The New York Rangers are riding a two game winning streak heading into Edmonton tonight, and look to make it three in a row. Let's take a look at the key's to the game tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.
Score On the Power Play: The Rangers finally notched their first power play goal of the season against the Calgary Flames. If the Rangers want to win games, they absolutely need to score on the power play. Last game the Rangers had good puck movement, and found Marian Gaborik to break their power play drought. If given the opportunities tonight, the Rangers NEED to capitalize against this young Oilers squad.
Presence in Front Of Lundqvist: We all know Henrik Lundqvist can stop basically everything that is thrown at him, but to make the King's job easier, the Rangers need to block shots. They have already blocked handful's of shots in the previous games, and they need to keep it up. The less shots that make it to the net, the less goals are scored, simple.
Follow after the jump for more.Spend Less Time in the Box: The Rangers just can't see to limit their trips to the box as of yet this season. They toned it down a tiny bit last game, but it was overshadowed by two late Delay of Game penalties. This young Oilers squad can work wonders with the puck when given room. Giving them chances on the power play tonight won't help the Rangers case at all.
Complete Game: If you only put effort in for twenty minutes, you're bound to put your team in some trouble. The Rangers need to play for a complete 60 minutes tonight, and continuously hound the Oilers to force turnovers. Their forecheck can be relentless when in full force, and the Rangers need to show that again tonight.
Scratches and Starters: There have been some tweaks to the line-up tonight from coach John Tortorella. Brendan Bell will be in tonight in place of Jeff Woywitka on the blue line. Wojtek Wolski is considered healthy, but will remain a scratch for the game in Edmonton. Finally, Henrik Lundqvist will be in between the pipes again tonight for the Rangers. It looks as if Marty Biron will make his first start of the season against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Rangers will face-off against the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow, Oct. 22, at Rexall Place (10:00 p.m.), in the third game of their four-game road trip through Western Canada. The Blueshirts enter the contest having defeated the Calgary Flames, 3-2, in overtime on Thursday at Scotiabank Saddledome for their second consecutive win of the season, and are now 2-1-2 (6 pts) through five games. The win was the Blueshirts’ first in Calgary since Nov. 14, 2002 (2-1). The Oilers enter the contest with a 2-2-2 (6 pts) record, and have lost each of their last two games. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, Oct. 24, at MTS Centre (8:30 p.m.), to close out their four-game Western Canada road trip. It will be New York's first trip to Winnipeg since they faced the former Winnipeg Jets franchise on Nov. 17, 1995 (3-6).
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Prior to tomorrow’s contest, the Blueshirts’ morning skate is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. MDT at Rexall Place.
* Schedule and availability subject to change
- TV: MSG Network
- 9:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
- 10:00 p.m. - Rangers at Oilers
- Broadcasters: John Giannone (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Dave Maloney (In-Game Reporter)
· Radio: Bloomberg Radio and newyorkrangers.com
- 9:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show
- 10:00 p.m. - Rangers at Oilers
- Broadcasters: Joe Tolleson (Play-By-Play), Pete Stemkowski (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. OILERS:
- All-Time: 26-26-9-2 overall (12-14-6-1 at home; 14-12-3-1 on the road)
- 2011-12: Tonight marks the first and only meeting this season.
- Last Season: New York was 1-0-0 overall, having won their only meeting, 8-2, on Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden. Marian Gaborik posted a hat trick and added an assist for four points (three goals, one assist), and Martin Biron turned aside 19 shots to record the win.
- New York ranks fifth with a 2-1-2 (6 pts) record on the road; Edmonton is tied for seventh with a 2-1-1 (5 pts) mark at home
- The Rangers have posted a 2-0-0 record vs. Northwest Division opponents; the Oilers are 1-0-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 1-0-2 record with a 2.54 GAA in three career regular season contests vs. Edmonton; Martin Biron is 1-5-0-0 with a 3.44 GAA in seven career regular season games vs. the Oilers
- Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers with 21 goals, 24 assists and 45 points in 46 career regular season contests vs. Edmonton; Brad Richards has tallied 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 17 games vs. the Oilers
- New York lists no former Oilers on their roster
- Edmonton lists one former Ranger on their roster: Corey Potter (2008-09 - 2009-10)
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in two power play opportunities (1:51) on Thursday at Calgary, and are now 1-18 (5.6%) through five games. The Rangers are 0-1 (0:08) in five-on-three situations (last – 10/8 at ANA), and 0-1 (0:40) when four-on-three (last – 10/8 at ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
- Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Flames and tallied a shorthanded goal in five shorthanded situations (8:06) on Thursday at Calgary. New York is tied for 10th overall (28-32, 87.5%) and ranks 12th on the road (28-32, 87.5%). The Rangers are 2-2 (0:44) in three-on-five situations (last – 10/15 at NYI), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/20 at CGY (Prust).
