Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
The Rangers conclude their three-game homestand against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The contest marks the third game of a stretch where New York will play nine of 14 games at MSG. The Rangers have earned at least one point in eight of their last 11 games (6-3-2) and in seven of their last eight home games (5-1-2). New York has posted a 7-6-2 record (16 pts) this season, following a 5-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. The Avalanche have posted a 4-8-5 record (13 pts) this season, following a 6-0 loss against the New York Islanders on Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum.
RANGERS VS. AVALANCHE
*All-Time: 35-31-7-5 record (21-12-4-2 at home, 14-19-3-3 on the road) * Includes games against the Quebec Nordiques from 1979-80 – 1994-95
2014-15: Tonight’s game is the first of two contests between the Rangers and Avalanche this season, and the only matchup between the two teams at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers and Avalanche will face off again on Feb. 12 (at Colorado)
Last Season: The Rangers posted a 1-0-1 record (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) against Colorado in 2013-14. Mats Zuccarello led all skaters with three assists and tied for first among all skaters with three points and a plus-three rating in the season series. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 1-0-1 record, along with a 1.44 GAA and a .954 SV% (62 saves on 65 shots) in two appearances.
The Rangers list one former Avalanche player on their roster: Matt Hunwick (2010-11 – 2013-14)
The Avalanche list one former Ranger on their roster: John Mitchell (2011-12)
Avalanche forward Marc-Andre Cliche was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 56th overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS VS. AVALANCHE
Henrik Lundqvist – 7 GP, 2-3-2, 2.42 GAA, .918 SV% – Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last three games against the Avalanche (1-1-1 record, 1.63 GAA, .940 SV% over the span) and has posted a 2-2-0 record, along with a 1.77 GAA and a .933 SV% in four career appearances against Colorado at MSG.
Rick Nash – 34 GP, 12-12-24 – Nash has recorded a point in seven of his last 11 games against Colorado, tallying 10 points (five goals, five assists) over the span.
Lee Stempniak – 32 GP, 9-15-24 – Stempniak has tallied a point in 18 of 32 career games against the Avalanche and has registered 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in his last 19 games against Colorado.
The Rangers tallied a power play goal and a shorthanded goal on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in games with at least one power play goal and one shorthanded goal since the start of the 2009-10 season (21), and have posted a 17-3-1 record in those contests. New York is also tied for second in games with at least one power play goal and one shorthanded goal since the start of the 2013-14 season (six).
New York was 1-for-4 (6:46) on the power play on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh
The Rangers have tallied a power play goal in three of their last five games (4-for-14; 28.6% over the span)
Leaders in PPG: Brassard (2), Kreider (2), Mueller (1), Nash (1)
Leaders in PPA: Brassard (2), Girardi (2), Hunwick (2), McDonagh (2), St. Louis (2)
Leaders in PPP: Brassard (4), Girardi (2), Hunwick (2), Kreider (2), McDonagh (2), Nash (2), St. Louis (2)
The Rangers were 3-for-3 (5:11) on the penalty kill and recorded one shorthanded goal on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh
Leaders in SH ice time per game: Girardi (3:38), McDonagh (3:18), Staal (3:02), D. Moore (2:50), Hagelin (2:38)
Leaders in blocked shots on the PK: Staal (9), Klein (5), Girardi (4), D. Moore (4)
Carl Hagelin – 1 game away from 200 in his NHL career
Rick Nash – 2 games away from 800 in his NHL career; 3 assists away from 300 in his NHL career
Derek Stepan – 3 games away from 300 in his NHL career
RICK ROLLING: Rick Nash has tallied a point in 11 of 15 games this season, and has registered a goal in 10 of those contests (12 goals, five assists). The five-time NHL All-Star leads the NHL in even strength goals (10), is tied for first in goals (12), and is tied for third in even strength points (14) and takeaways (18). Nash also leads the NHL in games with a goal (10) this season. He is the only NHL player to have an active streak of 10 straight 20-goal seasons. Since joining the Rangers prior to the 2012-13 season, he has tallied 27 of his 59 regular season goals in the third period (45.8%).
