GAME NOTES: Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Rangers face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.). The Blueshirts are currently tied for second place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 16-13-3, and rank seventh in the Eastern Conference with 35 points. New York enters the contest having lost to the Coyotes, 5-1, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden and have now lost five of their last six games. Tonight's contest marks the second of five games in eight days for the Rangers, who will travel to Minnesota to take on the Wild on Thursday, December 20 at the Xcel Energy Center (8:00 p.m.) in the first of back-to-back road games against Western Conference opponents. The Penguins, 16-14-2, are currently in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 34 points and have lost two of their last three games.
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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised by MSG. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York.
Rangers vs. Penguins Pre-Game Notes:
* The Rangers are 10-7-0 at MSG; The Penguins have posted a 9-7-0 record in 16 road contests.
* The Rangers are 9-4-0 against the Atlantic Division this season; The Penguins are 4-8-1 vs. Atlantic Division opponents.
* New York has tallied seven goals in their last 33 power play attempts (21.2%), including three multi-goal efforts, in the last eight games.
* The Blueshirts have posted a record of 10-4-3 in their last 17 matches vs. the Penguins, including a mark of 6-1-1 in eight games at MSG during the stretch.
* New York has earned a point in seven of the last eight meetings for a 5-1-2 record over the span.
* In three games vs. the Penguins this season, Michal Rozsival leads the Rangers with three goals and Dan Girardi, Scott Gomez and Sean Avery each have one goal and two assists for three points.
* Brendan Shanahan has registered 26 goals and 21 assists for 47 points in 54 career games vs. the Penguins; Jaromir Jagr has collected 30 points (15 goals and 15 assists) in 31 career matches vs. Pittsburgh; Rozsival has recorded 14 points (six goals and eight assists) in 19 regular season contests vs. the Penguins.
* Gomez enters the game riding a five-game point streak, registering one goal and five assists for six points over the span.
* Shanahan leads the Rangers with five power play goals this season; Girardi ranks second on the team with four goals on the man advantage.
* Fedor Tyutin skated in his 200th NHL game on Sunday vs. Phoenix; The Rangers' second round pick (40th overall) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft tied his career-high with seven shots and delivered four hits in 21:31 of icetime.
* Shanahan is two goals shy of Dave Andreychuk for 11th on the NHL's all-time goals list.
* Martin Straka is one assist shy of 100 assists as a Ranger.
* Alexei Cherepanov, the Rangers' first round pick (17th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has registered seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in 28 games with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Super League (RSL); The Ozerki, Russia native was recently named to represent his home country in the 2008 IIHF World Under-20 Championship, to be played in the Czech Republic beginning on December 26, 2007.
* The Rangers have three former Penguins on their roster; Jagr (1990-91 to 2000-01),Rozsival (1999-00 to 2002-03) and Straka (1992-93 - 1994-95, 1997-98 to 2003-04).
* The Penguins roster lists two former Rangers; Adam Hall (2006-07) and Petr Sykora (2005-06).
All-Time - Rangers vs. Penguins
At MSG: 57-43-9-1
At Pittsburgh: 47-44-14-5
2007-08 – Rangers vs. Penguins
Oct. 23 Rangers 0 vs. Penguins 1 at Pittsburgh
Nov. 8 Rangers 4, Penguins 2 at MSG
Nov. 17 Rangers 4, Penguins 3 (OT) at Pittsburgh
Dec. 18 Rangers vs. Penguins at MSG
Jan. 14 Rangers vs. Penguins at Pittsburgh
March 18 Rangers vs. Penguins at MSG
March 30 Rangers vs. Penguins at Pittsburgh
March 31 Rangers vs. Penguins at MSG
Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
Dec. 18 Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Dec. 20 Rangers at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Dec. 21 Rangers at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Dec. 23 Rangers vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Dec. 26 Rangers vs. Carolina, 7 p.m.
Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 1-3-1
Last 10 NYR games: 3-5-2
* Sean Avery underwent successful wrist surgery on Nov. 29 and has missed eight games.
* Marcel Hossa has missed one game with the flu.
* The Rangers have lost 69 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.
Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:
The Pack are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games, and have at least a point in 13 of their last 15 contests (12-2-0-1) and 15 of their last 18 (14-3-0-1). Ken Gernander's club resumes play on Friday night (7:00), when they host their Nutmeg-State rivals the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders affiliate), and they finish off a four-game homestand with a battle against Syracuse (Columbus affiliate) on Saturday (7:00).
For more Wolf Pack news, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com.