First, about that heads-up I gave you yesterday. We are going to undergo a change, but since it couldn’t be completed Friday we decided to wait until after these home-and-homes so there won’t be any problems. When finished, the blog is going to look a little bit different, but it will not affect the way you comment or interact, and it should be faster and have less (hopefully none) downtime. So we wait.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
The Rangers conclude their four-game road trip and begin a home-and-home set against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena (7:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN Radio 98.7 FM). The Rangers enter the contest with a season-high four-game winning streak and they have won eight of their last 11 contests (8-3-0), including six of their last eight games (6-2-0). The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 18 of their last 25 contests (14-7-4), including 11 of their last 15 games (9-4-2). New York has posted a 15-10-4 record this season (34 pts), following a 5-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday in Calgary. The Hurricanes have posted a 9-19-3 record this season (21 pts), following a 4-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday in Carolina.
RANGERS VS. HURRICANES
All-Time*: 66-49-7-2 record (40-17-4-2 at home, 26-32-3-0 on the road) *Note: All-time record includes games against the Hartford Whalers from 1979-80 – 1996-97
2014-15: Tonight’s game is the second of five meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes this season, and the first of two meetings between the two teams in Carolina. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-0 on the road), following a 2-1 shootout victory on Oct. 16 at MSG. Derick Brassard tallied a goal in the third period and Rick Nash registered the game-deciding goal in the shootout. Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout. The Rangers and Hurricanes will face off again on Dec. 21 (at MSG), Jan. 31 (at MSG), Mar. 21 (at Carolina)
Last Season: The Rangers posted a 3-1-0 record (2-0-0 at home, 1-1-0 on the road) against the Hurricanes in 2013-14. New York won the first two games of the season series, extending its winning streak against Carolina to 10 games and establishing a franchise record for the longest winning streak against the Whalers/Hurricanes. The Blueshirts allowed seven goals over the four contests. Derek Stepan led all skaters with five goals and seven points, while Mats Zuccarello led all skaters with six assists in the four games. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 3-1-0 record, along with a 1.76 GAA and a .939 SV%.
The Rangers do not list any former Hurricanes on their roster
The Hurricanes do not list any former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. HURRICANES
Henrik Lundqvist – 28 GP, 18-9-1, 2.14 GAA, .925 SV%, 1 SO – Lundqvist has posted a 10-2-0 record, along with a 1.78 GAA and a .943 SV% in his last 12 appearances against the Hurricanes, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011. He has allowed one goal or fewer in seven of his last 12 appearances against Carolina.
Martin St. Louis – 80 GP, 38-53-91 – St. Louis has played in more games, tallied more goals, and recorded more points against Carolina than against any NHL opponent. He has registered a point in 55 of 80 career games against the Hurricanes and has posted 26 multi-point games against Carolina in his career. St. Louis has tallied three assists in three games against the Hurricanes as a member of the Rangers and has registered 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in his last 11 contests against Carolina.
Dan Boyle – 42 GP, 5-21-26 – Boyle has notched a point in 21 of 42 career games against the Hurricanes and has tallied 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in his last 26 games against them.
The Rangers lead the NHL in games with at least one power play goal and one shorthanded goal (eight) since the 2013-14 season.
The Rangers were 1-for-3 (4:52) and recorded five shots on goal on the power play on Dec. 16 at Calgary
New York has tallied a power play goal in 11 of its last 19 games (12-for-62; 19.4% over the span)
Leaders in PPG: Brassard (3), Kreider (3), St. Louis (3), Boyle (2), Nash (2)
Leaders in PPA: Stepan (6), Brassard (5), St. Louis (4), McDonagh (3), Nash (3)
Leaders in PPP: Brassard (8), St. Louis (7), Stepan (6), Nash (5), Kreider (3), McDonagh (3)
The Rangers were 3-for-4 (5:13) and allowed six shots on goal on the penalty kill on Dec. 16 at Calgary
New York is 10-for-11 (90.9%) on the penalty kill over the last five games and has not allowed a power play goal in five of its last eight games (20-for-23; 87.0%)
Leaders in SH ice time per game: Girardi (2:57), McDonagh (2:48), Staal (2:41), D. Moore (2:21), Hagelin (2:05)
Leaders in blocked shots on the PK: Staal (13), Klein (12), McDonagh (9), Girardi (8), D. Moore (8)
EYE OF THE STORM
The Rangers have won 12 of their last 13 games against the Hurricanes (12-1-0), dating back to Feb. 22, 2011.
