Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Sunday, May 4, 7:30 p.m. ET
CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Rangers: 5-3 (1-0)*
Penguins: 4-3 (0-1)*
* Record in the playoffs (record in the series)
The Rangers will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET — TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in Game 2 of their Metropolitan Division Finals matchup. The Rangers lead the series, 1-0, following their 3-2 overtime win in Game 1 of the series on Friday at CONSOL Energy Center. New York enters the contest with a 218-236-8 record all-time in 462 playoff contests (123-90-2 at home; 95-146-6 on the road).
The Rangers entered the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the second seed in the Metropolitan Division, having posted a 45-31-6 record (20-17-4 at home; 25-14-2 on the road) for 96 points. The Blueshirts are one of four teams, along with Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San Jose, to make the playoffs in eight of the last nine years.
ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS – RANGERS vs. PENGUINS
The Rangers and Penguins are meeting in the playoffs for the fifth time, and the first time since the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2008. The Rangers have posted a 0-4 playoff series record against Pittsburgh. Four of the Blueshirts’ five playoff matchups against the Penguins have occurred in the second round of the playoffs. The Rangers’ victory on Friday was the first time they defeated Pittsburgh in Game 1 of a playoff series.
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS (Regular Season):
• All-Time: 120-105-23-10 overall (67-50-9-4 at home; 53-55-14-6 on the road)
• 2013-14: New York was 2-1-1 overall (1-0-1 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Mats Zuccarello led the team with six points (two goals, four assists), while Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot each tallied two goals and two assists in the four contests. Dan Girardi led all Blueshirts defensemen with three points (one goal, two assists) in the four games. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-1 with a 2.88 GAA in the four contests.
• New York was 25-14-2 on the road during the regular season (2-2 in the playoffs); Pittsburgh was 28-9-4 at home (2-2 in the playoffs)
• New York lists one former Penguin on its roster: Dominic Moore (2006-07)
• Pittsburgh lists two former Rangers on its roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07); Taylor Pyatt (2012-13 – 2013-14)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. PENGUINS (Regular Season):
• Henrik Lundqvist – 51 GP, 25-19-7, 2.46 GAA, 2 SO
• Martin St. Louis – 50 GP, 17-30—47
• Brad Richards – 42 GP, 9-34—43
• Dan Girardi – 45 GP, 2-15—17
• Rick Nash – 18 GP, 7-5 —12
• Power Play: The Rangers were 0-4 (7:00) in Game 1 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are 15th in the NHL overall (3-33, 9.1%) in the playoffs. New York ranked 15th in the NHL overall (48-264, 18.2%), and seventh on the road (28-132, 21.2%) during the regular season. The Rangers were 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 Rangers were 4-4 (7:00) in Game 1 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are ranked 13th in the NHL overall (19-25, 76.0%), and are 10th on the road (11-15, 78.6%) during the playoffs. New York ranked third in the NHL overall (198-232, 85.3%), and third on the road (109-127, 85.8%) during the regular season. The Rangers were 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). The Rangers were tied for third in the NHL in shorthanded goals with 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 yield/tally a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:00) in Game 1 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are -1 in eight four-on-four situations in the playoffs (8:42), allowing a goal in Game 3 at PHI on 4/22 (Streit). The Rangers were -2 in 85 four-on-four situations (131:26), and even in one three-on-three situation (1:03) during the regular 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 (10): 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); 4/12 at MTL (Gionta, PS).
NHL LEADERS – PLAYOFFS
The Rangers rank:
• 1st in blocked shots (141)
• 2nd in goals against per game (2.25)
• 2nd in shots against per game (26.9)
• 6th in hits (247)
• Henrik Lundqvist is tied for 1st in wins (five), ranks 5th in GAA (2.08), and 4th in SV% (.923)
• Rick Nash is tied for 1st in shots on goal (34)
• Marc Staal is tied for 2nd in plus/minus rating (plus-seven)
• Dan Girardi is tied for 3rd in blocked shots (25) and 11th in hits (28)
• Brad Richards is tied for 5th in shots on goal (29)
WHAT A LINE
Derick Brassard, Benoit Pouliot, and Mats Zuccarello have a total of 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in five regular season and playoff games against the Penguins this season. The trio combined for three points in Game 1 on Friday, as Brassard (one goal), tallied his first career playoff overtime goal, while Pouliot (one goal, one assist) posted his first career multi-point game in postseason play. Brassard has tallied a point in all five regular season and playoff games against Pittsburgh (three goals, two assists), while Pouliot (three goals, three assists) and Zuccarello (two goals, four assists) have recorded a point in four of the five meetings.
The Blueshirts have won Game 1 in each of their two playoff series this season, and in eight of their last 13 playoff series. The Rangers have won eight of the last 10 series in which they won Game 1, and five of the last seven series in which they won Game 1 on the road.
SHUTTING THE DOOR
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in 19 of their last 27 regular season and playoff games, giving up 51 goals in the 27 contests (1.89 goals against per game). New York has allowed two goals or fewer in 26 of its last 40 regular season and playoff road games, including 11 of the last 16 road contests, and has given up 85 goals in the 40 contests (2.13 goals against per game).
The Rangers have reached the second round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Blueshirts are one of two teams – and the only Eastern Conference team – to win a playoff series in each of the last three seasons. The last time the Rangers reached the second round of the playoffs in at least three consecutive seasons was a four-year span from 1993-94 – 1996-97.
Henrik Lundqvist established two franchise records during the 2013-14 season, 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. Lundqvist has started a franchise-record, 74 consecutive playoff games, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 26, 2006 vs. New Jersey. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lundqvist’s streak is only the seventh time in NHL history that a goalie has started at least 70 consecutive playoff games for the same team.
APPEARANCES WINS SHUTOUTS
1. Mike Richter – 76 1. Mike Richter – 41 1. Mike Richter – 9
2. Henrik Lundqvist – 75 2. Henrik Lundqvist – 35 2. Henrik Lundqvist – 8
3. Ed Giacomin – 65 3. Ed Giacomin – 29 3. Dave Kerr – 7
The Rangers improved to 7-5 in 12 Game 7s in franchise history with their 2-1 victory against the Flyers on Apr. 30, and they have won all six Game 7s they have played at Madison Square Garden in franchise history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blueshirts are the only NHL team to be undefeated at home in Game 7s in franchise history (minimum of three Game 7s played at home). New York has won seven of the last eight Game 7s they have played. The Rangers have won a seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last three seasons (2012 vs. Ottawa, 2013 at Washington, 2014 vs. Philadelphia).
DAN’S THE MAN
Dan Girardi posted his third career multi-point game in the playoffs on Friday – his second in this postseason – and his first career multi-assist game (two assists). Girardi is tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in assists (four) and ninth in points (five) in the playoffs. Girardi skated in his 71st career playoff game on Apr. 30, passing Mark Messier and Jeff Beukeboom for sixth place on the Rangers’ all-time playoff games played list.
NYR ALL-TIME PLAYOFF
GAMES PLAYED LIST
5. Rod Gilbert – 79
6. Dan Girardi – 72
T-7. Mark Messier – 70
T-7. Jeff Beukeboom – 70
INJURIES (8 Man-Game Lost – Playoffs):
• Chris Kreider (hand injury on 3/21) – 17 (8 in Playoffs)
Photo by Getty Images.