Rangers at Avalanche: Pregame News and Notes

NEW YORK RANGERS at COLORADO AVALANCHE
Sunday, Jan. 31, 8:00 p.m.
Pepsi Center ē Denver, CO
Rangers: 24-24-7 (55 pts.)
Avalanche: 30-17-6 (66 pts.)


TONIGHT'S GAME:
The Rangers continue their three-game Western Conference road trip tonight when they will face-off against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center (8:00 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set.  The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and 12th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 24-24-7  (55 pts.).  The Rangers enter tonight's contest having been defeated by the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2, last night at Jobing.com Arena.  The Avalanche enter the contest with a 30-17-6 (66  pts.) record, and rank sixth in the Western Conference.  Following tonight's game, the Rangers will conclude their three-game Western Conference road trip on Tuesday, Feb. 2, vs. the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center (10:30 p.m.), in their third game in four days.

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Please note there is no morning skate scheduled for today, Jan. 31.  Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 4:00 p.m. MST.
* Schedule and availability subject to change

BROADCAST INFORMATION:
    * TV: MSG Plus
      7:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
      8:00 p.m. - Rangers @ Avalanche
      Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
    * Radio: 970 The Apple
      7:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game with Joe Tolleson
      8:00 p.m. - Rangers @ Avalanche
      Broadcasters: Joe Tolleson (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. AVALANCHE:
    * All-Time: The Rangers are 33-28-7-4  all-time against the Avalanche franchise: 20-10-4-4 at home and 13-18-3-2  on the road.
    * 2009-10: This is the first and only meeting between the Rangers and Avalanche this season.
    * Last Season: New York were 1-0-0 against Colorado in 2008-09, having defeated the Avalanche, 6-1, on Feb. 28 at MSG.  In the contest, the Rangers tallied the game's first five goals, including four in the first period.
    * The Rangers have posted a record of 12-11-3 (27 pts.) in 26 road games; the Avalanche have posted a record of 15-7-2 (32 pts.) in 24 home games
    * New York have posted a record of 1-3-0 vs. the Northwest Division; Colorado have registered a 2-2-0 mark vs. the Atlantic Division
    * The Rangers last win at Colorado was a 6-3 victory on Dec. 31, 1998
    * Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 1-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average in one appearance vs. Colorado last season; Lundqvist is 1-0-1 with a 2.48 goals against average in two career regular season appearances vs. the Avalanche
    * Chris Drury registered two points (one goal and one assist), including one power play goal, vs. Colorado last season; the Rangers registered a 20.0% (1-5) success rate on the power play, while holding the Avalanche scoreless in two shorthanded situations in 2008-09
    * Marian Gaborik leads the team with 16 goals, 15 assists and 31 points in 38 career regular season contests vs. Colorado; Wade Redden leads all team defensemen with four goals and eight points in 15 career regular season appearances vs. the Avalanche
    * Hats Off - Marian Gaborik recorded his eight career hat trick on Apr. 9, 2006 at Colorado
    * NHL Debut - Aaron Voros made his NHL debut on Nov. 11, 2007 at Colorado
    * New York lists one former Avalanche on their roster: Chris Drury (1998-99 - 2001-02)
    * Colorado lists no former Rangers on their roster

More after the jump.....

SPECIAL TEAMS:
    * Power Play: New York have registered a 17.8% (36-202) success rate overall, including a 13.5% (12-89) success rate on the road.  The Rangers have tallied four goals in nine five-on-three (6:32) chances, and are two of four (4:10) with a four-on-three advantage.  Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 10/26 (V. Fiddler); 12/12 (P. Kaleta); 12/14 (C. Armstrong); 12/26 (B. Comeau); 1/4 (M. Hunwick).
    * Penalty Killing: The Rangers held the Coyotes scoreless in seven power play opportunities (12:16) last night at Phoenix, and have now posted an 85.0% (187-220) success rate overall and an 84.1% (95-113) success rate away from MSG. The Rangers have surrendered five goals in 17 three-on-five (12:32) attempts, and are eight of nine (7:19) when three-on-four.  The Rangers notched a three-on-four shorthanded goal on Jan. 17 vs. Montreal, the first for the team since Oct. 25, 1996 at Florida (Adam Graves).  Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/3 (B. Dubinsky); 10/11 (D. Girardi); 11/14 (V. Prospal); 12/23 (M. Gaborik); 1/17 (B. Dubinsky).
    * Four-on-Four: New York have skated in 67 (98:37) four-on-four situations. Four-on-Four goals for (2): 10/8 (R. Callahan); 10/17 (B. Dubinsky). Four-on-Four goals allowed (6): 10/24 (M. Cammalleri); 12/9 (D. Byfuglien); 12/17 (A. MacDonald); 1/2 (R. Whitney); 1/23 (S. Gomez and M. Cammalleri).

