Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
Rangers 4, Hurricanes 1.
- The Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, tonight at Madison Square Garden in the second game of a three-game homestand. The Blueshirts are now 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, including an 8-2-1 record in their last 11 contests.
- The Blueshirts are now 44-31-5 overall (93 pts), including a 19-17-4 (42 pts) at home this season. New York holds a two-point lead over Philadelphia for second place in the Metropolitan Division standings.
- The Rangers extended their winning streak against Carolina at Madison Square Garden to six games, dating back to a 2-1 overtime victory on Jan. 5, 2011. The Blueshirts have outscored Carolina, 22-7, over the span. The Rangers won both home games against Carolina this season, outscoring the Hurricanes, 9-2, in the two contests. Overall, New York has won 11 of their last 12 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to a 4-3 shootout victory on Feb. 22, 2011.
- Nine Rangers have registered at least 14 goals this season. The last time that nine Rangers tallied at least 14 goals in one season was 1993-94.
- The Blueshirts were 2-3 (2:37) on the power play in the game, as Brad Richards tallied two power play goals. The Blueshirts have recorded at least two power play goals in nine games this season, and have posted a 6-2-1 record in those contests.
- The Rangers did not receive a penalty in the contest. The last time that the Rangers were not penalized in a game was Jan. 10, 2012 vs. Phoenix.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to improve to 32-24-5 on the season, including a 15-14-4 mark at home. The Rangers goaltender is 7-2-1 with a 1.98 GAA, a .933 SV%, and one shutout in his last 10 games, and has posted a 10-4-1 record with a 1.86 GAA, a .938 SV%, and two shutouts in his last 15 games. In his last 11 contests against Carolina, the Rangers’ all-time wins leader is 9-2-0 with a 1.87 GAA and a .941 SV%.
- Brad Richards tallied two power play goals and tied for the game-high with six shots on goal in 17:41 of ice time. The Rangers forward reached the 20-goal plateau for the 10th time in his career. Richards also reached the 50-point mark with his first goal, the 11th time he has tallied at least 50 points 13 NHL seasons. Richards leads the team in power play points (19), ranks second on the team in goals (20), third in points (51), is tied for fourth in power play goals (five) and leads the team in shots on goal (252).
- Martin St. Louis registered three assists, including two power play assists, and recorded two shots on goal in 16:30 of ice time. The contest was St. Louis’ first multi-point game as a Ranger, his seventh three-point game of the season, and the 74th three-point game of his career. The Rangers forward has 91 points in 79 career games against the Hurricanes, which is the most he has against one NHL opponent. The last time that St. Louis assisted on a goal that was scored by Brad Richards was on Feb. 7, 2008 at Nashville.
- Benoit Pouliot registered the game-winning goal and tied for the game-high with three hits in 15:24 of ice time. Pouliot extended his point streak to six games (two goals, four assists over the span), and has recorded eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last eight games. The Rangers are 10-3-0 when Pouliot tallies a goal and 21-9-2 when he records a point this season.
- Derek Stepan recorded two points (one goal, one assist) and tied for the game-high with six shots on goal in 14:27 of ice time. The Rangers forward has tallied 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in the last 21 games. Stepan registered a point in three of the four contests against the Hurricanes this season, tallying seven points (five goals, two assists). Stepan has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his last 10 games against Carolina, dating back to Dec. 1, 2011. The Rangers forward is tied for the team lead in assists (39), ranks second in points (56), is tied for second in plus/minus rating (plus-11), and fifth in goals (17) this season.
- Mats Zuccarello recorded the primary assist on Benoit Pouliot’s goal, and was credited with five shots on goal in 17:25 of ice time. Zuccarello extended his point streak to five games (four goals, four assists over the span), and has tallied 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in his last 23 games. He has registered a point in 41 of his last 68 games, registering 58 points (19 goals, 39 assists) over the span. The Blueshirts are 30-8-3 when Zuccarello tallies a point this season. The Rangers forward is tied for the team lead in assists (39) and leads the team in points (58) this season. Prior to the contest, Zuccarello received the 2013-14 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, as voted on by the fans for the player that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
- Anton Stralman recorded two assists, posted a plus-two rating, and was credited with two blocked shots in 21:53 of ice time. The contest was Stralman’s third multi-point game of the season, and the 15th of his career. The Rangers defenseman has five assists in the last 10 games, and is six assists away from the 100th of his NHL career.
- Dan Girardi tallied an assist and was credited with three blocked shots, while leading all Rangers with 22:30 of ice time. The Rangers defenseman leads the team in blocked shots (174) this season.
Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game… “We talked about, before the game, that we have been playing good hockey for a long time and we want to go into the playoffs feeling good about our game. For the most part tonight, that’s what we did. Offensively we had one of our best scoring chance night for the year. We are going to be over 20 and that’s a lot of scoring chances in a game. We kept them close to 10 I think, so it’s a good night. The power play scored a couple tonight and we had the Zuccy (Mats Zuccarello) wave before the game.”
Henrik Lundqvist on the remaining regular season games… “You want to get good habits and you want to try to play the game you want to play next week. You don’t want to change anything, your approach or your focus on the details, it needs to be here now and it needs to be there next week. You can’t take any shortcuts. You just need to focus the same way and take every game as an important game. Who knows, it can play a huge part in the end if we get the extra points here down the stretch and it put us in a better position.”
Mats Zuccarello on winning the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award… “I don’t think you can describe it in words. It’s surprising and I am really humbled. I have to thank everyone; it’s really big for me. I would probably put it as one of the highs in my career, so it’s really huge just to be a part of this team. There are so many guys here that deserve this prize and for me to get it, it’s pretty humbling.”
Photo by Getty Images.