Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. New Jersey

2013-14: Game No. 30

Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 9:56 AM New York Rangers

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

Rangers: 15-14-0 (30 pts)

Devils: 11-12-6 (28 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME

The Rangers will begin a franchise record, nine-game homestand, when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils tonight, Dec. 7, at Madison Square Garden (7:30p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Metropolitan Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-14-0 (30 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 3-1, on Thursday at First Niagara Center, and are now 12-7-0 in their last 19 games. The Blueshirts rank fourth in the conference, and ninth in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Devils currently own a record of 11-12-6 (28 pts) to rank 11th in the Eastern Conference entering their contest tonight against Detroit, and have lost five of their last seven games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Washington Capitals tonight, Dec. 8, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set.

RANGERS vs. DEVILS:

All-Time: 104-87-27-6 overall (58-31-20-2 at home; 46-56-7-4 on the road)

2013-14: Tonight is the third of five meetings this season, and the second and final meeting at Madison Square Garden. New York is 0-2-0 (0-1-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-2 loss on Nov. 12 at MSG. The Rangers have out-shot the Devils, 57-47, in the series, including a 20-10 advantage in the third period. Each of the Rangers' goals have been tallied by a defenseman – Dan Girardi and Marc Staal – while Chris Kreider leads the team with two assists in two games. Henrik Lundqvist is 0-2-0 with a 3.53 GAA.

Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 overall (2-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Rangers out-scored the Devils, 12-6, including an 8-1 advantage at MSG and a 6-2 advantage after the first period. Ryan Callahan (three goals, two assists), Derek Stepan (two goals, three assists), and Brad Richards (five assists) tied for the series scoring lead with five points apiece, while Rick Nash tied Callahan with a series-high, three goals. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA, .940 Sv%, and one shutout.

The Rangers and Devils have been separated by two goals or less in 16 of their last 23 meetings

The Blueshirts have registered a point in 16 of their last 25 games against the Devils (14-9-2 over the span), dating back to a 3-0 win at Madison Square Garden on Mar. 30, 2009

New York is 5-6-0 at home; New Jersey is 6-8-3 on the road

New York is 5-3-0 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; New Jersey is 5-4-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents

New York lists no former Devils on their roster

New Jersey lists two former Rangers on their roster: Ryane Clowe (2013); Jaromir Jagr (2003-04 - 2007-08)

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. DEVILS:

Henrik Lundqvist – 47 GP, 28-14-5, 7 SO, 1.84 GAA

Brad Richards – 44 GP, 5-33–38

Ryan Callahan – 29 GP, 10-11–21

Derek Stepan – 18 GP, 4-9–13

Dan Girardi – 40 GP, 2-14–16

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Is tied for first in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations

The Rangers' power play is 5-15 (33.3%) in the last five games

The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 12 games (28-30, 93.3% over the span)

Power Play: The Rangers were 1-2 (3:18) on Thursday at Buffalo. New York ranks 12th in the NHL overall (19-97, 19.6%), and 23rd at home (6-40, 15.0%). The Rangers are 3-10 (4:24) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/25 at TBL), and 0-1 (0:30) when four-on-three (last – 10/12 at STL). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille).

Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 2-2 (4:00) on Thursday at Buffalo. New York ranks sixth in the NHL overall (79-92, 85.9%), and 11th at home (28-33, 84.8%). The Rangers are 2-3 (2:49) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/4 vs. ANA), and 2-3 (0:55) when three-on-four (last – 11/21 at DAL). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).

Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Thursday at Buffalo, and are now -1 in 27 four-on-four situations (39:51) this season. Four-on-four goals for (2): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes).

HOMESTAND

Tonight’s contest will begin a nine-game homestand for the Rangers, lasting 17 days and ending with an Original Six matchup on Dec. 23 vs. Toronto. The nine-game stretch will establish a franchise record for longest homestand, breaking the team's previous longest homestand of seven games done five times (1969-70, 1972-73, 1977-78, 2001-02, 2011-12). Five of the nine games will be against Metropolitan Division opponents, three will be against Western Conference opponents, and one will be against an Original Six opponent. The homestand will also be book-ended by back-to-back sets, beginning on Dec. 7 vs. New Jersey - Dec. 8 vs. Washington and ending on Dec. 22 vs. Minnesota - Dec. 23 vs. Toronto.

BACK-TO-BACKS:

Scheduled to play in 13 back-to-back sets this season

Combined record – 6-4-0

Record in 1st game – 3-2-0 (1-1-0 at home; 2-1-0 on the road)

Record in 2nd game – 3-2-0 (1-1-0 at home; 2-1-0 on the road)

Last season – 7-4-1; 1st game, 4-1-1 (3-0-0 at home; 1-1-1 on the road); 2nd game, 3-3-0 (0-2-0 at home; 3-1-0 on the road)

The Rangers are 16-5-4 in the first half of back-to-back games dating back to the start of the 2011-12 season, and 16-7-2 in the second game over the span

Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 66 times in his career (41-18-7, 2.03 GAA, .931 Sv%, 6 SO in the 2nd game)

SINCE 2007-08

The Rangers are 23-11-3 overall (13-5-1 at home; 10-6-2 on the road) against the Devils since 2007-08, dating back to a 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2007. Henrik Lundqvist is 23-11-2 with a 2.00 GAA, .925 Sv% and seven shutouts in 36 games over the span.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Henrik Lundqvist has faced-off against Martin Brodeur in 38 career regular season games, posting a record of 24-9-5 with a 1.69 GAA, .933 Sv% and five shutouts in those contests.

STREAKING RANGERS

Brad Richards and Ryan McDonagh both enter tonight’s game with a five-game point streak. The five-game streaks are tied with Carl Hagelin's (Nov. 2 - Nov. 10) as the longest for the Rangers this season. Richards has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) over the span, and also enters with a season-high four-game assist streak. Ryan McDonagh has registered six points (one goal, five assists) during the stretch, which establishes a career-high for longest point streak. He also enters with a three-game assist streak, which ties his career-high.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Rangers lead the Eastern Conference and are tied for second in the NHL with 10 road wins this season. The Blueshirts posted a six-game winning streak on the road from Oct. 26 at Detroit to Nov. 23 at Nashville, out-scoring their opponents, 16-8, including two shutouts over the span. The streak ended one win shy of the longest road winning streak in franchise history, and was the longest for the Blueshirts since the 1993-94 season (Oct. 30 - Nov. 24). It is also tied as the longest road winning streak in the league this season. The Rangers posted wins in seven of eight road games from Oct. 26 - Nov. 27, including their six-game road winning streak. The last time the Blueshirts won seven road games in an eight-game span was during the 1993-94 season, when they won eight out of nine games from Oct. 30 - Dec. 4 (8-1-0).

RARE PAIR

The Rangers have posted victories in both Detroit and Montreal this season, in the midst of their six-game road winning streak on Oct. 26 at Detroit and Nov. 16 at Montreal. The last time the Blueshirts won in both cities in a single season was in 1991-92.

STARTING FRESH

The Rangers have posted a 1.95 goals against average since returning from their season-opening five-game west coast road trip, compared to a 5.00 goals against average prior to their Oct. 16 game at Washington. New York currently ranks 12th overall with a 2.48 goals against average this season.

SHUTTING THE DOOR

The Rangers have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 17 of the last 22 games, and 18 of the last 24. New York has allowed 43 goals over the last 22 games (1.95 goals against per game), and 47 goals in the last 24 games (1.96 goals against per game). The Blueshirts are tied for first in the NHL with four shutouts and have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 19 games this season, which is tied for second in the league.

FAST START

The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL with a 14-2-0 record (.875 win%) when tallying the game's first goal this season. The Blueshirts have opened the game's scoring in six of the last eight contests.

COUNTDOWN TO 6K

The Rangers have played in 5,971 regular season games throughout the franchise's 88 seasons, just 29 games shy of 6,000 all-time. The Blueshirts are scheduled to play their 6,000th game all-time on February 6 against the Edmonton Oilers at Madison Square Garden

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:

Derek Stepan – 1 assist from 100th NHL career

Rick Nash – 1 point from 600th NHL career

INJURIES (55 Man-Games Lost):

None

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

Dec. 6 – Acquired forward Kyle Beach from Chicago in exchange for forward Brandon Mashinter

Dec. 6 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL)

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