The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils tonight at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m.), in the first of four straight games against Atlantic Division opponents. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 18-8-4 (40 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2, on Saturday at Jobing.com Arena, and have now registered at least one point in 17 of their last 22 games (15-5-2). The Devils enter the contest with a 18-13-1 (37 pts) record to rank sixth in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last four games. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders on Thursday, Dec. 22, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the first of back-to-back home games.
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Prior to tonight’s contest, the Rangers’ morning skate is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Prudential Center. Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 11:45 a.m.
* Schedule and availability subject to change
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Devils
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers at Devils
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. DEVILS:
* All-Time: 98-82-27-5 overall (54-29-20-2 at home; 44-53-7-3 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the first of six meetings this season, and the first of three on the road.
* Last Season: New York was 4-2-0 overall, with a 2-1-0 mark on the road. The Rangers held the Devils to one or fewer goals in four of the six meetings, and out-scored New Jersey, 16-8, in the season series. Brandon Dubinsky led the Blueshirts in scoring with four goals and seven points, while Artem Anisimov tallied a team-high, five assists in six games. Henrik Lundqvist was 4-2-0 with a 1.44 GAA, .953 Sv% and one shutout.
* Nine of their last 12 meetings have been decided by two goals or less
* Henrik Lundqvist has started in 31 straight games against the Devils
* New York ranks fifth with a 10-5-2 (22 pts) record on the road; New Jersey ranks 26th with a 7-5-1 (15 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers have posted a 3-1-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Devils are 2-3-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 22-9-5 record with a 1.85 GAA and five shutouts in 36 career regular season games vs. New Jersey; Martin Biron is 8-15-2-2 with a 3.16 GAA and two shutouts in 30 career regular season games vs. the Devils
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 26 assists and 31 points in 32 career regular season games vs. New Jersey; Brandon Dubinsky has registered a team-high, nine goals in 26 career regular season contests vs. the Devils
* New York lists one former Devil on their roster: Mike Rupp (2002-03 – 2003-04, 2006-07 – 2008-09)
* New Jersey lists one former Ranger on their roster: Petr Sykora (2005-06)
The Rangers are 11-47 (23.4%) with the man advantage in the last 12 games. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held their opponent scoreless in five of their last six games (18-19, 94.7% over the span), while tallying three shorthanded goals during the stretch, and is 28-31 (90.3%) in the last 11 games. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 13-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 12-3-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play.
* Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in six power play attempts (9:40) on Saturday at Phoenix. New York ranks 20th overall (20-121, 16.5%) and 26th on the road (7-61, 11.5%). The Rangers are 2-11 (8:16) in five-on-three situations (last 12/17 at PHX), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal in two shorthanded situations (2:07) on Saturday at Phoenix. New York ranks fifth overall (95-110, 86.4%) and 15th on the road (55-66, 83.3%). The Rangers are 5-6 (3:26) in three-on-five situations (last 12/17 at PHX), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (4): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Saturday at Phoenix. The Rangers are plus-three in 33 four-on-four situations (60:21), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
The Rangers are scheduled to play 14 back-to-back sets this season. New York has posted a record of 3-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 2-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 3-0-1 (3-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 24-8-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets, with a 12-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 56 times in his career, posting a record of 35-14-7 with a 1.82 GAA, .935 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game. The Rangers’ next back-to-back set, their fifth of the season, is Dec. 22-23 against the NY Islanders and Philadelphia, with both games at MSG.
The Rangers own a record of 17-7-2 vs. the Devils since the start of the 2007-08 season, including an 8-4-1 mark on the road during the stretch, dating back to a 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2007. Henrik Lundqvist has registered a 2.11 goals against average, a .924 save percentage and five shutouts in the 26-game stretch.
Henrik Lundqvist has faced-off against Martin Brodeur in 30 career regular season contests, posting a record of 20-5-5 with a 1.82 goals against average, .932 save percentage and four shutouts over the span.
2,500 WINS CLUB
The Rangers registered their 2,500th win in franchise history with a 4-1 victory at Buffalo on Dec. 10, becoming the fifth franchise in NHL history to reach the milestone along with Boston, Detroit, Montreal and Toronto.
* The Rangers’ eight regulation losses are tied for the fewest in the NHL
* New York has registered a point in 17 of their last 22 games (15-5-2), and has out-scored their opponent, 71-49, during the stretch
* The Blueshirts rank second in the league in fewest goals against (64) and fourth in GAA (2.13)
* The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in hits (807), including third in road hits (450)
* New York is 5-1-1 when leading after the first period and 11-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Blueshirts rank fifth in the NHL in team plus/minus rating (plus-17) and fourth in goal differential (plus-20)
* The Rangers rank 10th in the league in goals scored per game (2.87)
* The Blueshirts lead the league with an .833 win% when out-shooting their opponent (10-2-0)
* The Rangers are 7-0-0 all-time in games when Brandon Prust is assessed a fighting major in the opening two minutes
* The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL when scoring first, posting a 14-1-1 mark (.875 win%) in those contests, and their 14 wins are tied for third in the league
* New York notched two shorthanded goals in the second period on Dec. 10 at Buffalo, marking the first time the team tallied two shorthanded goals in the same period since Mar. 6, 1997 at Los Angeles (2nd Period, B. Berg at 6:09 and N. Sundstrom at 15:11). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
* Rangers’ prospects Christian Thomas (Canada), J.T. Miller (USA) and Peter Ceresnak (Slovakia) have been invited to participate in their respective National Junior Team’s selection camp for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship
* Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 14 games this season, and is 10-4-1 with a 1.92 GAA, .935 Sv% and one shutout in his last 15 games
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in five of his seven starts this season
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied 10 points (1 G, 9 A) in the last 11 games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 23 points (13 G, 10 A) in the last 23 games, with 10 points (7 G, 3A) in the last 10
* Gaborik leads the team with seven multi-point games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in the last 12 games
* Brad Richards has tallied 21 points (11 G, 10 A) in the last 22 games, with 13 points (6 G, 7 A) in the last 12
* Derek Stepan has tallied 20 points (7 G, 13 A) in the last 22 contests, with nine points (3 G, 6 A) in the last nine
* Artem Anisimov has tallied seven points (4 G, 3 A) in his last eight games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Marian Gaborik: 2 assists from 300th NHL career; 2 points from 600th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 4 assists from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Brad Richards: 800th career NHL game (12/13 vs. DAL)
* Marian Gaborik: 300th career NHL goal (12/17 at PHX)
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) – 30
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 19
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 6
* Artem Anisimov (illness) – 1
* Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17)
Total Man-Games Lost: 87
* Dec. 14 – Recalled defenseman Tim Erixon from Connecticut (AHL)
* Dec. 16 – Assigned defenseman Tim Erixon to Connecticut (AHL)
* Dec. 18 – Recalled defenseman Stu Bickel from Connecticut (AHL)
* Dec. 19 – Recalled defenseman Tim Erixon from Connecticut (AHL)
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