RANGERS LOOK TO ICE PENGUINS

clip_image002NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Thursday, Jan. 19, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square GardenNew York, New York
Rangers: 29-11-4 (62 pts)
Penguins: 24-17-4 (52 pts)

* All information through NHL games on Jan. 17

TOMORROW’S GAME:

The Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), in an Atlantic Division match-up. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank first in the league overall, with a record of 29-11-4 (62 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Nashville Predators, 3-0, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 12-3-0 in their last 15 games. New York has posted a record of 26-8-2 since Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Penguins enter the contest with a 24-17-4 (52 pts) record to rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last three games. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, Jan. 21, at TD Garden (1:00 p.m.), in an Original Six matinee match-up.

RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:

All-Time: 117-97-23-8 overall (65-46-9-3 at home; 52-51-14-5 on the road)

2011-12:

  • Tonight is the third of six meetings this season, and the second of three at Madison Square Garden. New York is 2-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) following a 3-1 win on Jan. 6 at CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers are 2-8 (25.0%) on the power play, and have out-scored the Penguins, 7-4, in two games. Brad Richards leads the team with two goals and four points, and Henrik Lundqvist is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .938 Sv% in the series.

Last Season:

  • New York was 4-1-1 overall (1-1-1 at home; 3-0-0 on the road). The Rangers power play was 7-22 (31.8%) in the season series, while the penalty kill was 20-22 (90.9%). New York out-scored Pittsburgh, 21-15, including a 10-4 margin in the third period and overtime. Ryan Callahan led the Rangers with five goals, nine points, four power play goals and three game-winning goals in six games, while Brandon Dubinsky tallied a team-high, six assists in the season series. Henrik Lundqvist was 4-1-1 with a 2.29 GAA and .926 Sv%.
  • 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 Blueshirts have won four straight games against the Penguins, having out-scored Pittsburgh, 17-9, during the streak
  • New York ranks eighth with a 14-4-2 (30 pts) record at home; Pittsburgh ranks eighth with a 12-10-2 (26 pts) mark on the road
  • The Rangers have posted a 9-1-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Penguins are 5-6-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
  • Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 22-13-5 record with a 2.39 GAA and two shutouts in 40 career regular season contests vs. Pittsburgh; Martin Biron is 13-15-3-2 with a 2.98 GAA and two shutouts in 33 career regular season games vs. the Penguins
  • Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 24 assists and 32 points in 29 career regular season contests vs. Pittsburgh; Marian Gaborik has notched a team-high, nine goals (19 points) in 20 career regular season games vs. the Penguins
  • New York lists three former Penguins on their roster: Erik Christensen (2005-06 – 2007-08); Ruslan Fedotenko (2008-09 – 2009-10); Mike Rupp(2009-10 – 2010-11)
  • Pittsburgh lists one former Ranger on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07)

SPECIAL TEAMS:

The Rangers are tied for eighth in the NHL with a plus-six rating on special teams [(PPG+SHG)-(PPGA+SHGA)]. The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 11 games (23-24, 95.8% over the span), and is 48-53 (90.6%) with five shorthanded goals in the last 20 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 21-5-2 when not allowing a power play goal.

Power Play:

  • The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (2:05) on Tuesday vs. Nashville. New York ranks 24th overall (22-154, 14.3%) and is tied for 12th at home (63-80, 18.8%).
  • 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 held the Predators scoreless in three power play attempt (4:05) on Tuesday at MSG.
  • New York is tied for fourth overall (125-144, 86.8%) and seventh at home (52-60, 86.7%).
  • 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 (1:55) on Tuesday vs. Nashville.
  • The Rangers are plus-four in 44 four-on-four situations (79:54), 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).

FAMILIAR FOE:

  • New York enters the contest with a nine-game winning streak against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • The Rangers are 9-1-0 in divisional play this season, having out-scored their opponent, 33-17, in those contests.