New York has tallied at least four goals in nine of the 13 contests and has allowed one goal in six of the 13 games. The Rangers have outscored Carolina, 47-24, over the span.
The Blueshirts have won eight of their last 10 games in Carolina (8-2-0), dating back to Dec. 21, 2009.
TAKING THE METRO
New York has earned at least one point in eight consecutive games against Metropolitan Division opponents (7-0-1).
The Rangers have posted a 7-2-1 record against teams in the Metropolitan Division this season, and they have registered an 11-2-1 record in their last 14 games against Metropolitan Division opponents, dating back to Mar. 21, 2014.
New York has tallied at least five goals in three of its last seven games and at least four goals in five of its last 10 contests.
The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in goals per game (3.03) this season. Prior to this season, the last time the Blueshirts averaged at least 3.03 goals per game through 29 contests was in 2006-07 (3.10), and the last time they ranked fourth or higher in the NHL in goals per game after 29 contests was 2001-02 (fourth – 2.90).
New York has posted a 96-1-1 record in its last 98 regular season games when tallying at least four goals, dating back to Nov. 14, 2010.
Rick Nash enters tomorrow’s contest with a career-high 11-game point streak (eight goals, six assists over the span).
Nash’s 11-game point streak is tied for the longest in the NHL this season (tied with the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin).
Nash has tallied at least 20 goals in 11 consecutive seasons (dating back to 2003-04), which is the longest active streak in the NHL.
The five-time NHL All-Star has tallied a point in 24 of 29 games this season and has registered a goal in 17 contests – according to the Elias Sports Bureau, a Ranger has now tallied a point in 24 of the first 29 games of a season 10 times in franchise history.
He has recorded a point in 14 of the Rangers’ 15 wins thus far in 2014-15 and tallied the game-deciding goal in a shootout in the one game the Rangers won in which he didn’t register a point in regulation/overtime.
Nash is tied for second in the NHL in goals (20), shorthanded goals (three), and shorthanded points (three), ranks third in even strength goals (15), is tied for fourth in even strength points (25), and is tied for 10th in points (33) in 2014-15.
TOP OF THE HEAP
Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Henrik Lundqvist leads all goalies (min. 300 appearances) in appearances (597), wins (322), shutouts (55), and GAA (2.27), and is tied for second in SV% (.920).
He has posted more wins than any goalie who has played with only one franchise in NHL history.
Lundqvist ranks fourth among goalies in NHL history in wins with one franchise (322), trailing only Martin Brodeur (NJD), Tony Esposito (CHI), and Terry Sawchuk (DET).
Lundqvist passed Miikka Kiprusoff for sole possession of 23rd place on the NHL’s all-time wins list on Dec. 13 at Vancouver, and passed Hall of Famers Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for sole possession of 20th place on the NHL’s all-time shutouts list on Dec. 14 at Edmonton.
He enters tomorrow’s contest with a four-game winning streak (1.48 GAA, .946 SV%, 1 SO over the span).
Lundqvist ranks ninth among goaltenders in NHL history in appearances with one franchise. Only eight goalies have appeared in at least 600 career games with the same organization in NHL history.
MOST CAREER APPEARANCES BY A GOALTENDER WITH ONE NHL FRANCHISE
1. Martin Brodeur (NJD) – 1,259
2. Tony Esposito (CHI) – 873
3. Terry Sawchuk (DET) – 734
4. Olaf Kolzig (WSH) – 711
5. Billy Smith (NYI) – 675
6. Mike Richter (NYR) – 666
7. Turk Broda (TOR) – 629
8. Glenn Hall (CHI) – 618
9. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) – 597
Since he made his season debut on Nov. 8, Derek Stepan leads the NHL in shorthanded assists (three), is tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded points (three), and is tied for fifth in the NHL in assists (13) and power play assists (six).
Stepan leads the NHL in shorthanded assists (nine) and is tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded points (10) since the start of the 2012-13 season.
DAN’S THE MAN
Dan Girardi enters tomorrow’s contest with 598 career NHL games played.
Only 19 skaters – and eight defensemen – have played in at least 600 regular season games with the Rangers in franchise history.
The Rangers’ alternate captain has skated in more games than any undrafted defenseman who was eligible for the Draft in franchise history.
INJURIES (51 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
Lee Stempniak (mumps testing)
Dec. 19 – Agreed to terms with Cam Talbot on a contract extension
Photos by Getty Images.