The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders on Monday at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their fourth consecutive game against an Atlantic Division opponent. The Blueshirts currently rank first in the Atlantic Division standings, and second in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 21-8-4 (46 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, on Friday at Madison Square Garden to extend their winning streak to four games, and are 6-2-0 in their last eight. The Blueshirts have now registered at least one point in 20 of their last 25 games (18-5-2). The Islanders enter the contest with an 11-16-6 (28 pts) record to rank 14th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost six of their last eight games. Following Monday’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m.), to begin a two-game Southeast road trip.
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Islanders
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
* All-Time: 114-99-19-5 overall (66-37-11-4 at home; 48-62-8-1 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the fourth of six meetings this season, and the second of three at home. The Rangers are 2-1-0, including a 1-0-0 mark at home following a 4-2 win on Thursday at MSG. Each contest has resulted in a 4-2 final score. Brandon Dubinsky has tallied a team-high, three assists and four points, while Marian Gaborik has notched a team-high, two goals. Henrik Lundqvist is 1-1-0 with a 2.53 GAA and .924 Sv% in two games, and Martin Biron is 1-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA and .923 Sv% in one game.
* Last Season: New York was 4-2-0 overall, including a 1-2-0 mark on the road. The Rangers averaged 4.5 goals per contest, and converted 9-28 on the power play for a 32.1% success rate in the season series. Marian Gaborik led all skaters with six goals and 10 points in six games, while Brandon Dubinsky tallied a team-high six assists in the season series.
* New York is tied for 11th with a 10-3-2 (22 pts) record at home; Long Island ranks 25th with a 5-7-3 (13 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers have posted a 6-1-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Islanders are 2-6-2 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 22-11-5 record with a 2.22 GAA and three shutouts in 39 career regular season contests vs. Long Island; Martin Biron is 21-4-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and two shutouts in 27 career regular season games vs. the Islanders
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 19 assists and 30 points in 33 career regular season contests vs. Long Island; Marian Gaborik has tallied a team-high 16 goals (28 points) in 24 games vs. the Islanders
* New York lists two former Islanders on their roster: Martin Biron (2009-10); Ruslan Fedotenko (2007-08)
* Long Island lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Mottau (2000-01 – 2001-02); P.A. Parenteau (2009-10)
The Rangers are 12-55 (21.8%) with the man advantage in the last 15 games. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held their opponent scoreless in six of their last nine games (25-29, 86.2% 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 14-1-2 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 tallied one goal in four power play attempts (5:40) on Friday vs. Philadelphia. New York ranks 20th overall (21-129, 16.3%) and is tied for seventh at home (14-67, 20.9%). The Rangers are 2-12 (8:51) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. PHI), 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 one goal to the Flyers in four shorthanded situations (7:05) on Friday at MSG. New York ranks seventh overall (102-120, 85.0%) and seventh at home (44-51, 86.3%). 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 skate in a four-on-four situation on Friday vs. Philadelphia. 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).
The Rangers completed a sweep of their fifth of 14 back-to-back sets this season with a 4-2 win vs. Philadelphia on Friday 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 4-0-1 (4-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 25-8-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets, with a 13-3-1 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 next back-to-back set begins Jan. 5 vs. Florida, and ends Jan. 6 at Pittsburgh.
GABY HITS THE MARK:
Marian Gaborik tallied his 20th goal of the season in a 4-2 win on Thursday 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 four-game goal streak (six goals, one assist over the span), and leads the NHL with 21 goals.
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.
* The Rangers rank second in the NHL with a .697 win%, and their eight regulation losses are the fewest in the league
* The Blueshirts are tied for third in the NHL in wins (21) and second in regulation/overtime wins (20)
* The last time the Rangers sat atop the Atlantic Division standings this late into the season was 2005-06 (Game No. 80, Apr. 13, 2006)
* New York has registered a point in 20 of their last 25 games (18-5-2), and has out-scored their opponent, 83-54, during the stretch
* The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in fewest goals against (69) and third in GAA (2.09)
* The Rangers rank third in the NHL in hits (878)
* New York is 6-1-1 when leading after the first period and 13-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Blueshirts are tied for third in the NHL in team plus/minus rating (plus-26) and rank fourth in goal differential (plus-27)
* New York leads the NHL with an .833 win% when out-shooting their opponent (10-2-0)
* The Rangers rank second in the NHL when scoring first, posting a 16-1-1 mark (.889 win%) in those contests, and their 16 wins are tied for second 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
* Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 16 games this season, and is 12-4-1 with a 1.87 GAA, .937 Sv% and one shutout in his last 17 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 four-game goal/point streak (six goals, one assist over the span), and has tallied 28 points (17 G, 11 A) in the last 26 games
* Gaborik leads the team with eight multi-point games
* Derek Stepan has tallied 24 points (8 G, 16 A) in the last 25 contests, with 13 points (4 G, 9 A) in the last 12
* Artem Anisimov has tallied 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in his last 11 games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied 13 points (2 G, 11 A) in the last 14 games
* Stu Bickel has tallied an assist in each of his three games since being recalled on Sunday (four assists)
* Anton Stralman has logged 20:00+ of ice time in four of the last five games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Artem Anisimov: 3 games from 200th NHL career
* Brandon Dubinsky: 5 points from 200th NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 5 points from 100th NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 1 assist from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 3 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)
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) – 33
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 22
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 9
* Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 3
* Jeff Woywitka (ankle, 12/17) – 3
Total Man-Games Lost: 102