PERFECT IN PITTSBURGH:

  • The Rangers completed last season’s series against Pittsburgh with a 3-0-0 record at CONSOL Energy Center, marking the first time the Blueshirts swept the season series in Pittsburgh since 1996-97 (2-0-0) and the first time since 1973-74 that a Rangers team won three games at Pittsburgh in the same season (3-0-0).
  • New York has now won five straight in Pittsburgh, dating back to a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 12, 2010

KING HENRIK’S REIGN:

  • Henrik Lundqvist recorded his 20th win of the season with a 27-save shutout in a 3-0 win vs. Nashville on Tuesday at MSG. It is the seventh straight season Lundqvist has reached the 20-win plateau to begin his career. He is the third goaltender in Rangers’ history to reach the 20-win mark in seven consecutive years, and the first since Mike Richter accomplished the feat from 1995-96 to 2001-02. Ed Giacomin holds the franchise record with eight straight seasons of 20 or more wins (1966-67 to 1973-74).
  • Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary) is the only other goalie in the league with an active streak of 20+ wins in seven or more consecutive seasons. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau

PLACE IN HISTORY:

  • The Rangers’ .705 win% through 44 games is the team’s best start in 40 years, when the 1971-72 Blueshirts began the season with a 30-7-7 record (.761 win%), and is the third best start in franchise history.

HOME SWEET HOME:

  • The Rangers have won seven of their last nine games at Madison Square Garden.
  • The Blueshirts’ 14-4-2 (30 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 20 games since 1995-96 (15-2-3, 33 pts).

MEASURING UP:

The Rangers rank among the league leaders in several statistical categories, including…

  • 1st in points (62)
  • 1st in win% (.705)
  • T-2nd in wins (29)
  • T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (27)
  • 1st in fewest regulation losses (11)
  • T-1st in fewest goals against (87)
  • T-1st in GAA (1.98)
  • 1st in hits (1,281)
  • 3rd in blocked shots (722)
  • 3rd in +/- rating (plus-33)
  • 3rd in goal differential (plus-35)

ALL-STARS:

  • Three Rangers were selected for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game – Henrik Lundqvist, Marian Gaborik and Dan Girardi.  It is the first time since the 1996-97 season the Rangers had three players selected for the All-Star Game (Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch).
  • Head Coach John Tortorella also clinched an All-Star berth, becoming the first Rangers coach in franchise history to coach in the All-Star Game.

QUICK HITS:

  • 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 28 of their last 36 games (26-8-2), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark; The Rangers have out-scored their opponent, 109-72, during the stretch
  • The Rangers have won four of their last five road games, and are 10-3-0 in their last 13 games away from MSG
  • New York is 8-1-1 when leading after the first period and 18-0-2 when leading after the second
  • The Rangers are tied for fourth in the league with a .250 win% when trailing after two periods (3-8-1), and their three third period comeback victories are tied for seventh in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 12 games this season, which is tied for the fewest in the league
  • New York leads the NHL with a .789 win% when out-shooting their opponent (15-4-0)
  • The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 21-1-1 mark (.913 win%) in those contests; Their 21 wins rank third in the NHL

INDIVIDUAL NOTES:

  • Henrik Lundqvist posted a career-high, seven-game winning streak from Dec. 20 – Jan. 10 (1.13 GAA, .962 Sv% and one shutout over the span)
    Lundqvist has allowed one goal or less in eight of his last 13 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 22 games this season
    Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in eight of his 11 starts this season
  • Derek Stepan has tallied 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in the last 23 games, including five points (two goals, three assists) in the last seven
    Carl Hagelin has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last 11 games
  • Ryan Callahan has tallied 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in the last 26 games, including nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last 12

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:

  • Dan Girardi: 1 assist from 100th NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:

  • Marian Gaborik: 300th career NHL assist (1/15 at MTL)

INJURIES:

  • Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 20
  • Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 14
  • Jeff Woywitka (foot, 12/30) – 8

Total Man-Games Lost: 145

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

  • Jan. 11 – Assigned Erik Christensen to Connecticut (AHL) on a conditioning stint
  • Jan. 15 – Recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut (AHL
  • Jan. 16 – Assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL)
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