Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
– The Rangers posted their eighth shutout of the season in tonight’s contest. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blueshirts have registered eight shutouts in their first 31 games of the season for the first time since 1928-29 (11 shutouts in their first 31 contests). New York leads the NHL in shutouts this season.
– The Rangers extended their winning streak to a season-high six games. The Blueshirts’ winning streak is the longest active streak in the NHL and is tied for the seventh longest winning streak in the NHL this season. Prior to their current winning streak, the last time the Rangers won at least six straight games was when they posted a seven-game winning streak from Oct. 31, 2011 vs. San Jose to Nov. 15, 2011 at the NY Islanders. New York has outscored its opponents, 20-8, over the last six games. New York has allowed two goals or fewer in each of its last five games, giving up just five goals over the span. The Rangers have also won eight of their last 10 games (8-2-0) and 10 of their last 13 contests (10-3-0). New York has earned at least one point in 20 of its last 27 contests (16-7-4), including 13 of its last 17 games (11-4-2).
– New York has won 14 of its last 15 games against Carolina (14-1-0), dating back to Feb. 22, 2011. The Rangers have outscored the Hurricanes, 51-26, over the span. The Blueshirts have also won eight consecutive games against Carolina at Madison Square Garden, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011. New York has allowed one goal or fewer in seven of the eight meetings, including each of the last five games, and has outscored Carolina, 25-8, over the last eight contests at MSG.
– The Rangers have earned at least one point in 10 consecutive games against Metropolitan Division opponents (9-0-1) and have posted a 9-2-1 record against teams in the Metropolitan Division this season. New York has registered a 13-2-1 record in its last 16 games against Metropolitan Division opponents, dating back to Mar. 21, 2014. The Rangers have earned 19 of their 38 points this season in games against teams in the Metropolitan Division.
– The Blueshirts have tallied the first goal of the game in nine of the last 13 contests and in 18 of 31 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 13-3-2 record when registering the first goal of the game this season.
– The Rangers have posted an 11-0-1 record when leading after two periods this season. New York has registered a 125-1-9 record in its last 135 regular season games when leading after two periods. The 135-game stretch began with a 3-1 victory vs. New Jersey on Feb. 6, 2010.
– New York leads the NHL in games with one goal or fewer allowed (41) since the start of the 2013-14 season.
– The Blueshirts were 1-for-1 (2:00) on the penalty kill in the game. The Rangers are 15-for-16 (93.8%) on the penalty kill over the last seven games and they have not allowed a power play goal in seven of their last 10 games (25-for-28; 89.3%).
– New York allowed 18 shots on goal in the contest. The Rangers have held opponents to 20 or fewer shots on goal in three of the last four games, the first time they have done so since Jan. 20, 2008 vs. Boston to Jan. 24, 2008 vs. Atlanta (three straight games). The Blueshirts allowed four shots on goal in a period twice in tonight’s contest, and three times in the last two games (third period last night, first period tonight, third period tonight), which ties a season-best for shots on goal against in one period this season.
– The Rangers registered 31 shots on goal in the game, as nine different skaters recorded at least two shots on goal. New York has recorded at least 30 shots on goal in 17 of 31 contests this season.
– The Blueshirts posted a 1-0 victory against the Whalers/Hurricanes franchise for the second time in team history (the Rangers also defeated the Hurricanes 1-0 on Oct. 30, 1998 at MSG).
3 Stars on Broadway:
– Cam Talbot stopped all 18 shots he faced to post his third shutout of the season, tying a career-high. Talbot has posted a shutout in three of his last four games, posting a 3-1-0 record, along with a 0.76 GAA and a .972 SV% in those contests. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Talbot is the first Blueshirts goalie to register three shutouts in a personal four-start span since Andy Aitkenhead from Dec. 2 – Dec. 9, 1933. Talbot has also posted six shutouts in 26 career starts, becoming only the second Rangers goalie to register at least six shutouts in his first 26 career NHL starts (along with Lorne Chabot, who did so in the Rangers’ inaugural season of 1926-27). He is tied for third in the NHL in shutouts in 2014-15, and he is the only NHL goaltender with seven or fewer starts to post three shutouts this season.
– Ryan McDonagh registered the game-winning goal, recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating while leading all skaters with 23:36 of ice time. The Rangers’ captain has recorded a point in seven of 10 games since returning to the lineup on Nov. 28 (two goals, five assists over the span). Since returning to the lineup, McDonagh is tied for third on the team in points (seven). He is tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-eight) and ranks second among team defensemen in points (10) this season.
– Derek Stepan recorded an assist and posted a plus-one rating in 17:21 of ice time. The Rangers’ alternate captain extended his assist/point streak to three games (one goal, three assists over the span), and he has tallied a point in 14 of 19 games since making his season debut on Nov. 8 (three goals, 15 assists). As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Stepan is tied for third in the NHL in assists (15) since he made his season debut. He ranks second on the team in assists and ranks fourth on the team in points (18) in 2014-15.
– Mats Zuccarello notched an assist, recorded three shots on goal, and was credited with two hits in 18:04 of ice time. He has tallied a point in five of the last six games (two goals, four assists over the span), and he has registered eight points (three goals, five assists) in the last 12 contests. Zuccarello is tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-eight), ranks fifth in points (16), and is tied for fifth in assists (10).
– Dan Girardi recorded three shots on goal and led all Rangers with two blocked shots in 22:49 of ice time while skating in his 600th career NHL game. The Rangers’ alternate captain is the 20th skater – and ninth defensemen – to skate in at least 600 career regular season games with the Rangers and he is the 21st Blueshirt (including goaltenders) to accomplish the feat. Girardi leads the team in blocked shots (71) and hits (80) this season.
Alain Vigneault on the team’s goaltending… “We are no different than any team in the NHL. You can’t win if you don’t get goaltending. Hank [Lundqvist] is playing the way we know he can. When we use Cam [Talbot] he’s given us some real good performances.”
Cam Talbot on tonight’s game… “It was a lot of fun, not a whole lot of work, so it’s always a good thing. The guys played really well in front of me and they didn’t give them a whole lot of quality opportunities which is always nice when you haven’t played a game in a few weeks.”
Ryan McDonagh on the team’s recent play…“I think just the confidence within our system and everybody’s roles. It seems like whatever line or d pairing is out there they understand the situation that they are in, what the score is in the game, and what we need to do to be successful. We talked a lot about details here and the last stretch here we’ve been able to create a lot of opportunities for ourselves being simple and detailed in our zone.”
Photos by Getty Images.