Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
The Rangers conclude their three-game homestand against the New Jersey Devils in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN Radio 98.7 FM). The Rangers enter the contest on a season-high seven-game winning streak and they have won 11 of their last 14 contests (11-3-0), including nine of their last 11 games (9-2-0). The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 21 of their last 28 contests (17-7-4), including 14 of their last 18 games (12-4-2). New York has posted an 18-10-4 record this season (40 pts), following a 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at MSG. The Devils enter the contest with a 12-17-7 record this season (31 pts), following a 2-1 shootout loss against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at Prudential Center.
RANGERS VS. DEVILS
All-Time*: 107-87-27-7 record (58-31-20-3 at home, 49-56-7-4 on the road) * Note: All-time record includes games against the Kansas City Scouts from 1974-75 – 1975-76 and the Colorado Rockies from 1976-77 – 1981-82
2014-15: Tonight’s game is the second of four meetings between the Rangers and Devils this season, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (0-0-0 at home, 1-0-0 on the road), following a 4-3 overtime win on Oct. 21 in New Jersey. New York rallied from a two-goal third period deficit to tie the game and Kevin Klein tallied the game-winning goal in the extra session. Chris Kreider (one goal, one assist) and Ryan McDonagh (two assists) each recorded two points in the contest. The Rangers and Devils will face off again on Apr. 4 (at MSG), Apr. 7 (at New Jersey)
The Rangers have won three straight games against New Jersey and have earned at least one point in four consecutive games against (3-0-1).
New York has earned at least one point in 30 of 42 regular season games against the Devils since the start of the 2007-08 season (26-12-4 record over the span).
The Rangers do not list any former Devils on their roster
The Devils list three former Rangers on their roster: Ryane Clowe (2012-13), Scott Gomez (2007-08 – 2008-09), Jaromir Jagr (2003-04 – 2007-08)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. DEVILS
Henrik Lundqvist – 51 GP, 31-14-6, 1.89 GAA, .931 SV%, 8 SO – Lundqvist has posted more wins and recorded more shutouts against the Devils than against any NHL opponent. He has allowed two or fewer goals in 37 of 51 career regular season appearances/starts against New Jersey.
Martin St. Louis – 52 GP, 19-28-47 – St. Louis has tallied a point in 32 of 52 career games against the Devils, and he has registered 32 points (11 goals, 21 assists) in his last 28 games against New Jersey.
Derek Stepan – 21 GP, 6-11-17 – Stepan has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in his last two games against New Jersey and has posted five multi-point games in his last 10 regular season contests against the Devils (five goals, six assists)
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 2-for-7 (9:27) and recorded 12 shots on goal on the power play on Dec. 23 vs. Washington
New York has tallied a power play goal in 13 of its last 22 games (15-for-74; 20.3%)
Leaders in PPG: St. Louis (4), Brassard (3), Kreider (3), Nash (3), Boyle (2)
Leaders in PPA: Brassard (7), Stepan (7), McDonagh (4), St. Louis (4), Nash (3)
Leaders in PPP: Brassard (10), St. Louis (8), Stepan (7), Nash (6), McDonagh (4)
The Rangers were 4-for-5 (6:50) and allowed five shots on goal on the penalty kill on Dec. 23 vs. Washington
New York is 19-for-21 (90.5%) on the penalty kill over the last eight games and has not allowed a power play goal in seven of its last 11 games (29-for-33; 87.9%)
Henrik Lundqvist – 1 appearance away from 600 in his NHL career
Kevin Klein – 1 point away from 100 in his NHL career
The Rangers enter tonight’s contest on a season-high seven-game winning streak, which is the longest active winning streak in the NHL and is tied for the second longest winning streak in the NHL this season. The Blueshirts have outscored their opponents, 24-10, over the seven games, and have allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last six contests (seven goals against over the last six games).
TAKING THE METRO
New York has earned at least one point in 11 consecutive games against Metropolitan Division opponents (10-0-1). Prior to their current streak, the last time the Rangers registered at least one point in 11 straight games against teams in their division was from Jan. 31 – Mar. 27, 2008 (8-0-3). The Blueshirts have posted a 10-2-1 record against teams in the Metropolitan Division this season, and they have registered a 14-2-1 record in their last 17 games against Metropolitan Division opponents, dating back to Mar. 21, 2014. The Rangers have registered 21 of their 40 points this season in contests against teams from the Metropolitan Division.
