The Rangers will begin a back-to-back set when they face-off against the Washington Capitals tomorrow at Verizon Center (4:00 p.m.), to close out their four-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 10-5-3 (23 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow’s contest having been defeated by the Florida Panthers, 2-1, on Wednesday at BankAtlantic Center. The Capitals enter the contest with a 12-7-1 (25 pts) record to rank sixth in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last two games. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow, Nov. 26, at Madison Square Garden (2:00 p.m.), in their third game in four days.
* TV: MSG Network
3:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Mike Keenan
4:00 p.m. – Rangers at Capitals
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
* All-Time: 83-84-18-5 overall (46-37-9-2 at home; 37-47-9-3 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the first of four meetings this season, and the first of two at Verizon Center.
* Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 overall, with a 2-0-0 mark on the road. The Rangers out-scored the Capitals, 17-6, in the season series. New York tallied four goals in 13 power play attempts (30.8%), and successfully defended 14 of 15 shorthanded situations (93.3%) in the four games. Brian Boyle led the team in scoring with three goals, four assists and seven points in four games. Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 2-1-0 with a 1.34 GAA, .955 Sv% and two shutouts in three appearances, while Martin Biron won his only meeting against the Capitals in the shootout, stopping 22 of 23 shots through game action and two of four shootout attempts.
* The Rangers have won three of their last four games at Verizon Center, having out-scored the Capitals, 12-6, over the span
* New York ranks 14th with a 5-4-2 (12 pts) record on the road; Washington ranks first with a 8-1-1 (17 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers have posted a 3-1-0 record vs. Southeast Division opponents; the Capitals are 3-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 11-6-2 record with a 2.74 GAA and three shutouts in 19 career regular season games vs. Washington; Martin Biron is 11-8-1-2 with a 2.50 GAA and one shutout in 22 career regular season games vs. the Capitals
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 25 assists and 32 points in 46 career regular season games vs. Washington; Ruslan Fedotenko has tallied a team-high, 10 goals in 48 career regular season contests vs. the Capitals
* New York lists one former Capital on their roster: Steve Eminger (2002-03 – 2007-08)
* Washington lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Knuble (1998-99 – 1999-2000); Tom Poti (2001-02 – 2005-06)
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play opportunities (7:50) on Wednesday at Florida. New York ranks 29th overall (9-74, 12.2%) and 29th on the road (3-40, 7.5%). The Rangers are 1-7 (5:25) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/23 at FLA), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Panthers in four shorthanded situations (9:45) on Wednesday at Florida. New York ranks ninth overall (64-75, 85.3%) and is tied for 13th on the road (45-54, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-3 (1:16) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/05 vs. MTL), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/20 at CGY (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Wednesday at Florida. The Rangers are plus-three in 25 four-on-four situations (43:42), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
The Rangers will begin their third of 14 back-to-back sets this season when they face-off against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. New York has posted a record of 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 22-8-3 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 10-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. The Rangers will close out their back-to-back set tomorrow in an Atlantic Division matinee match-up against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE:
The Blueshirts lead the league in fewest total goals against, allowing 38 goals through 18 games, and rank third with a 2.11 goals against average. Henrik Lundqvist has posted a record of 7-4-3 with a 2.12 GAA, .935 Sv% and one shutout, while Martin Biron is 3-1-0 with a 1.68 GAA, .937 Sv% and one shutout. Rangers goaltenders have combined to stop 93.3% of all shots faced, which ranks second in the NHL. Lundqvist’s .935 save percentage is tied for fifth among league goaltenders.
A BROADWAY HIT:
The Rangers were credited with a season-high, 50 hits, on Wednesday at Florida. Brandon Dubinsky led all skaters and tied his career-high with 10 hits, while Ryan Callahan tied his season high with six hits. New York had 16 of 18 skaters register at least one hit, with eight recording three or more hits – Dan Girardi (five), Brian Boyle (four), Michael Sauer (four), Derek Stepan (three), Michael Del Zotto (three), and Ryan McDonagh (three), along with Dubinsky and Callahan. Sauer’s four hits marked a personal season-high. The Rangers now rank second in the NHL in road hits (300), and rank second in the league in average hits per contest (26).
IN THE BLACK:
The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the NHL with a plus-11 rating while skating at even strength. 20 of the 25 players who have skated for the Rangers this season have posted a plus or even rating. Ryan McDonagh leads the team and is tied for 17th in the NHL with a plus-10 rating. In the league standings, New York is tied for seventh with a plus-eight goal differential.
The Rangers have tallied the game’s first goal in 10 of their 18 contests this season, posting a record of 9-1-0 in those games. Their .900 winning percentage when scoring first ranks second in the NHL, while their nine wins are tied for second.
JOINING THE RUSH:
New York defensemen have accounted for 21.3% of the team’s scoring, tied for fifth-best in the league, tallying a combined 10 goals through 18 games to begin the season, tying for 10th in the NHL. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh are tied for first among Rangers defensemen and 15th among NHL blueliners with three goals.
New York has seen seven new faces in their lineup during the 2011-12 season. The Rangers had three players make their Rangers debut in the team’s season opener on Oct. 7 against the Kings – Tim Erixon (NHL debut), Brad Richards (one assist) and Mike Rupp. In addition, defenseman Jeff Woywitka made his Rangers debut on Oct. 15 at Long Island, while defenseman Brendan Bell made his Blueshirts debut on Oct. 22 at Edmonton. Forward Andre Deveaux made his Rangers debut on Oct. 31 vs. San Jose, following his recall the day before. Defenseman Anton Stralman made his first appearance as a Blueshirt on Wednesday at Florida after signing with the team on Nov. 5. Forwards Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell, who were recalled from Connecticut yesterday, are both looking to make their Rangers debut.
COUNTDOWN TO 2,500 WINS:
The Rangers are currently six wins shy of 2,500 wins, having won 2,494 games all-time in franchise history.
* The Rangers are currently tied with San Jose and Minnesota for the fewest regulation losses (five) in the NHL
* New York is 4-1-0 when leading after the first period, and 5-0-1 when leading after the second
* The Blueshirts are the only team in the NHL who are undefeated when out-shooting opponents, posting a 4-0-0 mark in those contests
* Henrik Lundqvist is 5-1-0 with a 1.81 GAA and a .942 Sv% in his last six games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 11 games
* Derek Stepan has recorded 10 points (four goals, six assists) and a plus-seven rating in the last 10 games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied nine points (six goals, three assists) in the last 10 games, with four points (two goals, two assists) in the last four
* Ryan McDonagh has posted a plus-nine rating in the last seven games
* Brandon Dubinsky has tallied four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Erik Christensen: 7 assists from 100th NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 8 points from 100th NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 5 assists from 300th NHL career; 8 goals from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 8 assists from 100th NHL career
* Wojtek Wolski: 1 game from 400th NHL career; 9 goals from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Derek Stepan: 100th NHL game (11/23 at FLA)
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) – 18
* Mike Rupp (knee, 10/24) – 11
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 7
Total Man-Games Lost: 45
* Nov. 24 – Recalled forward Carl Hagelin from Connecticut (AHL)
* Nov. 24 – Recalled forward John Mitchell from Connecticut (AHL)