Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Monday, May 5, 7:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 5-4 (1-1)*
Penguins: 5-3 (1-1)*
* Record in the playoffs (record in the series)
The Rangers will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET — TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in Game 3 of their Metropolitan Division Finals matchup. The best-of-seven series is tied at one game apiece following the Penguins’ 3-0 victory in Game 2 of the series on Sunday at CONSOL Energy Center. New York enters tonight’s contest with a 218-237-8 record all-time in 463 playoff contests (123-90-2 at home; 95-147-6 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 May 2 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 20-17-4 at home during the regular season (3-1 in the playoffs); Pittsburgh was 23-15-3 on the road (2-1 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 (8:00) in Game 2 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are 15th in the NHL overall (3-37, 8.1%), and are 10th at home (3-16, 18.8%) 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 2-3 (5:22) in Game 2 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are tied for 13th in the NHL overall (21-28, 75.0%), and are 14th at home (8-11, 72.7%) 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 two four-on-four situations (4:00) in Game 2 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are -1 in 10 four-on-four situations in the playoffs (12:42), 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 (159)
• 2nd in goals against per game (2.33)
• Tied for 2nd in shots against per game (27.8)
• 4th in hits (279)
• Rick Nash is 1st in shots on goal (37)
• Henrik Lundqvist is tied for 2nd in wins (five), ranks 5th in GAA (2.07), and 4th in SV% (.926)
• Dan Girardi is tied for 3rd in blocked shots (25) and tied for 11th in hits (29)
• Brad Richards is tied for 3rd in shots on goal (35)
• Marc Staal is tied for 7th in plus/minus rating (plus-six)
• Brian Boyle is tied for 9th in hits (30)
The Rangers have won 12 out of their last 17 playoff games at home, including seven of their last nine contests, dating back to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 26, 2012 vs. Ottawa. The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of the 17 contests, giving up 35 goals over the stretch (2.06 goals against per game).
SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
New York has an 8-8 playoff series record all-time when splitting the first two games of a best-of-seven playoff series on the road. Overall, the Rangers have won five of the last seven playoff series when the series was tied at one game apiece after the first two contests, dating back to the 1997 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Florida.
WHAT A LINE
Derick Brassard, Benoit Pouliot, and Mats Zuccarello have a total of 17 points (8 G, 9 A) in six regular season and playoff games against Pittsburgh this season. The trio combined for three points in Game 1 on May 2, as Brassard (1 G), tallied his first career playoff OT goal, while Pouliot (1 G, 1 A) posted his first career multi-point game in postseason play. Brassard has tallied a point in five of six regular season and playoff games against Pittsburgh (3 G, 2 A), while Pouliot (3 G, 3 A) and Zuccarello (2 G, 4 A) have recorded a point in four of the six 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
New York has allowed two goals or fewer in 19 of its last 28 regular season and playoff games, giving up 54 goals in the 28 contests (1.93 goals against per game).
The Rangers have reached the second round of the playoffs for the third straight 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, 75 consecutive playoff games, dating back to 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 one team. Lundqvist tied Mike Richter for first on the team’s all-time playoff appearances list in Game 2 at PIT.
NYR GOALIES ALL-TIME PLAYOFFS
APPEARANCES WINS SHUTOUTS
T-1. Henrik Lundqvist – 76 1. Mike Richter – 41 1. Mike Richter – 9
T-1. Mike Richter – 76 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 MSG 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). 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 is tied for eighth among NHL defensemen in assists (four) and 10th 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 – 73
T-7. Mark Messier – 70
T-7. Jeff Beukeboom – 70
INJURIES (9 Man-Game Lost – Playoffs):
• Chris Kreider (hand injury on 3/21) – 18 (9 in Playoffs)
Photo by Getty Images.