Rick Nash tallied the sixth hat trick of his career, and his first as a Ranger, on Dec. 23 vs. Washington. Nash has registered 23 goals in 32 games this season, which is tied for the fourth-most a Ranger has tallied in the first 32 games of a season in franchise history. He has recorded 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 25 of 32 games this season and has registered a goal in 18 contests. Nash leads the NHL in games with a goal and is tied for fifth in the NHL in games with a point in 2014-15. Since he joined the Rangers prior to the 2012-13 season, Nash ranks third in the NHL in goals per game among players with at least 100 games played (0.50) and ranks seventh in the NHL in goals (70). Nash ranks second in the NHL in goals (23) and even strength goals (17), is tied for second in shorthanded goals (three) and shorthanded points (three), and ranks sixth in even strength points (27) this season.
SHOOTING FOR 50
Nash is on pace to register 59 goals this season, which would eclipse Jaromir Jagr’s single-season franchise record of 54. Entering this season, Nash’s career-high in goals during one season was 41 (2003-04).
Only three Rangers have tallied at least 50 goals in one season in franchise history (Jagr – 2005-06; Adam Graves – 1993-94; Vic Hadfield – 1971-72).
TOP OF THE HEAP
Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Henrik Lundqvist leads all goalies (min. 300 appearances) in appearances (599), wins (324), 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 on a personal six-game winning streak (1.63 GAA, .938 SV%, 1 SO over the span), which is tied for the second longest of his career and is one game shy of tying his career-best. Lundqvist is tied for 22nd on the NHL’s all-time wins list with Sean Burke (324 career wins).
Lundqvist enters tonight’s game with 599 career NHL appearances. With his next appearance, he would become the ninth goaltender to appear in 600 career NHL games with one franchise 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) – 599
Kevin Klein leads NHL defensemen in shooting percentage (21.9%) and is tied for first among NHL defensemen in even strength goals (seven) this season. He has tallied four of his seven goals this season in either the third period or overtime. Klein is tied for second in the NHL in overtime goals (two) and is tied for second among NHL defensemen in game-winning goals (three) in 2014-15. Klein is one of three NHL defensemen to register at least seven goals, three game-winning goals, and two overtime goals this season. He is one of three defensemen in Rangers history to tally two overtime goals in one season since a five-minute overtime period was reimplemented in 1983-84 (Brian Leetch – 2001-02, Tom Poti – 2003-04).
Mats Zuccarello enters tonight’s game with a three-game assist/point streak (four assists over the span). Zuccarello has tallied 111 career NHL points, which is tied for the most by a Norwegian-born player in league history (along with Espen Knutsen). He has tallied a point in six games during the Rangers’ seven-game winning streak, and he leads the team in assists (six), ranks second in points (eight), and is tied for third in goals (two) 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 assists (16), and is tied for fourth in power play assists (seven). He enters tomorrow’s contest with a four-game assist/point streak (one goal, four assists over the span).
Derick Brassard tied a single-game career-high with three assists on Dec. 23 vs. Washington. He is tied for fifth in the NHL in assists (18) since Oct. 27. Brassard has tallied a point in 19 of his last 28 games (eight goals, 19 assists), 15 of his last 22 games (five goals, 18 assists), 10 of his last 14 games (two goals, 12 assists), and six of his last eight games (two goals, eight assists).
RETURN OF THE MAC
The Rangers have posted a 9-2-0 record since Ryan McDonagh returned to the lineup on Nov. 28 and they are 9-1-0 in games which McDonagh and Dan Boyle have both been in the lineup this season. The Rangers’ captain leads team defensemen in assists (five) and points (seven) over the last 11 games.
INJURIES (53 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
2015 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Four Rangers prospects – Pavel Buchnevich (Russia), Anthony Duclair (Canada), Brandon Halverson (United States), Igor Shesterkin (Russia) – are representing their countries at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal. The tournament runs from today (Dec. 26) through Jan. 5.
Photos by Getty Images.