Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
– The Rangers extended their winning streak to a season-high eight games. Prior to their current streak, the last time the Rangers won at least eight consecutive games was when they posted an eight-game winning streak from Dec. 27, 1974 vs. Buffalo to Jan. 11, 1975 at St. Louis. New York had posted eight separate seven-game winning streaks between its eight-game winning streak in 1974-75 and its current winning streak. The Blueshirts’ winning streak is the longest active winning streak in the NHL and is tied for the longest winning streak in the NHL this season (Chicago also posted an eight-game winning streak from Nov. 26 to Dec. 11). New York has outscored its opponents, 27-11, over the last seven games and has allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last seven contests (eight goals allowed over the last seven games). The Rangers have also won 10 of their last 12 games (10-2-0) and 12 of their last 15 contests (12-3-0). New York has earned at least one point in 22 of its last 29 contests (18-7-4), including 15 of its last 19 games (13-4-2).
– New York has registered a hat trick in back-to-back games (Rick Nash – Dec. 23 vs. Washington, Derek Stepan – tonight). The last time the Blueshirts tallied a hat trick in two consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 31, 1994 vs. Pittsburgh (Mike Gartner) and Feb. 2, 1994 vs. the NY Islanders (Adam Graves).
– The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 12 consecutive games against Metropolitan Division opponents (11-0-1) and have posted an 11-2-1 record against teams in the Metropolitan Division this season. New York has registered a 15-2-1 record in its last 18 games against Metropolitan Division opponents, dating back to Mar. 21, 2014. The Rangers have earned 23 of their 42 points this season in games against teams in the Metropolitan Division.
– The Blueshirts have tallied the first goal of the game in six of the last seven contests, 11 of the last 15 games, and 20 of 33 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 15-3-2 record when registering the first goal of the game this season.
– The Rangers have posted a 13-0-1 record when leading after two periods this season. New York has registered a 127-1-9 record in its last 137 regular season games when leading after two periods. The 137-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 (42) since the start of the 2013-14 season. The Rangers have posted a 38-2-2 record when allowing one or fewer goals in a contest over the span.
– The Blueshirts have posted a 15-0-1 record when allowing two goals or fewer in a contest in 2014-15.
– The Rangers lead the NHL in games with at least one power play goal and one shorthanded goal (nine) since the start of the 2013-14 season.
– The Blueshirts were 1-for-3 (4:47) on the power play in the contest. New York has tallied a power play goal in back-to-back games (3-for-10; 30%) and in 14 of its last 23 games (16-for-77; 20.8%).
– New York was 4-for-4 (8:00) on the penalty kill and registered a shorthanded goal in the contest. The Rangers are 23-for-25 (92%) on the penalty kill over the last nine games and they have not allowed a power play goal in eight of their last 12 games (33-for-37; 89.2% over the span).
– Derek Stepan registered his third career NHL hat trick,tallying a shorthanded goal, a power play goal, and an even strength goal in the contest. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Stepan is the first Ranger to register an even strength goal, a power play goal, and a shorthanded goal in the same game since Brendan Shanahan on Dec. 3, 2006 vs. the NY Islanders. He is also the first Ranger to tally a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the same game since Brandon Dubinsky on Apr. 12, 2009 at Philadelphia. Stepan is the first Ranger to record a hat trick and tally all of the team’s goals in the game since Marian Gaborik did so in a 3-1 Rangers win on Jan. 31, 2010 at Colorado. The Rangers’ alternate captain has tied his career-high in shorthanded points (four) and, as of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Stepan leads the NHL in shorthanded points (11) since the start of the 2012-13 season. Stepan extended his point streak to five games (four goals, four assists over the span), and he has recorded at least one point in 16 of 21 games he has played in this season (six goals, 16 assists). As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Stepan is tied for 10th in the NHL in points (22) since he made his season debut on Nov. 8. He is also tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded points this season (four – along with the Kings’ Tyler Toffoli).
– Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves to record his seventh consecutive victory while appearing in his 600th career NHL game. Lundqvist’s personal seven-game winning streak is tied for the longest personal winning streak of his career, which he established from Dec. 20, 2011 to Jan. 10, 2012. The Rangers’ all-time wins and shutouts leader has posted a 1.54 GAA, a .940 SV%, and 1 SO over his personal seven-game winning streak. Lundqvist is the ninth goaltender in NHL history to appear in at least 600 career games with one NHL franchise, and he is the 22nd player – and second goaltender – in Rangers history to appear in at least 600 career regular season games with the franchise. With the victory, the 325th of his career, Lundqvist passed Sean Burke for sole possession of 22nd on the NHL’s all-time wins list. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lundqvist is one of only four goaltenders in NHL history to record at least 325 wins through his first 600 career NHL games (Jacques Plante – 332; Martin Brodeur – 330; Chris Osgood – 325).
– Martin St. Louis notched two assists, recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating in 18:53 of ice time. The Rangers’ alternate captain has tallied a point in 15 of the last 23 games (10 goals, 10 assists over the span), including 11 of the last 17 games (six goals, eight assists). St. Louis ranks second on the team in power play points (nine) and shots on goal (67), and ranks third on the team in assists (15), points (26), and power play assists (five) this season.
– Dan Boyle recorded an assist and registered two shots on goal in 19:59 of ice time. He has notched a power play assist/point in each of the last two games. Boyle is tied for first among Rangers defensemen in power play points (four) this season. The Rangers have posted a 12-3-2 record with Boyle in the lineup this season, and a 10-1-0 record in games which Boyle and Ryan McDonagh have both been in the lineup in 2014-15.
– Carl Hagelin recorded an assist, led all skaters with four shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating in 16:05 of ice time. He has notched five points (two goals, three assists) in the last 10 games and ranks fifth on the team in even strength points (14) this season.
Alain Vigneault on the play of Derek Stepan… “He’s been playing well. He’s a real smart and effective player. I can use him and feel real confident in any situation, whether it’s five-on-five against top lines, whether it’s killing, whether it’s on the power play. Tonight you know when he had an opportunity he definitely made them pay, made a great play on the shorthanded goal and got us that power play goal. It was fortunate that Zucc (Zuccarello) didn’t want Nasher (Nash) to score that goal and was offside, and gave that third goal to Step (Stepan).
Derek Stepan on tonight’s game… “I had some fortunate bounces tonight. I think we did a good job defending tonight. When they were putting it on late, Hank made some big saves and the defense really showed.”
Henrik Lundqvist on the team’s winning streak… “I think we believe in each other a lot right now. We believe in the system and the way we are playing. We have gained a lot of confidence obviously because of the way we are playing and because we are winning. You relax a little bit more and you let the game come to you. We just have a lot of fun. There are a lot of good things. At the same time, when you go into a new game you have to start over, you have to challenge yourself. You kind of start over every game, it doesn’t matter your record before that game. We just have to continue to push ourselves here to improve our game. It’s been fun, when you are winning, you relax and you enjoy everything – practice, travel. It all comes down to winning.”
Photo by Getty Images.