Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Sunday, May 11, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 6-6 (2-3)*
Penguins: 7-4 (3-2)*
* Record in the playoffs (record in the series)
The Rangers will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET — TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in Game 6 of their Metropolitan Division Finals matchup. The Rangers trail the best-of-seven series, three games to two, following their 5-1 victory in Game 5 of the series on Friday at CONSOL Energy Center. New York enters the contest with a 219-239-8 record all-time in 466 playoff contests (123-92-2 at home; 96-147-6 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. New York has won two road games against the Penguins in this series, the first time they have done so in any playoff matchup against Pittsburgh.
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 (3-3 in the playoffs); Pittsburgh was 23-15-3 on the road (4-1 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 2-3 (3:04) in Game 5 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are 13th in the NHL overall (5-47, 10.6%), and are 12th at home (3-23, 13.0%) in the playoffs. They have allowed one shorthanded goal in the playoffs: 5/7 vs. PIT (Sutter). New York ranked 15th in the NHL overall (48-264, 18.2%), and 24th at home (20-132, 15.2%) 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 (6:37) in Game 5 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are 11th in the NHL overall (29-36, 80.6%), and are 12th at home (12-15, 80.0%) in the playoffs. New York ranked third in the NHL overall (198-232, 85.3%), and sixth at home (89-105, 84.8%) 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 (2:17) in Game 5 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are -1 in 12 four-on-four situations in the playoffs (14:59), 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 (207)
• 2nd in shots against per game (27.0)
• 2nd in hits (367)
• 2nd in goals against per game (2.33)
• Rick Nash is 1st in shots on goal (49)
• Brad Richards is 3rd in shots on goal (42)
• Dan Girardi is tied for 3rd in blocked shots (32) and 7th in hits (38)
• Henrik Lundqvist is tied for 2nd in wins (five), 3rd in GAA (2.16), and 3rd in SV% (.921)
• Brian Boyle is tied for 5th in hits (39)
• Ryan McDonagh is 6th in blocked shots (28)
BACKS AGAINST THE WALL
The Rangers have won eight of their last 10 playoff games when facing elimination, dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 23, 2012 at Ottawa. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers are the third team in NHL history to win at least one game when facing elimination in six series of a seven-series span. New York has also won its last six home games when facing elimination, dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 1, 2008 vs. Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts’ six-game winning streak at home when facing elimination is one shy of tying an NHL record.
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’s next playoff appearance would be the 80th of his career, and he would become the 23rd goalie in NHL history to appear in 80 career playoff games, including the 18th to appear in 80 career playoff games with one team. The Rangers goaltender has started a franchise-record, 78 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 has posted an 8-2 record, along with a 1.38 GAA, a .953 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 10 games when the Blueshirts have faced elimination, and a 6-0 record, a 0.98 GAA, a .965 SV%, and 2 SO in his last six home contests when facing elimination.
CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF STARTS WITH ONE NHL TEAM
1. Martin Brodeur – 194 (NJD, 1994-present)
2. Patrick Roy – 133 (COL, 1996-2003)
3. Marc-Andre Fleury – 79 (PIT, 2007-2013)
T-4. Henrik Lundqvist – 78 (NYR, 2006-present)
T-4. Jacques Plante – 78 (MTL, 1955-1963)
WHAT A LINE
Derick Brassard, Benoit Pouliot, and Mats Zuccarello have a total of 25 points (11 G, 14 A) in nine regular season and playoff games against Pittsburgh this season. The line combined for seven points in Game 5 on Friday, as Brassard (2 G, 1 A) established a single-game career-high for goals in one playoff game, while Zuccarello (3 A) established a single-game career-high for assists and points in a playoff game. Brassard and Zuccarello became the first Ranger teammates to tally at least three points in a playoff game since Michael Nylander and Jaromir Jagr each had four on Apr. 17, 2007 vs. Atlanta, and the first to record at least three in a playoff game on the road since Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky each had three on May 18, 1997 at Philadelphia. Brassard has tallied two game-winning goals on the road in the series, the first Ranger to do so since Adam Graves in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996 against Montreal. Brassard (5 G, 3 A) and Zuccarello (3 G, 7 A) have tallied a point in six of nine games against Pittsburgh, while Pouliot (3 G, 4 A) has recorded a point in five of the nine meetings.
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.
INJURIES (10 Man-Game Lost – Playoffs):
Photo by Getty Images.