New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins: Pregame News and Notes

NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Friday, Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Mellon Arena

  • Pittsburgh, PA

Rangers: 26-27-7 (59 pts.)
Penguins: 36-22-2 (74 pts.)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 10

TOMORROW'S GAME:
The Rangers face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow at Mellon Arena (7:30 p.m.), in a matchup between Atlantic Division opponents.  The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and 11th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 26-27-7 (59 pts.).  The Rangers enter tomorrow's contest having been defeated by the Nashville Predators, 2-1, on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.  The Penguins enter the contest with a 36-22-2 (74 pts.) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference.  Following tomorrow's game, the Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, Feb. 14, at Madison Square Garden (1:00 p.m.), in their final contest before the Olympic break.

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Prior to the game, the Blueshirts' optional morning skate is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Mellon Arena.
* Schedule and availability subject to change

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

  • TV: MSG Network
    7:00 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Mike Keenan
    7:30 p.m. - Rangers @ Penguins
    Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
  • Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio
    7:00 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game with Don LaGreca
    7:30 p.m. - Rangers @ Penguins
    Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. PENGUINS:

  • All-Time: The Rangers are 110-96-23-6 all-time against the Penguins: 63-45-9-1 at home and 47-51-14-5 on the road.
  • 2009-10: This is the fifth of six meetings between the Rangers and Penguins this season, and the third at Mellon Arena.  The Rangers own a 0-4-0 record thus far, following a 4-2 loss on Jan. 25 at MSG, and are 0-2-0 at Mellon Arena this season.
  • Last Season: New York was 3-3-0 against Pittsburgh in 2008-09, including a 0-3-0 mark on the road. Henrik Lundqvist appeared in each of their six meetings last season, recording one shutout and two shootout victories.
  • The Rangers rank 15th in the NHL on the road with a record of 13-12-3 (29 pts.) in 28 games; the Penguins have posted a record of 18-10-1 (37 pts.) in 29 home games to rank 14th in the league
  • New York has posted a record of 4-9-2 vs. the Atlantic Division; Pittsburgh has registered an 11-6-0 mark vs. the Atlantic Division
  • The Rangers' last win at Mellon Arena was a 4-3 overtime victory on Nov. 17, 2007
  • Henrik Lundqvist has posted a record of 0-3-0 with a 3.39 goals against average in three appearances vs. Pittsburgh this season; Lundqvist is 15-12-3 with a 2.37 goals against average and two shutouts in 30 career regular season appearances vs. the Penguins
  • Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers with three goals and five points, and is tied for the team-high with two assists in four games vs. Pittsburgh this season
  • Captain Chris Drury has registered a team-high 32 points (12 goals and 20 assists) in 37 career regular season contests vs. the Penguins
  • Forward Olli Jokinen has notched a team-high 16 goals in 39 career regular season games vs. Pittsburgh
  • Defenseman Wade Redden leads the Rangers with 22 assists, and ranks first among team defensemen with 26 points in 54 career regular season contests vs. Pittsburgh
  • Defenseman Michal Rozsival leads all Ranger blueliners with seven goals in 33 career regular season games vs. the Penguins
  • Hats Off - Olli Jokinen has tallied two career hat tricks vs. Pittsburgh, on Nov. 25, 2005 and Jan. 10, 2007
  • NHL Debuts - Olli Jokinen skated in his first NHL game on Jan. 10, 1997 vs. the Penguins, and defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy each made their NHL debut vs. Pittsburgh in this year's season opener on Oct. 2
  • First Goals - Three Rangers players - Vinny Prospal (Mar. 8, 1997), Sean Avery (Mar. 2, 2002) and Brandon Dubinsky (Nov. 8, 2007) - recorded their first career NHL goal against Pittsburgh
  • New York lists one former Penguin on their roster: Michal Rozsival (1999-00 - 2002-03)
  • Pittsburgh lists one former Ranger on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07)

More after the jump........

