Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Calgary

2013-14: Game No. 34

Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 10:37 AM New York Rangers

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. CALGARY FLAMES

Sunday, Dec. 15, 7:00 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

Rangers: 15-17-1 (31 pts)

Flames: 13-15-4 (30 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME

The Rangers will face-off against the Calgary Flames tonight, Dec. 15, at Madison Square Garden (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), as they continue their franchise record nine-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently rank sixth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 12th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-17-1 (31 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 0-3-1 on their current homestand. The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the conference and 11th in the NHL, in ROW (15). The Flames enter the contest with a 13-15-4 (30 pts) record to rank 13th in the Western Conference, and have won five of their last seven games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.), as they continue their nine-game homestand.

RANGERS vs. FLAMES:

All-Time: 39-53-15-0 overall (26-24-5-0 at home; 12-29-10-0 on the road)

2013-14: Tonight is the first of two meetings this season, and the first and only meeting at Madison Square Garden

Last Season: Did not play. In 2011-12, New York was 1-0-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 overtime win on Oct. 20, 2011 at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Rangers' power play was 1-2 (50.0%), while the penalty kill tallied a shorthanded goal in the contest. Ryan McDonagh notched his first career overtime, game-winning goal with less than 0:02 remaining in the extra frame, while Dan Girardi, Brian Boyle, Brad Richards, and Derek Stepan each tallied an assist. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves in the win.

The Blueshirts enter the contest with a two-game winning streak against the Flames

The Rangers and Flames have been separated by two or fewer goals in 10 of their last 12 meetings (7-3-0-0 when separated by two goals), with seven of those contests being decided by one-goal (6-1-0-0 when separated by one goal)

The Blueshirts won their last meeting against the Flames at Madison Square Garden with a 2-1 victory on Nov. 22, 2010

New York is 5-9-1 at home; Calgary is 7-8-1 on the road

New York is 4-8-0 vs. Western Conference opponents; Calgary is 7-3-2 vs. Eastern Conference opponents

New York lists no former Flames on their roster

Calgary lists no former Rangers on their roster

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. FLAMES:

Henrik Lundqvist – 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.70 GAA

Rick Nash – 34 GP, 9-14–23

Brad Richards – 17 GP, 8-11–19

Taylor Pyatt – 34 GP, 6-10–16

Dan Girardi – 5 GP, 2-3–5

SPECIAL TEAMS:

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

The Rangers' power play is 6-26 (23.1%) in the last nine games

The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 13 of the last 16 games (36-39, 92.3% over the span)

Power Play: The Rangers were 0-3 (6:00) on Thursday vs. Columbus. New York ranks 14th in the NHL overall (20-108, 18.5%), and 25th at home (7-51, 13.7%). 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 (2:03) on Thursday vs. Columbus. New York ranks seventh in the NHL overall (86-100, 86.0%), and 10th at home (35-41, 85.4%). The Rangers are 2-3 (2:49) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/4 vs. ANA), and 2-4 (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 tallied one goal in three four-on-four situations (5:57) on Thursday vs. Columbus, and are now -1 in 32 four-on-four situations (48:50) this season. Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (4): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes); 12/8 vs. WSH (Grabovski, PS).

HOMESTAND

The Rangers are in the midst of a nine-game homestand (0-3-1), 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.

RINGMASTERS

The Rangers have won 162-293 faceoffs (55.3%) in the last five games, including a season-high, 41 faceoff wins (41-64, 64%), in a 3-1 victory on Dec. 5 at Buffalo. New York won 39-63 faceoffs (62%) on Thursday vs. Columbus, led by Derek Stepan’s game-high, 14 faceoff wins (14-25, 56%). Brian Boyle also won 10-11 faceoffs (91%) in the contest, while Dominic Moore won all seven of his faceoffs.

BROADWAY DEBUT

Rangers' defenseman Dylan McIlrath was credited with one hit in 8:55 of ice time while skating in his NHL debut on Thursday against Columbus at Madison Square Garden. He became the second Blueshirt to make his NHL debut this season, along with forward Jesper Fast in the season opener on Oct. 3, 2013 at Phoenix. McIlrath was originally selected by the Rangers as a first round choice, 10th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

MOVING ON UP

Dan Girardi notched his second goal of the season on Thursday against Columbus, and is now tied for second among Rangers defensemen with seven points this season. The game was his 521st career NHL appearance, passing Jeff Beukeboom for 27th – and ninth among defensemen – on the Rangers' all-time games played list.

STARTING FRESH

The Rangers have posted a 2.24 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.

FAST START

The Rangers are tied for 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 12 contests.

STREAKING RANGERS

Ryan McDonagh and Brad Richards both posted a Rangers' season-high, six-game point streak from Nov. 27 at Florida to Dec. 7 vs. New Jersey, while Mats Zuccarello recorded a three-game point streak from Dec. 2 vs. Winnipeg to Dec. 7 vs. New Jersey. McDonagh's streak established a career-high and included a career-best, four-game assist streak (five assists), which tied the Rangers' season-high. He 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). It is also tied as the third longest point streak by a defenseman in the NHL this season. Richards tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) during his streak, which was his longest since he finished with at least one point in the final six games of last season. Zuccarello's three-game goal streak (three goals) was a career-high and tied the Rangers' season-high.

SAVING A POINT

Chris Kreider tallied a power play goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation on Dec. 7 in a 4-3 OT loss vs. NJD, to help the Rangers earn a point. 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).

COUNTDOWN TO 6K

The Rangers have played in 5,975 regular season games throughout the franchise's 88 seasons, just 25 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

Mats Zuccarello – 1 game from 100th NHL career

Derick Brassard – 6 points from 200th NHL career

Michael Del Zotto – 9 assists from 100th NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:

Ryan McDonagh – 200th career NHL game (12/8 vs. WSH)

Rick Nash – 600th career NHL point (12/10 vs. NSH)

Dylan McIlrath – 1st career NHL game (12/12 vs. CBJ)

INJURIES (63 Man-Games Lost):

Marc Staal (IR - concussion on 12/7, out indefinitely) – 3

Ryan Callahan (IR - sprained MCL on 12/10, 4 weeks) – 1

Derick Brassard (lower-body injury on 12/10, day-to-day) – 1

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

Dec. 11 – Recalled defenseman Dylan McIlrath from Hartford (AHL)

Dec. 9 – Recalled forward Arron Asham from Hartford (AHL), and assigned forward J.T. Miller to Hartford

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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