RANGERS VETO CAPITALS BID FOR WIN

New York Rangers       VERSUS         Washington

NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES
February 12, 2012 (Game 54, Home Game 26)
Madison Square GardenNew York, NY

                                                 1st   2nd   3rd   OT   Final

Washington Capitals             0      1        1       –      2

New York Rangers                 1      1        1       –      3

Team Notes:

  • The Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2, today at Madison Square Garden for their seventh win in nine games, and are now 19-5-1 in their last 25 games.

  • New York has posted a record of 36-13-5 (77 pts) on the season, including an 18-6-2 mark at home.  The Blueshirts opened up a seven-point gap over Boston for first place in the Eastern Conference, and own a one-point lead over Detroit for first in the league overall.  Detroit is in action later today vs. Philadelphia.
  • The Rangers have won five of their last six meetings with the Capitals, having out-scored Washington, 25-10, over the span.
  • The Blueshirts improved to 12-2-1 against Southeast Division opponents this season.
  • The Rangers’ .713 win% through 54 games is the team’s best start in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 37-13-4 record (.722 win%), and is tied as the second best start in franchise history.
  • The Blueshirts’ 18-6-2 (38 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 26 games since 1995-96 (19-2-5, 43 pts).
  • New York improved to 7-1-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season, including a 5-0-0 mark at home.  Since 2009-10, the Blueshirts are 28-9-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 14-3-1 mark at MSG.  The Rangers have posted a record of 14-1-3 combined in back-to-back games this season.
  • The Blueshirts’ penalty kill held the Capitals scoreless in two shorthanded situations (4:00), while tallying one shorthanded goal, and finished the back-to-back weekend set 6-6 on the penalty kill.  The Rangers improved to 26-6-2 when not allowing a power play goal, and are currently tied for third in the league with seven shorthanded goals on the season.
  • The Rangers out-hit the Capitals, 37-20, and were credited with 25 blocked shots in the contest.  Entering today’s game, New York led the league in hits and ranked fifth in blocked shots.
  • Head Coach John Tortorella registered his 130th win with the Rangers, and is now one win shy of Herb Brooks for sixth on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list.  His .584 win% currently ranks second on the Rangers’ all-time coaching win% list.

Player Notes:

  • Ryan McDonagh notched a goal, was credited with a game-high, five blocked shots, and led the Rangers with 25:23 of ice time to earn first star honors.  He registered 10 blocked shots in the Rangers’ back-to-back weekend set, and he now ranks second in the NHL with 139 blocked shots on the season.
  • Ryan Callahan tallied the game’s opening goal at 11:01 of the first period to extend his goal streak to three games, registering five goals over the span.  He is now one goal shy of his career-high for most goals in a season, and is two goals shy of 100 career NHL goals.  Callahan also registered four shots and two blocked shots, and was credited with a game-high, six hits in 18:57 of ice time in the contest.
  • Brandon Prust notched the game-winning goal, while shorthanded, at 6:26 of the third period, was credited with two blocked shots and posted a plus-two rating to earn second star honors.  Two of Prust’s three goals this season have been tallied while shorthanded, and he has now registered seven shorthanded goals in the last two seasons.
  • Brandon Dubinsky tallied two assists, including the primary assist on the shorthanded, game-winning goal, was credited with four hits and posted a plus-two rating in 18:56 of ice time.  The Rangers improved to 14-2-2 when he records a point.
  • Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to improve to 26-11-4 overall, including a 13-6-2 mark at home.  He is now 6-1-0 with a 1.26 GAA, .954 SV% and two shutouts in his last seven games.  Lundqvist, who posted a 31-save effort in a 5-2 win at Philadelphia yesterday, has now started on consecutive days 57 times in his career, registering a 36-14-7 record with a 1.82 GAA, .935 SV% and six shutouts in the second game.
  • Marc Staal recorded his first point of the season with a shorthanded assist, was credited with four hits and three blocked shots, and logged 19:36 of ice time.
  • Brian Boyle tallied an assist, four shots on goal, was credited with three blocked shots and won a game-high, 13-21 face-offs (65%) in 17:55 of ice time.  He has now recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in the last eight games.
  • Brad Richards registered an assist and won 7-11 face-offs (64%) in 18:08 of ice time, to extend his point streak to three games (one goal, four assists over the span).  He has now tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in the last five games.
  • Anton Stralman recorded the primary assist on Callahan’s first period goal, and has now tallied two assists in the last three games.

Post-Game Quotes:

John Tortorella on today’s game…

“You look at the New Jersey game, the 1-0 game. This is how it happens when you get to 25-30 games left.  We’ve been in a lot of close games and I thought we handled ourselves well today.  I was really concerned about the energy level after having the real emotional week of playing some hard hockey, and coming back and playing a 12:30 game, but I thought we played well.”

Henrik Lundqvist on today’s game…

“We talked about not having any excuses going into this game even though it was less than 20 hours from the last game and the try to set the tone right away, so to get the first goal was big for us.”

Brandon Prust on the back-to-back weekend set…

“They were huge games for us, and we talked about that before the weekend.  We knew it was going to be long and grueling, and two hard-fought battles back-to-back.  We battled hard though; it shows the character of this team.”

Team Schedule:

  • The Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at TD Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their third game in four days.  The game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 970 The Apple.
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