RANGERS NOTES:

BACK-TO-BACKS - Tonight's contest will close out the Rangers ninth of 13 back-to-back sets on the season.  New York have posted a record of 5-2-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets thus far, including a 4-1-0 mark following a loss in the first game of the set and 2-1-1 when the second game is on the road.

GABORIK GETS 30 - Marian Gaborik tallied his 30th goal of the season at 9:42 of the third period last night at Phoenix, marking the sixth time in his nine NHL seasons he has reached the 30-goal plateau.  The last time a Ranger accomplished the feat was Jaromir Jagr, who registered 30 goals during the 2006-07 season.

SCORING IN THE CLUTCH - Forward Brandon Dubinsky leads the Rangers in game winning goals since the start of the 2008-09 season, with 11 of his 24 goals counting as the game-winner over the last two years.  This season, the Rangers have posted a record of 7-0-1 in games when he notches a goal.

A BROADWAY HIT - The Blueshirts currently lead the NHL with 1,562 hits, including 668 hits on the road to rank fourth in the league. Ryan Callahan ranks second in the NHL with 203 hits, and Michael Del Zotto ranks third among all first-year players with 122 hits.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT - Rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto currently leads all NHL rookies in power play assists (12), ranks second in power play points (15), fourth in assists (18), tied for fifth in power play goals (three) and ranks sixth in points (24). Artem Anisimov is tied for second on the Rangers overall in even strength goals (eight), and seventh among NHL rookies in goals (nine) and 15th in points (17), following his two-goal performance on Monday vs. Pittsburgh.  Matt Gilroy is currently tied for fourth among rookie defensemen with four goals.

WINS LEADERS SINCE 2006-07 - Since the start of 2006-07, Henrik Lundqvist ranks sixth in the NHL with 134 wins, trailing Miikka Kiprusoff (147) by 13, Martin Brodeur (144) and Roberto Luongo (144) by 10, Evgeni Nabokov (142) by eight, and Ryan Miller (139) by five.  * Through games played on Jan. 29

BLUESHIRT OLYMPIANS - The Blueshirts will have five players representing their native country at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada next month.  Rangers Captain Chris Drury (3rd Olympic appearance - 2002, 2006) and Ryan Callahan (1st Olympic appearance) will represent the United States, 2006 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Henrik Lundqvist (2nd Olympic appearance - 2006) will represent Sweden and Marian Gaborik (2nd Olympic appearance - 2006) will represent Slovakia.  Hartford Wolf Pack forward Andres Ambuhl (2nd Olympic appearance - 2006), who signed with the Rangers on May 27, will represent Switzerland.  In addition, Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella will serve as an assistant coach for Team USA, Head Athletic Trainer Jim Ramsay will serve as an athletic therapist for Team Canada, and Massage Therapist/Assistant Trainer Bruce Lifrieri will serve as the massage therapist for Team USA.

RANGERS STREAKS:
    * No active streaks

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
    * Chris Drury: 3 points from 600  NHL career
    * Marian Gaborik: 1 point from 500 NHL career

RECENT MILESTONES ACHIEVED:
    * Brandon Dubinsky: 100th career NHL point, Jan. 4 vs. BOS
    * Brandon Dubinsky: 200th career NHL game, Jan. 6 vs. DAL
    * Chad Johnson: 1st career NHL assist/point, Jan. 7 at ATL
    * Michal Rozsival: 600th career NHL game, Jan. 9 at BOS
    * Matt Zaba: 1st career NHL game, Jan. 23 at MTL
    * Ryan Callahan: 200th career NHL game, Jan. 25 vs. PIT

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