Nash is the fifth Ranger since the start of the 1983-84 season to tally at least 12 goals in the first 15 games of the season, and the first Blueshirt to do so since Brendan Shanahan registered 12 in the first 15 games of the 2006-07 season.
LAST FIVE RANGERS TO TALLY AT LEAST 12 GOALS IN THE FIRST 15 GAMES OF A SEASON
Rick Nash (2014-15) – 12
Brendan Shanahan (2006-07) – 12
*Jaromir Jagr (2005-06) – 14
Theo Fleury (2000-01) – 13
Pierre Larouche (1983-84) – 12
* Jagr established a Rangers single-season record with 54 goals in 2005-06
GOALS GALORE: The Rangers tied a season-high with five goals on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts have registered at least four goals in six of their last 10 contests, tallying 31 goals over the span (3.1 goals per game). New York is tied for seventh in the NHL in games with four or more goals this season (six).
SHUTTING THE DOOR: New York has allowed one goal or fewer in four of its last eight home games, and didn’t allow a regulation/overtime goal in three of those contests. The Rangers are tied for first in the NHL – and lead the Eastern Conference – in games with one goal or fewer allowed (35) since the start of the 2013-14 season.
HOME COOKING: The Rangers have earned at least one point in seven of their last eight home contests (5-1-2), and have outscored their opponents, 24-16, over the span. New York is tied for seventh in the NHL – and is tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference – in home wins (five) this season.
TOP OF THE HEAP: Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Henrik Lundqvist leads all goaltenders (min. 300 appearances) in appearances (586), wins (316), and shutouts (53), is tied for first in GAA (2.27), and is tied for second in SV% (.920). Lundqvist leads all active NHL goaltenders in save percentage. He ranks fourth or higher among Rangers goaltenders in career wins (first), shutouts (first), SV% (first), appearances (second), and GAA (fourth). He has posted a 6-2-1 record, along with a 1.74 GAA, a .941 SV%, and 3 SO in his last nine appearances, and has registered a 5-1-1 record, along with a 1.39 GAA, a .953 SV%, and 3 SO in his last seven appearances at MSG. Lundqvist has posted three shutouts in his last eight appearances, the first time he has done so since registering three shutouts in a seven-game span from Jan. 24 – Feb. 14, 2012. The Rangers’ all-time wins and shutouts leader is one shutout away from tying Ed Giacomin and Bernie Parent for 20th on the NHL’s all-time shutouts list.
ON POINT: Since the start of the 2009-10 season, Dan Boyle leads all NHL defensemen in power play points (104), is tied for fourth among defensemen in power play assists (80), and ranks fifth among defensemen in assists (160) and points (212). He is tied for first among all NHL defensemen in 50-point seasons (six) since the 2002-03 season.
BRASS BONANZA: Derick Brassard has registered a point in nine of the last 13 games (six goals, seven assists), and in five of the last seven games (three goals, six assists). Since Oct. 27, Brassard is tied for ninth in the NHL in assists (six) and is tied for 11th in the NHL in points (nine). He leads the team in power play points (four), is tied for the team lead in assists (seven) and power play goals (two), and ranks second in goals (six) and points (13) this season.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS: Martin St. Louis has registered six points (four goals, two assists) in the last five games and has posted two multi-point games over the span. He is seven points away from tallying the 1,000th point of his NHL career. Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Rangers’ alternate captain ranks second among all NHL players in points (408).
STEPAN UP: Derek Stepan has recorded three assists/points in three games since returning to the lineup, and notched his 200th career NHL point on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. The Rangers’ alternate captain has registered a point in 17 of his last 26 regular season games, registering 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) over the span. Since making his NHL debut with the Rangers on Oct. 9, 2010, Stepan leads all Blueshirts in assists (127) and points (200).
WELCOME MATS: Mats Zuccarello has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last 10 games, and has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) and posted a plus-four rating in his last six contests. Zuccarello tallied his 100th career NHL point by recording the game-winning goal on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. He is one of two Norwegian-born players in NHL history to register 100 career points (Espen Knutsen – 111).
INJURIES (35 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
Ryan McDonagh (separated shoulder) – placed on injured reserve
Photo by Getty Images.