The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils tomorrow, Feb. 18, at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 31-24-4 (66 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow’s contest having defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, in the shootout earlier tonight at Madison Square Garden, and have won their last two games. The Devils enter the contest with a 23-30-4 (50 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have registered a point in 15 of their last 16 games (13-1-2). Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, Feb. 20, at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division matinee match-up.
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Brian Leetch
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Devils
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
RANGERS vs. DEVILS:
* All-Time: 97-81-27-5 overall (53-29-20-2 at home, 44-52-7-3 on the road)
* 2010-11: Tonight is the fifth of six meetings this season, and the third of three at Prudential Center. New York is 3-1-0 thus far, including a 2-0-0 mark at New Jersey.
* Last Season: New York was 3-2-1 overall and 2-1-0 on the road. Five of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less, including two that required the shootout.
* The Rangers rank seventh with a 17-12-1 (35 pts) record on the road; the Devils rank 26th with a 13-13-3 (29 pts) mark at home
* New York is 9-6-1 vs. the Atlantic Division; New Jersey is 5-10-0 against the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist is 21-8-5 with a 1.87 goals against average and five shutouts in 34 career regular season games vs. the Devils; Martin Biron is 8-15-2-2 with a 3.16 goals against average and two shutouts in 30 career regular season contests vs. New Jersey
* Vinny Prospal has registered a team-high, 21 assists and 32 points in 48 career regular season contests vs. New Jersey
* New York lists no former Devils on their roster
* New Jersey lists no former Rangers on their roster
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-eight rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for fifth in the league.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play opportunities (6:00) last night vs. Los Angeles, and are now 7-38 (18.4%) with the man advantage in their last eight games. New York ranks 23rd overall (35-215, 16.3%) and is tied for 22nd on the road (14-101, 13.9%). The Rangers are 2-9 (7:45) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/7 at DET), and 0-3 (4:23) when four-on-three (last – 2/17 vs. LAK). Shorthanded goals allowed (4): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Kings in three shorthanded situations (4:57) last night at MSG, and have allowed only five power play goals against in the last 17 games (47-52, 90.4% over the span). New York ranks eighth overall (166-198, 83.8%) and 12th on the road (91-110, 82.7%). The Rangers are 7-9 (6:45) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/3 vs. NJD), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (9): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:00) last night vs. Los Angeles, and are now plus-three in 46, four-on-four situations (91:57). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (5): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson).
The Rangers own a record of 16-5-2 vs. the Devils since the start of the 2007-08 season, including an 8-3-1 mark at New Jersey during the stretch, dating back to a 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2007. Henrik Lundqvist, who has started in each of the Rangers’ last 28 meetings with the Devils, has registered a 2.03 goals against average, .929 save percentage and five shutouts in the 23-game stretch.
The Rangers will conclude their 15th of 18 back-to-back sets tonight at New Jersey. New York is 8-5-1 (2-1-0 at home, 6-4-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs. The Blueshirts are 10-4-0 (4-2-0 at home, 6-2-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 39-24, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 19-6-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including an 8-3-1 mark at MSG and 11-3-1 on the road over the span.
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 200th career win in a 4-3 shootout win vs. Los Angeles last night, becoming only the fifth goalie in franchise history to reach the 200-win mark and moving into a tie with John Vanbiesbrouck for fourth on the Rangers’ all-time wins list.
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Vinny Prospal have each made strong returns since returning from injury earlier this month. Callahan has registered seven points (five goals, two assists) in seven games since returning from injury on Feb. 1 vs. Pittsburgh, following a 19-game hiatus due to a broken hand suffered on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh. Dubinsky also returned on Feb. 1 after missing five games with a stress fracture on his left fibula, and has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) over the span. Prospal made his season debut on Feb. 3 vs. New Jersey after missing the first 53 games of the season with a knee injury, and has tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in six games.
New York has posted a record of 7-16-3 when trailing after the second period. The Rangers’ seven wins, 17 points and .269 winning percentage rank first in the NHL. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent, 114-56, in the third period of their last 10 games.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have registered five more wins and seven more points compared to last season through 59 games (26-26-7, 55 points in 2009-10), having tallied 14 more goals (166 this season, 152 last season) while allowing 16 fewer goals against (147 this season, 163 last season). New York has also shown a four-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (nine this season, five last season).
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS:
The Rangers lead the league in hits (1,695), are tied for first in shorthanded goals (nine), third in blocked shots (935), fourth in road wins (17), seventh in goals against (147), rank eighth in penalty killing (83.8%), and eighth with a plus-19 goal differential.
The Blueshirts rank ninth in the league with a .552 winning percentage in one-goal games, posting a record of 16-9-4 in those contests. Their 16 wins and 29 one-goal games are tied for fifth in the NHL. Sixteen of the Rangers’ last 21 games have been decided by one goal, including eight of their last 11 road games.
The Rangers have had 17 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is the most in the NHL.
YOUTH IS SERVED:
The Rangers have the sixth youngest team in the league with an average age of 26 years and 210 days, and the youngest defensive corp in the league with an average age of 24 years and 328 days. *based on NHL rosters on Jan. 11
THE HOT LIST:
* Marian Gaborik enters tonight’s contest with a four-game scoring streak (one goal, four assists), and has recorded a point in eight of the last nine games (two goals, seven assists); he has tallied 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in the last 12 games
* Brandon Dubinsky enters tonight’s contest with a four-game scoring streak (two goals, two assists)
* Ryan Callahan has recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) in the last seven games, with five points (three goals, two assists) in the last two
* Artem Anisimov has tallied nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last 12 games
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Henrik Lundqvist: 200th career NHL win (2/17 vs. LAK)
* Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 29
* Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 16
* Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder separation on Jan. 19/appendectomy on Feb. 2, 3 weeks) – 11
* Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 222
* Feb. 16: Recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut