The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins today at the CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.), to close out their back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 9-7-1 (19 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow’s contest having defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 8-2, earlier today at Madison Square Garden to close out their four-game homestand with a 2-2-0 record. The Penguins enter the contest with a 9-8-1 (19 pts) record to rank sixth in the Eastern Conference, and have won each of their last two contests. Following tomorrow’s game, the Rangers will face-off against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up. The Blueshirts will wear their new heritage jersey, unveiled on Friday to celebrate the franchise’s 85th anniversary, for the first time during Wednesday’s game.
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Penguins
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game with Don LaGreca
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Penguins
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:
* All-Time: The Rangers are 111-96-23-7 all-time against the Penguins: 63-45-9-2 at home and 48-51-14-5 on the road
* 2010-11: Today’s contest marks the first of six meetings between the Rangers and Penguins this season, and the first of three games at the CONSOL Energy Center.
* Last Season: New York was 1-4-1 against the Penguins in 2009-10, including a 1-2-0 mark at Pittsburgh.
* New York ranks sixth in the NHL on the road with a record of 5-2-0 (10 pts) in seven games; Pittsburgh has posted a record of 3-5-0 (6 pts) in eight home games to rank 25th in the league
* The Rangers have posted a record of 2-2-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Penguins are 3-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 1-3-1 with a 3.38 goals against average and .901 save percentage in five games against the Penguins last season, and is 16-12-4 with a 2.43 goals against average and two shutouts in 32 career regular season games vs. Pittsburgh;
* Martin Biron is 13-15-3-2 with a 2.98 goals against average and two shutouts in 33 career contests vs. the Penguins
* Marian Gaborik tallied three goals and five points in five games against Pittsburgh last season; Artem Anisimov also notched three goals in six games vs. the Penguins
* Ruslan Fedotenko has recorded 13 assists for 21 points in 32 career regular season appearances vs. the Penguins; Marian Gaborik has registered 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 12 career regular season contests vs. Pittsburgh
* New York lists three former Penguins on their roster: Ruslan Fedotenko (2008-09 – 2009-10); Erik Christensen (2005-06 – 2007-08); Michal Rozsival (1999-00 – 2002-03)
* Pittsburgh lists one former Ranger on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07)
* Power Play: The Rangers did not convert on two power play opportunities (4:00) yesterday vs. Edmonton. New York ranks 18th in the NHL with a 15.4% (10-65) success rate, and ranks eighth on the road with a 20.8% (5-24) success rate. The Rangers did not convert on one, five-on-three chance (0:39) on Thursday vs. the Sabres, and are now 0-3 on five-on-three attempts (2:47). New York is 0-1 (1:05) with a four-on-three advantage this season. Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Oilers scoreless in three shorthanded situations (6:00) yesterday at MSG, and are now 14-15 (93.3%) over the last five games. New York is tied for 22nd in the NHL with a 79.4% (54-68) success rate, and are 18th in the league on the road with a 80.6% (25-31) success rate. The Rangers held the Maple Leafs scoreless in one, three-on-five situation (0:31) on Oct. 30 at Toronto, and are 4-6 on three-on-fives (5:08) this season. The Blueshirts yielded one goal in two, three-on-four situations on Tuesday vs. Washington, and are now 3-5 (2:34) in those situations this season. Shorthanded goals for (2): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation in yesterday’s 8-2 win vs. Edmonton, and are now plus-one in 14, four-on-four situations (15:21) this season. Four-on-four goals for (2): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).
Tonight’s contest will close out the Rangers’ fourth of 18 back-to-back sets this season. The Blueshirts are currently 3-0-0 in the second game of back-to-backs, and are 2-0-0 when the second game is on the road, following a 3-0 win at New Jersey on Nov. 5. Last season, New York posted a record of 9-2-2 in the second game of back-to-backs, including a 5-1-1 mark when the second game of the set was on the road.
HATS OFF TO FAMILIAR FOES
Marian Gaborik posted his second hat trick as a Ranger, and 11th of his career, with three goals yesterday vs. Edmonton in just his second game back from injury. Gaborik, who played for the Minnesota Wild from 2000-01 to 2008-09, has registered both of his hat tricks with New York against Northwest Division opponents, having posted his first last season at Colorado on Jan. 31, 2010. In his second season as a Blueshirt, Gaborik also recorded an assist in yesterday’s contest to finish with four points, tying his single game high for points as a Ranger (Jan. 19, 2010 vs. TBL – four assists; Nov. 23, 2009 vs. CBJ – two goals, two assists).
The Rangers have had seven different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is tied for fifth most in the league. Washington has nine different players with at least one game winning goal, while Detroit, Los Angeles and Montreal each have eight different players with a game winner. Anaheim, Boston, Ottawa, Phoenix, and Vancouver are tied with New York entering tonight’s action.
The Blueshirts currently lead the NHL with 306 blocked shots on the season, averaging a league-high, 18.0 blocked shots per contest. Dan Girardi ranks first in the NHL with 55 blocked shots, and Ryan Callahan leads all NHL forwards with 26 blocked shots.
A BROADWAY HIT
The Rangers currently rank second in the NHL with 495 hits on the season, and lead the league with an average of 29.1 hits per contest. Ryan Callahan leads the team and ranks second in the NHL with 65 hits, and Brian Boyle is tied for 22nd in the league with 43 hits on the season.
THE HOT LIST:
* The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has surrendered just one goal in their last five contests, registering a 93.3% success rate (14-15) over the span
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in each of his last three starts, posting a record of 2-1-0 with a 1.67 goals against average and .932 save percentage during the stretch
* Artem Anisimov has registered seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last seven games
* Ruslan Fedotenko has posted multi-point performances in each of the last two games (two goals, two assists over the span)
* Brian Boyle has tallied four goals in the last five games
* Dan Girardi has recorded an assist in three of the last five games
* Brandon Dubinsky has notched five goals and six points in the last seven games
* Ryan Callahan has registered 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last 12 games
* Henrik Lundqvist is 5-3-0 in his last eight starts, registering a 2.15 goals against average, .923 save percentage and two shutouts over the span
YOUTH IS SERVED
Based on opening day rosters, the Rangers have the ninth youngest team in the NHL with an average age of 27 years and 44 days, and the second youngest defensive corp in the league, trailing only Los Angeles with an average age of 25 years and 51 days.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* John Tortorella: 2 wins from 300 NHL career
* Michael Del Zotto: 3 games from 100 NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 3 games from 300 NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Sean Avery: 500th career NHL game (11/1 vs. CHI)
* Artem Anisimov: 100th career NHL game (11/14 vs. EDM)
* Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 17
* Chris Drury (IR – fractured finger on Oct. 15, 6 weeks) – 14
* Michal Rozsival (shoulder strain, 7-10 days) – 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 51
* Nov. 8: Assigned forward Evgeny Grachev to Hartford