YOU THINK HBO WILL BE AT MSG TONIGHT?

New York RangersNY RANGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Friday, Dec. 23, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square GardenNew York, New York
Rangers: 20-8-4 (44 pts)
Flyers: 21-8-4 (46 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Dec. 22

TONIGHT’S GAME:

The Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to close out a back-to-back home set against Atlantic Division opponents. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 20-8-4 (44 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New York Islanders, 4-2, last night at Madison Square Garden to extend their winning streak to three games, and are 5-2-0 in their last seven. The Blueshirts have now registered at least one point in 19 of their last 24 games (17-5-2). The Flyers enter the contest with a 21-8-4 (46 pts) record to rank first in the Eastern Conference, and have lost two of their last three games (1-1-1). Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders on Monday, Dec. 26, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their fourth consecutive game against an Atlantic Division opponent.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Mike Keenan
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: John Giannone (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Al Trautwig (In-Game Reporter)

* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Flyers
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. FLYERS:

* All-Time: 111-107-37-7 overall (58-47-23-4 at home; 53-60-14-3 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the second of six meetings this season, and the second of three at home. The Rangers are 1-0-0 following a 2-0 win on Nov. 26 at MSG. Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin each tallied a goal in the contest, and Henrik Lundqvist turned aside all 29 shots he faced.
* Last Season: New York was 2-4-0 overall, with a 1-2-0 mark at home. The Rangers power play was 4-19 (21.1%) in the season series. Ryan Callahan (four goals, one assist) and Derek Stepan (three goals, two assists) tied for the team-high with five points, while Callahan’s four goals led the team. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-3-0 with a 2.57 GAA, .908 Sv% and one shutout in five games.
* The Rangers have won their last three games against the Flyers, out-scoring Philadelphia, 12-2, in those contests, and have shutout the Flyers in each of their last two meetings at Madison Square Garden
* New York ranks 18th with a 9-3-2 (20 pts) record at home; Philadelphia ranks first with a 13-3-2 (28 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers have posted a 5-1-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Flyers are 3-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 17-10-3 record with a 2.66 GAA and four shutouts in 32 career regular season games vs. Philadelphia; Martin Biron is 9-7-2-0 with a 2.18 GAA in 18 career regular season games vs. the Flyers
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 23 assists and 31 points in 32 career regular season games vs. Philadelphia; Dan Girardi has tallied more assists/points (18 assists) against the Flyers than any other team during his career
* New York lists three former Flyers on their roster: Martin Biron (2006-07 – 2008-09); Steve Eminger (2008-09); Ruslan Fedotenko (2000-01 – 2001-02)
* Philadelphia lists four former Rangers on their roster: Blair Betts (2005- 06 – 2008-09); Jaromir Jagr (2003-04 – 2007-08); Ian Laperriere (1995-96); Jody Shelley (2009-10)

SPECIAL TEAMS:

The Rangers are 11-51 (21.6%) with the man advantage in the last 14 games. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held their opponent scoreless in six of their last eight games (22-25, 88.0% over the span), while tallying four shorthanded goals during the stretch. New York is tied for third in the NHL with five shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 13-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 13-3-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in three power play attempts (6:00) last night vs. the Islanders. New York ranks 20th overall (20-125, 16.0%) and ninth at home (13-63, 20.6%). The Rangers are 2-11 (8:16) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/17 at PHX), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered two goals to the Islanders in three shorthanded situations (3:52) last night at MSG. New York ranks seventh overall (99-116, 85.3%) and sixth at home (41-47, 87.2%). The Rangers are 5-6 (3:26) in three-on-five situations (last – 12/17 at PHX), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan); 12/20 at NJD (Hagelin).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) last night vs. the Islanders. The Rangers are plus-three in 34 four-on-four situations (62:21), 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).

BACK-TO-BACKS:

The Rangers opened their fifth of 14 back-to-back sets this season with a 4-2 win last night vs. the Islanders at Madison Square Garden. New York has posted a record of 4-0-1 (2-0-0 at home, 2-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 3-0-1 (3-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 24-8-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets, with a 12-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 56 times in his career, posting a record of 35-14-7 with a 1.82 GAA, .935 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game. The Rangers will close out the set tonight vs. Philadelphia.

GABY HITS THE MARK:

Marian Gaborik tallied his 20th goal of the season in last night’s 4-2 win vs. the New York Islanders, marking the eighth time (third consecutive) in his 11-year career he has reached the 20-goal plateau. He enters the contest with a three-game goal/point streak (five goals, one assist over the span), and is currently tied for the league lead in goals scored.

2,500 WINS CLUB:

The Rangers registered their 2,500th win in franchise history with a 4-1 victory at Buffalo on Dec. 10, becoming the fifth franchise in NHL history to reach the milestone along with Boston, Detroit, Montreal and Toronto.

QUICK HITS:

* The Rangers rank third in the NHL with a .688 win%, and their eight regulation losses are tied for the fewest in the league
* New York has registered a point in 19 of their last 24 games (17-5-2), and has out-scored their opponent, 79-52, during the stretch
* The Blueshirts rank second in the league in fewest goals against (67) and third in GAA (2.09)
* The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in hits (843)
* New York is 6-1-1 when leading after the first period and 12-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Blueshirts rank fourth in the NHL in team plus/minus rating (plus-24) and goal differential (plus-25)
* The Blueshirts lead the league with an .833 win% when out-shooting their opponent (10-2-0)
* The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL when scoring first, posting a 15-1-1 mark (.882 win%) in those contests, and their 15 wins rank fourth in the league
* Rangers’ prospects J.T. Miller (USA) and Peter Ceresnak (Slovakia) have been selected to represent their respective National Junior Team at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship

INDIVIDUAL NOTES:

* Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 15 games this season, and is 11-4-1 with a 1.86 GAA, .937 Sv% and one shutout in his last 16 games
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in six of his eight starts this season, and has posted a 2.00 GAA and .929 Sv% during his current four-game winning streak
* Marian Gaborik enters the contest with a three-game goal/point streak (five goals, one assist over the span), and has tallied 27 points (16 G, 11 A) in the last 25 games
* Gaborik leads the team with eight multi-point games
* Derek Stepan has tallied 23 points (7 G, 16 A) in the last 24 contests, with 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in the last 11
* Artem Anisimov has tallied 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in his last 10 games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied 11 points (2 G, 9 A) in the last 13 games
* Stu Bickel has tallied an assist in each of his two games since being recalled on Sunday
* Anton Stralman has logged 20:00+ of ice time in three of the last four games

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:

* Marian Gaborik: 1 assist from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 4 assists from 100th NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:

* Marian Gaborik: 300th career NHL goal (12/17 at PHX)
* Marian Gaborik: 600th career NHL point (12/20 at NJD)
* Stu Bickel: 1st career NHL game & 1st career NHL assist/point (12/20 at NJD)

INJURIES:
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) – 32
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 21
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 8
* Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 2
* Jeff Woywitka (ankle, 12/17) – 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 97

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

* Dec. 18 – Recalled defenseman Stu Bickel from Connecticut (AHL)
* Dec. 19 – Recalled defenseman Tim Erixon from Connecticut (AHL)

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