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), as they continue a three-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Metropolitan Division standings, and fifth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 43-31-5 (91 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having lost to the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts have posted a 8-3-1 record in their last 12 games, including a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games. The Hurricanes have posted a 34-33-11 record (79 pts) to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have registered at least one point in five of their last six games (3-1-2). Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, Apr. 10, at MSG (7:00 p.m. ET), in their final home game of the regular season.
RANGERS vs. HURRICANES:
• All-Time: 64-49-7-2 overall (38-17-4-2 at home; 26-32-3-0 on the road)
• 2013-14: Tonight is the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second of two meetings at MSG. New York is 2-1-0 (1-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road), following a 3-1 loss on Mar. 11 at PNC Arena. Derek Stepan leads all skaters with four goals in the series, while Mats Zuccarello has the series lead with five assists. Henrik Lundqvist is 2-1-0 with a 2.02 GAA and a .931 Sv%.
• Last Season: New York was 3-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 2-0-0 on the road). Two of the three contests were decided by one goal, including a 2-1 shootout victory on Mar. 18 at MSG. The Rangers’ power play was 3-11 (27.3%) in the series, while the penalty kill was 9-10 (90.0%). Derek Stepan led all skaters in scoring with three goals and five points in three games, while Carl Hagelin tied for the series lead with three assists. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-0-0 with a 1.60 GAA and .950 Sv%.
• New York is 18-17-4 at home; Carolina is 16-17-5 on the road
• The Rangers are 15-11-3 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; the Hurricanes are 14-11-2 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
• New York lists no former Hurricanes on their roster
• Carolina lists two former Rangers on their roster: Radek Dvorak (1999-00 – 2002-03); Manny Malhotra (1998-99 – 2002-03)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. HURRICANES:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 26 GP, 16-9-1, 2.24 GAA, 1 SO
• Martin St. Louis – 78 GP, 30-58—88
• Brad Richards – 56 GP, 15-34—49
• Derek Stepan – 14 GP, 7-6 —13
• Dan Girardi – 28 GP, 3-5—8
• The Blueshirts penalty kill is 43-46 (93.5%) with seven shorthanded goals in the last 17 games
• Ranks seventh in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.1%)
• Power Play: The Rangers were 0-2 (4:00) on Saturday vs. Ottawa. New York ranks 14th in the NHL overall (46-254, 18.1%), and 27th at home (18-125, 14.4%). 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 vs. Ottawa. New York ranks fifth in the NHL overall (193-227, 85.0%), and seventh at home (87-103, 84.5%). 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 (10): 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 Saturday vs. Ottawa. 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.
EYE OF THE STORM
The Rangers have won 10 of their last 11 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Feb. 22, 2011. The Rangers have also won five consecutive games against Carolina at MSG, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011, and have outscored the Hurricanes, 18-6, over the span. Henrik Lundqvist is 8-2-0 with a 1.95 GAA and a .939 Sv% in his last 10 games against Carolina.
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. 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 consecutive games – on Mar. 24 vs. PHX and Mar. 26 vs. PHI. 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 enters the contest with a four-game point streak (four goals, three assists over the span), and has 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) in his last 22 games. Since Oct. 26, Zuccarello has recorded a point in 40 of 67 games, tallying 57 points (19 goals, 38 assists) during the stretch. Zuccarello’s 57 points are the most a Norwegian-born player has had 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.
The Rangers established a franchise record for road wins in one season with their 25th of the year on Apr. 1 at Vancouver. The Blueshirts have posted an 83-54-9 road record dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season, and are the only team to win at least 24 road games in three of the last four seasons. The Rangers lead the league in road wins, and have won six of last eight road games, tallying at least one point in seven of those contests (6-1-1). New York has posted two separate six-game road winning streaks this season for the first time in franchise history. The Rangers’ 51 road points this season rank second in franchise history (2011-12 – 53).
The Rangers have outscored opponents, 19-6, during the second period over the last 13 games, dating back to Mar. 13 at Minnesota. The Blueshirts have outshot opponents, 155-129 during the middle frame over the stretch. This season, the Rangers have outscored opponents, 75-70, and outshot them, 983-775, in the second period.
THE HOT LIST:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 6-2-1 in his last 9 games (2.09 GAA, .930 Sv%, 1 SO) and 9-4-1 in his last 14 (1.92 GAA, .936 Sv%, 2 SO)
• Derek Stepan – 19 points (6 G, 13 A) in the last 20 games
• Mats Zuccarello – 4-game point streak (4 G, 3 A); 22 points (6 G, 16 A) in his last 22 games
• Benoit Pouliot – 5-game point streak (1 G, 4 A); 7 points (1 G, 6 A) in the last 7 games
• Derick Brassard – 8 points (5 G, 3 A) in the last 10 games
• Carl Hagelin – 5 points from 100th NHL career
INJURIES (116 Man-Games Lost):
• Chris Kreider (hand injury on 3/21) – 6
• Ryan McDonagh (upper-body injury on 4/1; day-to-day) – 2
• Apr. 7 – Recalled Jesper Fast from Hartford (AHL)
• Apr. 2 – Assigned J.T. Miller to Hartford (AHL)
Photo by Getty Images.