Game 1 Preview: New York Rangers vs Ottawa Senators : Ranger Nation – The ultimate stop for New York Rangers fans! NYRNation.net - Ranger Nation

Game 1 Preview: New York Rangers vs Ottawa Senators

TONIGHT’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), in Game One of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup. On Saturday, the Blueshirts were defeated by the Washington Capitals, 4-1, in their regular season finale. New York finished with a 7-4-0 mark in the final 11 contests. The Rangers enter tonight’s contest with a 198-216-8 record all-time in 422 playoff contests (110-83-2 at home; 88-133-6 on the road). New York has posted a 41-47-5 record all-time in Game Ones of playoff series.

New York enters the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference having posted a record of 51-24-7 overall (27-12-2 at home; 24-12-5 on the road) for 109 points. The Rangers’ 51 wins ranked second in franchise history, while their 109 points tied for second all-time. The Blueshirts finished second in the NHL overall, tied for first in wins and led the league with 47 wins in regulation and overtime. New York is one of four Eastern Conference teams to have posted 40 or more wins in at least six seasons since 2005-06, and one of four teams in the East to have advanced to the playoffs in six of the last seven years.

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Prior to tonight’s contest, the Rangers’ morning skate is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Madison Square Garden. Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 10:45 a.m. in the Press Conference Room, located on the fifth floor of Madison Square Garden.
* Schedule and availability subject to change

ALL-TIME RANGERS PLAYOFF RECORDS:

  • Overall — 198-216-8
  • Home — 110-83-2
  • Away — 88-133-6
  • Goals for — 1,175
  • Goals against — 1,172

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS — RANGERS vs. SENATORS
The Rangers and current Senators franchise are meeting in the playoffs for the first time. The Blueshirts had previously met the original Ottawa Senators franchise in the 1930 playoffs. New York won that two-game, total goals Quarterfinal matchup, 6-3 (Mar. 20, 1930 at OTT, 1-1; Mar. 22, 1930 vs. OTT, 5-2).

RANGERS vs. SENATORS:

  • All-Time (Regular Season)33-35-3-3 overall (14-21-0-2 at home; 19-14-3-1 on the road)
  • 2011-12: New York was 1-2-1 overall (0-1-1 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Two of the four meetings were decided by one goal, including one that required the shootout. Marian Gaborik led the Rangers in scoring with three goals and five points in four games, while Derek Stepan tallied a team-high, three assists to go along with a one goal. Henrik Lundqvist was 1-1-1 with a 2.92 GAA and .905 Sv%, and Martin Biron was 0-1-0 with a 3.08 GAA and .857 Sv%.
  • Three Rangers have previous playoff experience against the Senators: Brad Richards (5 GP, 3-5-8), Ruslan Fedotenko (12 GP, 1-0-1) and Mike Rupp (8 GP)
  • The Rangers are 8-5-2 in the last 15 regular season games against the Senators
  • The Blueshirts have won six of their last seven games in Ottawa, out-scoring the Senators, 20-12, in those contests
  • Martin Biron’s start in the Rangers’ final meeting with the Senators on Mar. 8 ended Henrik Lundqvist’s streak of 26 consecutive appearances against Ottawa, dating back to Dec. 26, 2005
  • New York lists no former Senators on their roster
  • Ottawa lists two former Rangers on their roster: Alex Auld (2009-10); Matt Gilroy (2009-10 – 2010-11)

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. SENATORS (Regular Season):

  • Henrik Lundqvist — 26 GP, 11-12-2, 2.05 GAA, 1 SO
  • Martin Biron — 31 GP, 14-10-2-2, 2.80 GAA, 2 SO
  • Brad Richards — 35 GP, 13-13-26
  • Marian Gaborik — 16 GP, 8-10-18
  • Derek Stepan — 8 GP, 3-4-7

MISCELLANEOUS PLAYOFF NOTES:

  • The last playoff series the Rangers began at home was their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup against Montreal in 1996
  • The Rangers have won their last five playoff series in which they held home-ice advantage
  • The Blueshirts have won seven of their last 10 first round playoff series
  • New York’s last playoff game in Canada was on Apr. 28, 1996, a 5-3 victory at Montreal in Game Six of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series
  • The Rangers have lost Game One in each of their last three playoff series in which they held home-ice advantage, all in overtime — 1994 ECF vs. NJD, 1994 SCF vs. VAN, and 1996 ECQ vs. MTL. The Blueshirts went on to win each series.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Blueshirts posted a record of 25-2-4 in games when tallying a power play goal, and 34-13-3 when not allowing a power play goal this season.

