* All information through NHL games on Jan. 10
The Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG; Radio: 970 The Apple), to mark the mid-way point of their regular season schedule. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank first in the league overall, with a record of 27-9-4 (58 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-1, in the shootout on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden to extend their winning streak to five games, and have won 10 of their last 11 games. New York has posted a record of 24-6-2 since Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Senators enter the contest with a 23-15-6 (52 pts) record to rank fifth in the Eastern Conference, and have won six of their last seven games (6-0-1). Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, Jan. 14, at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m.), to begin a back-to-back weekend set against Original Six opponents.
RANGERS vs. SENATORS:
· All-Time: 33-33-3-3 overall (14-20-0-2 at home; 19-13-3-1 on the road)
· 2011-12: Tonight is the third of four meetings this season, and the second and final at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-0-1 following a 3-2 win on Nov. 9 at Ottawa. Each game has been decided by one goal. The Rangers power play is 2-5 (40.0%) in the series. Marian Gaborik leads all skaters with five points (three goals, two assists) in two games, and Derek Stepan has tallied a team-high, three assists (four points). Henrik Lundqvist is 1-0-1 with a 2.88 GAA and .915 Sv%.
· Last Season: New York was 2-1-1 overall, including a 0-1-1 mark at home. Three of the four contests were decided by two goals or less, including one that required the shootout on Mar. 24 at Madison Square Garden (1-2, OT). Brandon Prust and Derek Stepan tied for the team-high with two goals and three points apiece in the series. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 1.72 GAA and .936 Sv% in four games.
· The Rangers have registered at least one point in 10 of their last 13 games against the Senators (8-3-2 over the span)
· Henrik Lundqvist has appeared in 25 consecutive games vs. Ottawa dating back to Dec. 26, 2005
· New York ranks ninth with a 13-3-2 (28 pts) record at home; Ottawa ranks 10th with a 9-7-5 (23 pts) mark on the road
· The Rangers have posted a 3-3-1 record vs. Northeast Division opponents; the Senators are 5-3-2 vs. the Atlantic Division
· Henrik Lundqvist has posted an 11-11-2 record with a 2.01 GAA and one shutout in 25 career regular season contests vs. Ottawa; Martin Biron is 14-9-2-2 with a 2.79 GAA and two shutouts in 30 career regular season games vs. the Senators
· Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 13 goals, 12 assists and 25 points in 33 career regular season contests vs. Ottawa; Marian Gaborik has tallied 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 14 career regular season games vs. the Senators
· New York lists no former Senators on their roster
· Ottawa lists one former Ranger on their roster: Alex Auld (2009-10)
The Rangers are tied for sixth in the NHL with a plus-seven rating on special teams [(PPG+SHG)-(PPGA+SHGA)]. New York is 13-71 (18.3%) with the man advantage in the last 22 games. The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in seven straight games (16 times shorthanded), and are 41-45 (91.1%) with five shorthanded goals in the last 16 contests. The Rangers are tied for third in the NHL with six shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 15-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 19-4-2 when not allowing a power play goal.
· Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play attempt (2:00) on Tuesday vs. Phoenix. New York is tied for 20th overall (22-145, 15.2%) and ranks 11th at home (15-74, 20.3%). 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 did not allow a power play attempt to the Coyotes on Tuesday at MSG. The last time the Rangers did not surrender a power play chance was Apr. 9, 2011 vs. NJD. New York is tied for fourth overall (118-136, 86.8%) and ranks sixth at home (48-55, 87.3%). 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 (6): 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); 1/6 at PIT (Dubinsky).
· Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two four-on-four situations (7:00) on Tuesday vs. Phoenix. The Rangers are plus-four in 42 four-on-four situations (77:59), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi); 1/2 vs. FLA (Gaborik). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers are off to their best start in 40 years, and third best start in franchise history, with a .725 win% through 40 games. The 1971-72 squad is the last Blueshirts team to post a better record through 40 games, with a 27-6-7 mark (.763 win%).
The Blueshirts’ current five-game winning streak is their fourth winning streak of five or more this season, which is the most in the league this season. It is also the first time in franchise history the Rangers have posted four winning streaks of five or more games through the team’s first 40 games of the season.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers enter tonight’s contest with a five-game home winning streak, and have won six of their last seven at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts’ 13-3-2 (28 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 18 games since 1995-96 (14-2-2, 30 pts).
The Rangers rank among the league leaders in several statistical categories, including…
· 1st in points (58)
· 1st in win% (.725)
· T-1st in wins (27)
· T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (25)
· 1st in fewest regulation losses (nine)
· 2nd in fewest goals against (80)
· T-2nd in GAA (2.00)
· 2nd in hits (1,134)
· 6th in blocked shots (653)
· 3rd in +/- rating (plus-32)
· 4th in goal differential (plus-35)
· 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 (NYR game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
· New York has registered at least one point in 26 of their last 32 games (24-6-2), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark; The Rangers have out-scored their opponent, 102-65, during the stretch
· The Rangers have won 73-112 face-offs (65%) in the last two games
· The Rangers have won three straight road games, and are 9-2-0 in their last 11 games away from MSG
· New York is 7-1-1 when leading after the first period and 16-0-2 when leading after the second
· The Rangers are tied for the league lead with a .300 win% when trailing after two periods (3-6-1), and their three third period comeback victories are tied for sixth in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 10 games this season, the fewest in the league
· New York leads the NHL with an .813 win% when out-shooting their opponent (13-3-0)
· The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 19-1-1 mark (.905 win%) in those contests; Their 19 wins are tied for second in the NHL
· Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a career-high, seven-game winning streak (1.13 GAA, .962 Sv% and one shutout over the span)
· Lundqvist has allowed one goal or less in seven of his last 10 games
· Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 21 games this season, and is 17-4-1 with a 1.67 GAA, .943 Sv% and two shutouts since Nov. 3 (22 games)
· Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in seven of his 10 starts this season
· Michael Del Zotto has tallied 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in the last 21 games
· Ryan Callahan has tallied 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in the last 22 games, with eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last eight
· Brandon Dubinsky has tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last nine games
· Brad Richards has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games
· Carl Hagelin has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last seven games
· Anton Stralman has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in the last nine games, has posted a plus-nine rating in the last 10 and has logged 20:00+ of ice time in eight of the last 12 contests
· Head Coach John Tortorella has clinched an All-Star Game berth, becoming the first Rangers Head Coach in franchise history to coach in the All-Star Game
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
· Marian Gaborik: 1 assist from 300th NHL career
· Dan Girardi: 1 assist from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
· Brandon Dubinsky: 200th career NHL point (1/6 at PIT)
· Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 16
· Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 10
Total Man-Games Lost: 124
· Jan. 11 – Assigned Erik Christensen to Connecticut (AHL) on a conditioning stint