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Pre-game notes from the Rangers:
The Rangers continue their three-game homestand against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN Radio 98.7 FM). The Rangers enter on a season-high six-game winning streak and they have won 10 of their last 13 contests (10-3-0), including eight of their last 10 games (8-2-0). The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 20 of their last 27 contests (16-7-4), including 13 of their last 17 games (11-4-2). New York has posted a 17-10-4 record this season (38 pts), following a 1-0 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, Dec. 21 at MSG.
RANGERS VS. CAPITALS
All-Time: 89-88-18-6 record (49-39-9-3 at home, 40-49-9-3 on the road)
2014-15: Tonight’s game is the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Capitals this season, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers and Capitals will face off again on Mar. 11 (at Washington), Mar. 29 (at MSG), Apr. 11 (at Washington).
Last Season: The Rangers posted a 2-2-0 record (1-1-0 at home, 1-1-0 on the road) against Washington in 2013-14. New York allowed one goal or fewer in each of its two victories and allowed a total of eight goals over the four contests. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh each recorded three assists/points and posted a plus-three rating in the season series, while Rick Nash tied for first among all skaters with two goals in the three games in which he played. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2-1-0 record, along with a 1.67 GAA, a .940 SV% (78 saves on 83 shots), and 1 SO in three appearances during the season series.
Five of the last nine regular season contests between the Rangers and Capitals have been decided by two or fewer goals, and four of the nine games have been decided by one goal.
The Rangers do not list any former Capitals on their roster
The Capitals do not list any former Rangers on their roster
Rangers forwards Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan and Capitals defenseman John Carlson were teammates on Team USA’s 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship team, which won the gold medal.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. CAPITALS
Henrik Lundqvist – 27 GP, 16-8-3, 2.55 GAA, .908 SV%, 4 SO – Lundqvist has posted a 7-2-1 record, along with a 1.69 GAA, a .936 SV%, and 3 SO in his last 10 appearances against the Capitals.
Martin St. Louis – 74 GP, 29-51-80 – St. Louis has recorded a point in 47 of 74 career regular season games against Washington and has posted 22 multi-point games. He enters the contest with an eight-game point streak against the Capitals (six goals, eight assists) and he has notched a point in 10 of his last 11 games against Washington (seven goals, 11 assists over the span).
Dan Boyle – 54 GP, 8-29-37 – Boyle has skated in more games and has recorded more assists against the Capitals than against any NHL opponent. He has tallied 32 points (seven goals, 25 assists) in his last 35 regular season games against Washington.
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 0-for-3 (6:00) and recorded six shots on goal on the power play on Dec. 21 vs. Carolina
New York has tallied a power play goal in 12 of its last 21 games (13-for-67; 19.4%)
Leaders in PPG: Brassard (3), Kreider (3), St. Louis (3), Boyle (2), Nash (2)
Leaders in PPA: Stepan (6), Brassard (5), McDonagh (4), St. Louis (4), Nash (3)
Leaders in PPP: Brassard (8), St. Louis (7), Stepan (6), Nash (5), McDonagh (4)
The Rangers were 1-for-1 (2:00) and allowed two shots on goal on the penalty kill on Dec. 21 vs. Carolina
New York is 15-for-16 (93.8%) on the penalty kill over the last seven games and has not allowed a power play goal in seven of its last 10 games (25-for-28; 89.3%)
Leaders in SH ice time per game: Girardi (2:55), McDonagh (2:43), Staal (2:38), D. Moore (2:21), Hagelin (2:06)
Kevin Klein – 1 point away from 100 in his NHL career
Henrik Lundqvist – 2 appearances away from 600 in his NHL career
The Rangers enter tonight’s game on a season-high six-game winning streak, which is the longest active winning streak in the NHL. The Blueshirts have outscored their opponents, 20-8, over the six games, and have allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last five contests (five goals against over the last five games).
SHUTTING THE DOOR
The Rangers lead the NHL in shutouts (eight) this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Blueshirts began a season with at least eight shutouts in their first 31 games was 1928-29 (11 shutouts in 31 games).
TAKING THE METRO
New York has earned at least one point in 10 consecutive games against Metropolitan Division opponents (9-0-1). Prior to their current streak, the last time the Rangers registered at least one point in 10 straight games against teams in their division was an 11-game stretch from Jan. 31, 2008 to Mar. 27, 2008 (8-0-3 record over the span). The Blueshirts have posted a 9-2-1 record against teams in the Metropolitan Division this season, and they have registered a 13-2-1 record in their last 16 games against Metropolitan Division opponents, dating back to Mar. 21, 2014.
The Blueshirts posted their fourth victory when trailing after two periods this season on Dec. 20 at Carolina (4-6-0 record, .400 winning percentage). New York ranks second in the NHL in winning percentage and is tied for second in the NHL in wins when trailing after 40 minutes in 2014-15.
Rick Nash registered a career-high 11-game point streak from Nov. 19 to Dec. 16 (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). He 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 31 games this season and has registered a goal in 17 contests. 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), and is tied for sixth in even strength points (25) this season.
TOP OF THE HEAP
Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Henrik Lundqvist leads all goalies (min. 300 appearances) in appearances (598), wins (323), 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. He enters tomorrow’s contest with a personal five-game winning streak (1.56 GAA, .939 SV%, 1 SO over the span), which is tied for the third longest of his career.
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) – 598
Cam Talbot posted his third shutout of the season on Dec. 21 vs. Carolina, tying a career-high. Talbot has registered three shutouts in a four-start span, becoming the first Rangers goaltender to do so since Andy Aitkenhead posted three consecutive shutouts from Dec. 2 – Dec. 7, 1933. He is also the second Rangers goalie to post at least six shutouts in his first 26 career NHL starts (Lorne Chabot did so during the Rangers’ inaugural season of 1926-27).
Kevin Klein leads all NHL defensemen in shooting percentage (22.6%) and is tied for first among NHL defensemen in even strength goals (seven) this season. He has tallied four of his seven goals in either the third period or overtime and he is tied for second in the NHL in overtime goals (two) this season. He leads all NHL defensemen in even strength goals (seven) since Oct. 21.
DAN’S THE MAN
Dan Girardi skated in his 600th career NHL game on Dec. 21 vs. Carolina. He is the 21st player – and ninth defenseman – who has played in at least 600 regular season games with the Rangers in franchise history. Girardi has skated in more games with the Rangers than any undrafted defenseman who was eligible for the Draft in franchise history.
RETURN OF THE MAC
Ryan McDonagh tallied the game-winning goal on Dec. 21 vs. Carolina. He has recorded a point in seven of 10 games since returning to the lineup on Nov. 28. McDonagh is tied for second on the team in assists (five) and is tied for third in points (seven) over the span.
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), is tied for third in the NHL in assists (15), and is tied for sixth in the NHL in power play assists (six).
Entering tonight’s contest, the Rangers have sold out 149 consecutive home games (121 regular season games, 28 playoff games over the stretch). The streak began on Nov. 3, 2011 against Anaheim.
INJURIES (53 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
Lee Stempniak (mumps)
Dec. 19 – Agreed to terms with Cam Talbot on a contract extension
Photos by Getty Images.