  • Power Play:  The Rangers’ power play tallied eight goals in the last six games of the regular season (8-27, 29.6% over the span), and 13-56 (23.2%) in the last 15 games. New York ranked 23rd overall (44-280, 15.7%) and 22nd at home (23-146, 15.8%). The Rangers were 4-18 (13:15) in five-on-three situations (last – 4/5 at PIT), and 2-9 (12:08) when four-on-three (last – 3/11 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (4): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski); 4/5 at PIT (Letang).
  • Penalty Killing:  New York’s penalty kill was 52-60 (86.7%) in the final 20 games, and tied for seventh in the NHL with eight shorthanded goals. New York ranked fifth overall (224-260, 86.2%) and ninth at home (100-118, 84.8%). The Rangers were 9-10 (6:17) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/28 at WPG), and 2-3 (2:24) when three-on-four (last – 2/16 vs. CHI). Shorthanded goals for (8): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan); 12/20 at NJD (Hagelin); 1/6 at PIT (Dubinsky); 2/12 vs. WSH (Prust); 3/28 at WPG (Del Zotto).
  • Four-on-Four: The Rangers were plus-seven in 84 four-on-four situations (151:10), and even in two three-on-three situations (0:38). Four-on-four goals for (10): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi); 1/2 vs. FLA (Gaborik); 2/9 vs. TBL (Stepan); 2/9 vs. TBL (Richards); 2/14 at BOS (Anisimov); 2/19 vs. CBJ (Stepan); 2/25 vs. BUF (Callahan); 3/21 vs. DET (Callahan). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 2/9 vs. TBL (Lecavalier); 2/25 vs. BUF (Stafford); 3/2 at TBL (Malone).

PLACE IN TEAM HISTORY
The Blueshirts’ 51 wins this season ranked second in franchise history, while their 109 points tied for second all-time. The Rangers also tied the franchise record for most road wins in a season with 24 victories away from MSG. The Rangers reached the 50-win mark for the third time in franchise history with a 4-1 victory vs. Montreal on Mar. 30, and eclipsed the 100-point mark for the seventh time with a 4-3 shootout win at Toronto on Mar. 24. The Blueshirts reached the 40-win mark in 61 games, which tied as the second fewest games to reach 40 wins in team history.

TOP SPOT
New York ascended to the top position in the Eastern Conference following games played on Dec. 26 (game #34), and held that position for two days before claiming the top spot for good following games played on Dec. 30 (game #36). The Blueshirts clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 5-3 win on Apr. 3 at Philadelphia. It is the first time since 1993-94 the Rangers finished atop the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings.

MARCHING INTO THE PLAYOFFS
Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik ranked third and fourth in the NHL, respectively, in scoring from March 1 through the end of the regular season. Richards registered 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 21 games, while Marian Gaborik recorded 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) over the span.

MEASURING UP:
The Rangers ranked among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories this season…

  • T-2nd in points (109)
  • T-2nd in win% (.665)
  • T-1st in wins (51)
  • 1st in regulation/overtime wins (47)
  • 3rd in fewest regulation losses (24)
  • 3rd in fewest goals against (182)
  • 3rd in GAA (2.22)
  • 1st in hits (2,419)
  • 4th in blocked shots (1,338)
  • 4th in +/- rating (plus-34)
  • 6th in goal differential (plus-39)

QUICK HITS:

  • The Rangers became the first Eastern Conference team, and second in the league overall, to clinch a playoff spot with a 4-2 win on Mar. 19 vs. NJD (game #72); The last time the Blueshirts clinched a playoff berth that early was in 1991-92, when New York clinched on Mar. 8 (through game #68) following a Philadelphia defeat to Vancouver
  • The Rangers posted a combined record of 19-4-5 in back-to-back games this season, including a 9-2-3 (3-1-0 at home, 6-1-3 on the road) record in the first game and a 10-2-2 (6-0-0 at home, 4-2-2 on the road) mark in the second
  • New York was 21-3-3 when leading after the first period and 30-0-3 when leading after the second this season
  • The Rangers ranked fifth in the league with a .208 win% when trailing after two periods (5-18-1), and tied for 11th in the NHL with five third period comeback wins
  • New York led the NHL with a .682 win% when out-shooting their opponent (30-13-1)
  • The Rangers ranked third in the league when scoring first, posting a 35-5-3 mark (.814 win%) in those contests
  • Henrik Lundqvist’s 39 wins marked a career-high, and rank second on the Rangers’ single season wins list
  • Ryan Callahan and Brad Richards tied the franchise record for most game-winning goals in a season with nine apiece (Don Maloney – 1980-81; Mark Messier – 1996-97; Jaromir Jagr – 2005-06)

INJURIES:

  • Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 58
  • Steve Eminger (injured, 3/15) — 12
  • Mats Zuccarello (fractured wrist, 3/23) — 8

Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 237

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

  • Apr. 10 — Agreed to terms with forward Chris Kreider to an entry level deal

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