– The Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, tonight at CONSOL Energy Center to extend their winning streak to four games, and have now won nine of their last 10 games.
– New York improved to 26-9-4 (56 pts) on the season, including a 14-6-2 mark on the road.
– The Rangers swept their sixth back-to-back set of the season, and fifth straight, and are now 5-0-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. Since 2009-10, New York is 26-8-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets, with a 13-5-2 mark on the road over the span. The Rangers have posted a 10-0-2 record in back-to-back games this season.
– The Rangers maintained their lead in the NHL standings and increased their gap over Boston for first in the Eastern Conference to three points. Their .718 winning percentage is best in the league, while their 26 wins are tied for first and their nine regulation losses are the fewest in the NHL.
– This is the latest the Rangers have been in first place of the Eastern Conference standings since the 1995-96 season, when New York held the top position through games played on Mar. 15, 1996 (game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
– New York has registered at least one point in 25 of their last 31 games (23-6-2), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Rangers have out-scored their opponent, 100-64, during the stretch.
– The Rangers’ .718 winning percentage is the team’s fourth best start through 39 games in franchise history, and their best since the 1993-94 Stanley Cup Championship season (27-9-3, .731 win%).
– New York has now won four straight games against Pittsburgh, including a 2-0-0 mark vs. the Penguins this season, and have out-scored Pittsburgh, 17-9, during the streak. The Rangers have registered at least one point in nine of their last 10 meetings with the Penguins, posting a record of 7-1-2 over the span.
– The Rangers have won five consecutive games in Pittsburgh, dating back to a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 12, 2010.
– The Blueshirts held the Penguins scoreless in four power play attempts (4:31) while tallying a shorthanded goal, and have now held their opponent scoreless in six straight games (16-16, 100.0%). The Rangers’ penalty kill is 41-45 (91.1%) with five shorthanded goals in the last 15 contests, and New York is now 18-4-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play. The Blueshirts’ six shorthanded goals rank third in the league.
– The Rangers were credited with 25 blocked shots in the contest, and had seven different players with two or more blocked shots. New York is currently tied for third in the NHL with 637 blocked shots on the season.
– Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves to improve to 18-7-4 overall, including a 10-4-2 mark on the road. Lundqvist extended his winning streak to a career-high-tying, six games, posting a 1.17 goals against average, .964 save percentage and one shutout during the streak. He has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 20 games this season, including in nine of his last 10 contests, and is 16-4-1 with a 1.70 goals against average, .944 save percentage and two shutouts since Nov. 3 (21 games). Tonight’s contest marked the 12th time this season Lundqvist posted 30 or more saves, and he improved to 7-4-1 with a 2.06 goals against average, .941 save percentage and one shutout in those contests.
– Brandon Dubinsky notched the game-winning goal while shorthanded, added an assist and was credited with four hits and a plus-two rating in 18:40 of ice time to earn second star honors. He has tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last eight games. Dubinsky’s shorthanded, game-winning goal at 3:09 of the second period was his 200th career NHL point. Dubinsky has registered 76 goals and 124 assists in 355 career regular season contests.
– Brad Richards tallied the Rangers’ first goal of the game at 18:17 of the first period to extend his point streak to four games (three goals, two assists over the span), and won a game-high, 18-23 face-offs (78%) in the contest. He has registered 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in the last 21 games, and he now ranks second on the team with 15 goals on the season.
– Derek Stepan recorded an unassisted goal at 1:20 of the third period to complete the game’s scoring. He finished the back-to-back set with two points (one goal, one assist), and has now tallied 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in the last 18 games.
– Ryan Callahan tallied the primary assist on Dubinsky’s shorthanded, game-winning goal, to extend his point streak to seven games (two goals, six assists over the span), and was credited with four hits and a plus-two rating in 19:59 of ice time. The seven-game point streak ties his career-high for longest point streak, established last season from Oct. 21 at Toronto to Nov. 1 vs. Chicago. Callahan has now registered 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in the last 21 games, and is tied for second on the team in scoring with 31 points on the season.
– Dan Girardi recorded a shorthanded assist, tied the game-high with four blocked shots and posted a plus-three rating in a game-high, 28:00 of ice time. He is now one assist shy of 100 career NHL assists.
– Ryan McDonagh registered an assist, tied for the team-high with three shots on goal, tied for the game-high with four blocked shots and posted a plus-three rating in 26:52 of ice time. He ranks second among team defensemen with 13 assists and 17 points on the season.
– The Blueshirts’ practice schedule for tomorrow, January 7, is 12:00 p.m. at the MSG Training Center.
– The Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday, January 10, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their first of four games in six days. The game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio.