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

Game Preview: New York Rangers vs Chicago Blackhawks

TONIGHT’S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at United Center (8:30 p.m.; TV: MSG Plus; Radio: 970 The Apple), in their third game in four days. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 42-17-7 (91 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Ottawa Senators, 4-1, last night at Scotiabank Place, and are now 13-5-3 in their last 21 games. The Blackhawks enter the contest with a 36-25-7 (79 pts) record to rank sixth in the Western Conference, and have won three of their last four games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders on Sunday, Mar. 11, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to begin a seven-game homestand.

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Please note the Blueshirts do not have a morning skate scheduled prior to tonight’s contest. Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 5:20 p.m. local time.
* Schedule and availability subject to change

RANGERS vs. BLACKHAWKS:
* All-Time: 236-242-98-2 overall (120-114-55-0 at home; 116-128-43-2 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the second and final meeting this season, and the first at United Center. New York is 0-1-0 overall (0-1-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road) following a 4-2 loss on Feb. 16 at Madison Square Garden. Carl Hagelin and Marc Staal each tallied a goal for the Rangers. Martin Biron stopped 18 of 22 shots in the loss.
* Last Season:  New York was 1-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 win in their only meeting on Nov. 1 at Madison Square Garden. Brandon Dubinsky led the team with two goals, while Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov tallied a teamhigh, two assists apiece. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 of 35 shots in the contest.
* The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in each of their last five games at Chicago, posting a record of 2-0-1-2 over the span, dating back to a 2-2 tie on Nov. 16, 2003; New York’s last regulation loss at Chicago was on Mar. 7, 2002 (1-5)
* The Rangers have registered at least one point in seven of their last eight meetings with the Blackhawks overall (4-1-1-2 over the span)
* New York ranks second with a 20-10-5 (45 pts) record on the road; Chicago ranks third with a 22-7-4 (48 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers are 2-2-0 vs. the Central Division; the Blackhawks are 3-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists one former Blackhawk on their roster: John Scott (2010-11 – 2011-12)
* Chicago lists no former Rangers on their roster

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLACKHAWKS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 6 GP, 4-0-2, 1.80 GAA
* Martin Biron — 7 GP, 2-3-1-0, 3.38 GAA
* Brad Richards — 20 GP, 2-24-26
* Marian Gaborik — 26 GP, 12-14-26
* Brandon Dubinsky — 4 GP, 4-2-6
* Anton Stralman — 14 GP, 1-6-7

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Rangers have tallied eight power play goals in the last 15 games, posting a 17.4% success rate over the span (8-46). The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 23 of the last 33 games (84-94, 89.4% over the span), and are 18-19 (94.7%) in the last six contests. The Rangers are tied for fifth in the NHL with seven shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 19-1-4 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 29-9-3 when not allowing a power play goal.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play attempts (7:27) last night at Ottawa. New York ranks 29th overall (31-222, 14.0%) and 24th on the road (15-109, 13.8%). The Rangers are 3-14 (11:24) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/2 at TBL), and 1-8 (10:10) when four-on-three (last – 3/2 at TBL). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Senators scoreless in two shorthanded situations (3:27) last night at Ottawa. New York ranks fifth overall (185-213, 86.8%) and sixth on the road (107-122, 87.7%). The Rangers are 8-9 (4:34) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/16 vs. CHI), and 2-3 (2:24) when three-on-four (last – 2/16 vs. CHI). Shorthanded goals for (7): 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).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two four-on-four situations (2:33) last night at Ottawa. The Rangers are plus-six in 71 four-on-four situations (127:48), and even in two three-on-three situations (0:38). Four-on-four goals for (9): 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). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 2/9 vs. TBL (Lecavalier); 2/25 vs. BUF (Stafford); 3/2 at TBL (Malone).

BACK-TO-BACKS
The Rangers will conclude their 12th of 14 scheduled back-to-back sets this season tonight at Chicago. New York has posted a record of 8-1-3 (3-0-0 at home, 5-1-3 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 8-1-2 (6-0-0 at home, 2-1-2 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 29-9-4 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 15-3-1 mark at MSG and 14-6-3 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 57 times in his career, posting a record of 36-14-7 with a 1.82 GAA, .935 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game.

ORIGINAL SIX NOTES:
* The Blueshirts have skated in 10 of 15 scheduled games against Original Six opponents this season, posting a record of 5-5-0 in those contests
* Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers in scoring against Original Six opponents this season with eight points and four goals
* Derek Stepan has tallied seven points against Original Six opponents this season, including a team-high, five assists
* New York has posted a record of 51-30-12 against Original Six teams since 2005-06, including a 4-1-2 mark vs. Chicago over the span. The Rangers’ .613 win% over the span ranks second, trailing Detroit (.662, 44-21-6), and ahead of Montreal (.608, 75-46-13), Chicago (.520, 33-30-11), Boston (.518, 61-56-20), and Toronto (.496, 57-58-18).

ROAD WARRIORS
The Rangers have registered at least one point in 12 of their last 16 road games (9-4-3 over the span), and are 15-6-3 in their last 24 games away from MSG.

PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .689 win% is the team’s best record through 66 games in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 42-17-7 record (.689 win%), and is tied as the third best mark in franchise history. The Rangers reached the 40-win mark in 61 games, which is tied as the second fastest to 40-wins in franchise history.

MEASURING UP
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* 2nd in points (91)
* 1st in win% (.689)
* 3rd in wins (42)
* T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (39)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (17)
* 2nd in fewest goals against (136)
* 2nd in GAA (2.06)
* 1st in hits (1,963)
* 4th in blocked shots (1,078)
* 4th in +/- rating (plus-39)
* 6th in goal differential (plus-40)

QUICK HITS:
* This is the latest the Rangers have been in first place of the Eastern Conference standings since the 1995-96 season, when New York held the top position through games played on Mar. 15, 1996 (NYR game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
* New York has registered at least one point in 44 of their last 58 games (39-14-5), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark
* New York is 16-1-3 when leading after the first period and 26-0-3 when leading after the second
* The Rangers are tied for fourth in the league with a .235 win% when trailing after two periods (4-12-1), and their four third period comeback victories are tied for 10th in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 17 games this season, which is tied as the fewest in the league
* New York leads the NHL with a .742 win% when out-shooting their opponent (23-7-1)
* The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 30-2-3 mark (.857 win%) in those contests; Their 30 wins rank third in the NHL

THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 11-3-1 with a 1.65 GAA, .940 Sv% and 4 SO in his last 15 games
* Marian Gaborik — 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in the last 24 games; five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games
* Ryan Callahan — 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in his last 12 games; three goals in his last four games
* Derek Stepan — 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the last 17 games; five points (two goals, three assists) in the last five games
* Brad Richards — 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in the last 15 games; six assists in the last seven games
* Carl Hagelin — eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last 11 games; six points (three goals, three assists) in the last seven games
* Michael Del Zotto — 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his last 19 games; nine assists in his last 14 games
* Anton Stralman — three-game assist streak (three assists over the span); seven assists in his last 14 games
* Dan Girardi — three assists in the last six games

MILESTONES APPROACHING:
* Steve Eminger — 4 points from 100 NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Ruslan Fedotenko — 800th career NHL game (3/4 vs. BOS)

INJURIES:
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 42
* Brandon Dubinsky (injured, 3/6) — 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 189

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
* Feb. 25 — Acquired a third round pick in 2013 and defenseman Michael Vernace from Florida in exchange for forward Wojtek Wolski
* Feb. 27 — Acquired defenseman John Scott from Chicago in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2012

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