NEW YORK RANGERS vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Sunday, Dec. 8, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 15-14-1 (31 pts)
Capitals: 15-12-2 (32 pts)
The Rangers will continue their franchise record, nine-game homestand, when they face-off against the Washington Capitals tonight, Dec. 8, at Madison Square Garden (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in the second 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 15-14-1 (31 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the New Jersey Devils, 4-3, in overtime earlier tonight at Madison Square Garden, and have now registered a point in 13 of their last 20 games (12-7-1). The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the conference, and ninth in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Capitals enter the contest with a 15-12-2 (32 pts) record to rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.), as they continue their nine-game homestand.
RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
All-Time: 88-86-18-6 overall (48-38-9-3 at home; 40-48-9-3 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the second of four meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-0-0 overall (0-0-0 at home;1-0-0 on the road), following a 2-0 win on Oct. 16 at Verizon Center. The Rangers out-shot the Capitals, 36-22, including a 32-14 advantage after two periods. The Blueshirts' penalty kill was 4-4 (100.0%) in the contest. Ryan Callahan and John Moore each tallied a goal, while Brad Richards registered a team-high, two assists. Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves in the shutout.
Last Season: New York was 2-0-1 overall (1-0-1 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). Two of the three contests were decided by one goal, including one game that required the shootout. The Rangers out-scored the Capitals, 5-0, after the first period, and out-shot Washington, 102-81, in the series. The Blueshirts' power play was 3-9 (33.3%), while their penalty kill was 9-10 (90.0%). Derek Stepan led all skaters with three goals, while Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash tied for the series-high with three assists apiece. Carl Hagelin (one goal, two assists) and Brad Richards (one goal, two assists) also tallied three points in the series. Henrik Lundqvist was 1-0-1 with a 1.44 GAA and .942 Sv% in two games.
The Rangers have registered a point in nine of their last 11 meetings with the Capitals, dating back to a 7-0 win on Dec. 12, 2010. New York has posted an 8-2-1 record and has out-scored Washington, 36-19, during the stretch.
New York is 5-6-1 at home; Washington is 5-5-2 on the road
New York is 5-3-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; Washington is 5-4-0 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
New York lists no former Capitals on their roster
Washington lists no former Rangers on their roster
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. CAPITALS:
Henrik Lundqvist – 25 GP, 15-7-3, 4 SO, 2.55 GAA
Brad Richards – 54 GP, 9-31–40
Ryan Callahan – 22 GP, 10-7–17
Rick Nash – 12 GP, 7-8–15
Ryan McDonagh – 10 GP, 1-5–6
Is tied for first in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations
The Rangers have tallied a power play goal in four of their last six games (6-19, 31.6% over the span)
The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 10 of the last 13 games (30-33, 90.9% over the span)
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-4 (6:49) earlier tonight vs. New Jersey. New York is tied for 11th in the NHL overall (20-101, 19.8%), and ranks 23rd at home (7-44, 15.9%). 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 2-3 (2:13) earlier tonight vs. New Jersey. New York is tied for fifth in the NHL overall (81-95, 85.3%), and 15th at home (30-36, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-3 (2:49) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/4 vs. ANA), and 3-5 (1:08) when three-on-four (last – 12/7 vs. NJD). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh).
Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:02) earlier tonight vs. New Jersey, and are now -1 in 28 four-on-four situations (40:53) 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).
The Rangers are in the midst of a nine-game homestand (0-0-1), 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.
Scheduled to play in 13 back-to-back sets this season
Combined record – 6-4-1
Record in 1st game – 3-2-1 (1-1-1 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 16-5-5 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)
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL
The Rangers defeated the Capitals, 2-0, on Oct. 16 at Washington, in their first meeting since the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Including Games 6 and 7 of that series, New York has out-scored Washington, 8-0, in their last three contests. Henrik Lundqvist's shutout streak against the Capitals is currently at 180:00 mins.
Ryan McDonagh and Brad Richards both enter tonight’s game with a Rangers' season-high, six-game point streak, while Mats Zuccarello is riding a four-game point streak that includes a three-game goal streak. McDonagh's streak establishes a career-high and includes a career-best, four-game assist streak (five assists), which ties the Rangers' season-high. He has registered seven points (one goal, six assists) during the six-game streak which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is the longest by a Rangers defenseman since Brian Leetch registered a point in seven straight games during the 2003-04 season (Nov. 23 – Dec. 4). Richards has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) during his streak, which is his longest since he finished with at least one point in the final six games of last season. Zuccarello'sfour-game point streak (three goals, three assists) ties his career-high, posted earlier this season from Nov. 6 vs. PIT to Nov. 12 vs. NJD, while his three-game goal streak (three goals) establishes a career-high and ties for the Rangers' season-high.
SAVING A POINT
Chris Kreider tallied a power play goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation earlier tonight to help the Rangers earn a point in a 4-3 OT loss vs. NJD. The last regular season game the Rangers tied in the final minute of regulation was on Jan. 1, 2011, at TBL (2-1 OT loss).
The Rangers have won 70-118 faceoffs (59.3%) in the last two games, including a season-high, 41 faceoff wins (41-64, 64%), in a 3-1 victory on Thursday at BUF.
The Rangers have posted a 2.03 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.
SHUTTING THE DOOR
The Rangers have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 17 of the last 23 games, and 18 of the last 25. New York has allowed 47 goals over the last 23 games (2.04 GAA), and 51 goals in the last 25 games (2.04 GAA). 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 third in the league.
The Rangers rank seventh in the NHL with a 14-2-1 record (.824 win%) when tallying the game's first goal this season. The Blueshirts have opened the game's scoring in seven of the last nine contests.
COUNTDOWN TO 6K
The Rangers have played in 5,972 regular season games throughout the franchise's 88 seasons, just 28 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 (57 Man-Games Lost):
Derek Dorsett (sprained wrist on 12/2, day-to-day) – 2
Dec. 6 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL)
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