SPECIAL TEAMS:

  • Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in six power play opportunities (7:23) on Wednesday vs. Nashville to extend their power play goal-scoring streak to three games, registering a 40.0% (six-for-15) success rate with the man advantage over the span.  New York ranks 11th in the NHL with an 18.6% (42-226) success rate, including a 12.2% (12-98) success rate on the road to rank 27th in the league.  The Rangers notched one five-on-three goal in one chance on Wednesday vs. Nashville (0:57), and have now registered six goals in 12 five-on-three attempts (9:16).  New York is two-of-five (4:30) with a four-on-three advantage this season.  Shorthanded goals allowed (6): 10/26 (V. Fiddler); 12/12 (P. Kaleta); 12/14 (C. Armstrong); 12/26 (B. Comeau); 1/4 (M. Hunwick); 2/2 (A. Kopitar).
  • Penalty Killing: The Rangers surrendered one goal to the Predators in five shorthanded situations (7:54) in Wednesday's 2-1 loss at MSG, and are now 31-for-35 (88.6%) on the penalty kill in the last six games.  New York ranks fifth in the NHL with an 85.1% (211-248) success rate overall, and is tied for second with an 85.2% (104-122) success rate away from MSG. The Rangers held the Devils scoreless in one five-on-three attempt on Saturday at MSG, and have now yielded five goals in 19 three-on-five chances (13:00).  New York is eight-of-nine (7:19) in three-on-four situations this season, and 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 has skated in 72 (104:08) 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:

SUCCESS IN NUMBERS - The Rangers power play has converted at a 40.0% (six-for-15) success rate over the last three games.  The Blueshirts' tallied four power play goals in six opportunities in a 6-5 loss on Thursday, Feb. 4, vs. Washington, the most since they notched five power play goals in a 6-1 win on Dec. 29, 2007 at Toronto.  Eight Rangers players registered at least one power play point in the contest - Ryan Callahan, Olli Jokinen, Vinny Prospal, Michael Del Zotto, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Matt Gilroy, and Artem Anisimov - the most for the Rangers in a single game since a 4-1 win on Mar. 15, 2009 vs. Philadelphia (eight players).  New York followed that performance up with one power play goal in three attempts in Saturday's 3-1 win vs. New Jersey, and one five-on-three power play tally in six opportunities in Wednesday's 2-1 loss vs. Nashville.  Five Rangers players have recorded multiple power play points in the three games, led by Vinny Prospal, who has registered four points (two goals and two assists) in the three games.  Ryan Callahan and Olli Jokinen have both tallied one goal and two assists apiece, Marian Gaborik has notched two points (one goal and one assist), and Michael Del Zotto has registered two assists in the three games.

A BROADWAY HIT - The Blueshirts currently rank second in the NHL with 1,723 hits, including 725 hits on the road to rank third in the league. Ryan Callahan ranks second in the NHL with 228 hits, and Michael Del Zotto ranks third among all first-year players with 129 hits.

WINS LEADERS SINCE 2006-07 - Since the start of 2006-07, Henrik Lundqvist ranks sixth in the NHL with 135 wins, trailing Miikka Kiprusoff (150) by 15, Martin Brodeur (145), Roberto Luongo (145) and Evgeni Nabokov (145) by 10, and Ryan Miller (139) by four.

BLUESHIRT OLYMPIANS - The Blueshirts will have six 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, 2006 Winter Olympic Silver Medalist Olli Jokinen (3rd Olympic appearance - 2002, 2006) will represent Finland, 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:

  • Marian Gaborik has registered a point in each of his last five games (six goals and two assists)

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:

  • Chris Drury: 2 points from 600 NHL career; 1 goal from 250 NHL career

RECENT MILESTONES ACHIEVED:

  • Marian Gaborik: 500th career NHL point/250th career NHL goal, Jan. 31 at COL
  • Chad Johnson: 1st career NHL win, Jan. 31 at COL

INJURIES:
None
Total Man-Games Lost: 51

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

  • Jan. 26: Recalled goaltender Chad Johnson from Hartford (AHL), and assigned goaltender Matt Zaba to Hartford
  • Feb. 2: Acquired forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust from Calgary, in exchange for forwards Christopher Higgins and Ales Kotalik
  • Feb. 10: Recalled defenseman Corey Potter from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL)
  • Feb. 11: Recalled goaltender Matt Zaba from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and assigned defenseman Corey Potter and goaltender Chad Johnson to Hartford

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