- Four-on-Four: New York tallied one goal in three four-on-four situations (7:44) on Thursday at Calgary, and are now plus-two in 13 four-on-four situations (23:09). Four-on-four goals for (2): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
The Rangers' seven-game road trip to begin the 2011-12 regular season is the longest to open a season in franchise history. The previous team record was five games away from Madison Square Garden to begin the season, in 1952-53 and 1953-54. The Blueshirts will open their home schedule on Oct. 27 vs. Toronto, their latest home opener since they opened the 1948-49 season on Oct. 27, 1948 (excluding the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season).
New York has begun their current four-game Western Canada road trip by defeating Vancouver (4-0) and Calgary (3-2, OT), marking the first time the team has won in those two cities in the same season since 1986-87.
The Rangers completed their first of 14 back-to-back sets this season with a 2-1 shootout loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 8 at Ericsson Globe Arena. New York has posted a record of 0-0-1 (0-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 0-0-1 (0-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 21-8-3 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 9-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. The Rangers' next back-to-back set is Nov. 5-6 vs. Montreal and Winnipeg, both games to be played at Madison Square Garden.
PUT ME IN, COACH
Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 33 of 35 shots, including 25 straight saves to end the game, in a 3-2 overtime win on Thursday at Calgary, while making his 31st consecutive regular season start dating back to Feb. 11, 2011 at Atlanta. He has posted a record of 17-11-3 with a 2.21 goals against average, a .926 save percentage and five shutouts over the span. Including playoffs, Lundqvist has started each of the Rangers last 36 games.
Defenseman Dan Girardi enters tonight's contest leading the NHL in average ice time, logging 28:58 per contest. He has logged 30:00+ of ice time in two of the Rangers' five games this season, including a season-high 31:25 of ice time on Oct. 8 against Anaheim in Stockholm, Sweden.
Brad Richards has registered a point in each of his first five games as a Ranger to begin the season, tallying one goal and four assists over the span. He currently leads the team with four assists and five points. Richards' five-game scoring streak is the longest by a new Ranger to begin the season since Marian Gaborik tied the franchise record set by Dave Creighton in 1955-56 by registering a point in eight consecutive games to begin the 2009-10 season. On Thursday at Calgary, Richards tallied his 500th career NHL assist.
- The Rangers have posted a record of 283-271-93 all-time in the month of October, including a 176-117-48 mark at home and a 107-154-45 record on the road. New York (2-1-2) is scheduled to play 10 games during the season's opening month in 2011-12, with three games being contested at MSG and seven scheduled on the road.
- Legendary Rangers' defenseman Brian Leetch holds the franchise record for most points in the month of October, having registered 43 goals and 130 assists for 173 career points in the season's opening month.
- The Blueshirts' all-time leader for most career wins in the month of October is Mike Richter, who registered 40 career wins during the season's opening month. Henrik Lundqvist has recorded 35 career wins during the month of October.
- New York has posted two, seven-game winning streaks in the month of October, winning seven consecutive games during the season's opening month in 2009-10 (Oct. 3 vs. Ottawa to Oct. 17 at Toronto) and 1988-89 (Oct. 16 vs. Vancouver to Oct. 30 vs. Pittsburgh).
COUNTDOWN TO 2,500 WINS
The Rangers are currently 14 wins shy of 2,500 wins, having won 2,485 games all-time in franchise history.
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
- Brian Boyle: 6 games from 200th NHL career
- Wojtek Wolski: 6 games from 400th NHL career; 9 goals from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
- Brandon Prust: 200th career NHL game (10/15 at NYI)
- Mike Rupp: 500th career NHL game (10/15 at NYI)
- Brad Richards: 500th career NHL assist (10/20 at CGY)
- Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) - 5
- Wojtek Wolski (groin, 10/7) - 4
- Michael Sauer (shoulder, 10/8) - 3
Total Man-Games Lost: 12