NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal with teammate Brandon Prust #8 against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers are fresh off a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night which increased their wining streak to three games. Tonight the Rangers will take on the Winnipeg Jets with an opportunity to string together a four-game winning streak and finish the six-game home stand with a 4-1-1 record.
Here's what the Rangers need to do to make that happen.
Get Off To A Quick Start: Both teams played Saturday night, so there shouldn't be an edge in terms of fatigue for either side. The Rangers got off to a blazing start against the Canadiens, and ended up needing every goal to finish the game on top. The game will probably end up slowing down in the third, simply because both teams are going to be tired, which would make a comeback even more difficult.
Join me after the jump for more keys and the Rangers' pre-game notes.
Convert On The Power Play: The Rangers had an opportunity to put the game to bed early Saturday night, but couldn't convert on the power play. New York went 1-for-9 with the man advantage, and had plenty of opportunities to go up by four before the Canadiens turned it into a game again. So if the Rangers find themselves up a man tonight, they need to convert.
Keep The Status Quo: Sean Avery played just under five minutes last night and, quite frankly, the Rangers didn't need him. Some of the lack of ice time has to do with Avery getting back into the swing of things in the NHL, some of it has to do with how well the Rangers were playing. But after three total team efforts that have resulted in wins, there's no need to shake things up.
Defense, Defense, Defense: The Rangers' offense did what it had to in the win, and all the names you would expect to contributed. Brad Richards scored the game winning goal, Derek Step and Artem Anisimov each had two assists, Erik Christensen had a goal and a helper, Marian Gaborik had an assist and Michael Del Zotto and Ryan Callahan each lit the lamp. And while that's all well and good let's not forget that there were a slew of defensive gaffs that gave Montreal chances. The Canadiens hit the post three times with a chance to tie the game, that can't happen tonight. Sometimes the bar is your friend, sometimes it's not. The Rangers were fortunate the posts were friendly last night.
Rangers official pre-game notes below:
* All information through NHL games on Nov. 5
The Rangers will close out their six-game homestand when they face-off against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their third game in four days. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 6-3-3 (15 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow's contest having defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 5-3, earlier tonight at Madison Square Garden to improve to 6-2-1 in their last nine games, including wins in their last three contests. The Jets enter the contest with a 5-6-2 (12 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have registered a point in four of their last five games (3-1-1). Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m.).
Tomorrow's game will allow fans to experience the first phase of the three year, top-to-bottom historic Madison Square Garden Transformation.
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Please note there is no morning skate scheduled prior to tomorrow's contest. Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 4:50 p.m. in the Press Conference Room, located on the fifth floor of Madison Square Garden.
* Schedule and availability subject to change
· TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig
7:00 p.m. - Rangers vs. Jets
Broadcasters: John Giannone (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Al Trautwig (In-Game Reporter)
· Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. - Rangers vs. Jets
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. JETS: *Includes the record vs. the Atlanta Thrashers from 1999-00 - 2010-11
· All-Time: 20-15-1-9 overall (7-9-1-5 at home; 13-6-0-4 on the road)
· 2011-12: Tonight is the second of four meetings this season, and the first of two at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-0-0 following a 2-1 win on Oct. 24 at Winnipeg. The Rangers have tallied two goals in five power play opportunities (40.0%) in the season series.
· Last Season: New York was 1-3-0 overall, including a 1-1-0 mark on the road. Brian Boyle led the Rangers with two goals in the season series, and Henrik Lundqvist posted a 1-2-0 record with a 2.61 goals against average in three games.
· The Rangers last skated against the previous Winnipeg Jets franchise at Madison Square Garden in a 6-4 win on Oct. 11, 1995. Ray Ferraro led all skaters with four points (two goals, two assists), including the game-winning goal, Adam Graves notched two goals (one shorthanded) and Alex Kovalev tallied three points (one goal, two assists). Mike Richter made 30 saves for the win.
· New York ranks 13th with a 3-1-1 (7 pts) record at home; Winnipeg ranks 11th with a 3-4-2 (8 pts) mark on the road
· The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record vs. Southeast Division opponents; the Jets are 3-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
· Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 7-5-6 record with a 2.24 GAA and one shutout in 19 career regular season contests vs. Winnipeg; Martin Biron is 7-11-0-0 with a 3.18 GAA and three shutouts in 19 career regular season games vs. the Jets
· Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 17 goals, 36 assists and 53 points in 47 career regular season contests vs. Winnipeg; Marian Gaborik has tallied 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 14 games vs. the Jets
· New York lists one former Jet on their roster: Erik Christensen (2007-08 - 2008-09)
· Winnipeg lists one former Ranger on their roster: Nik Antropov (2008-09)
· Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in nine power play opportunities (16:00) last night vs. Montreal, and are 6-30 (20.0%) with the man advantage in the last six games. New York is tied for 25th overall (7-53, 13.2%) and ranks 18th at home (4-25, 16.0%). The Rangers are 1-3 (1:44) in five-on-three situations (last - 11/05 vs. MTL), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last - 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
· Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered a goal to the Canadiens in two shorthanded situations (3:08) last night at Madison Square Garden, and are 29-33 (87.9%) in the last nine games. New York ranks 11th overall (45-52, 86.5%) and is tied for 10th at home (13-15, 86.7%). The Rangers are 2-3 (1:16) in three-on-five situations (last - 11/05 vs. MTL), 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 did not skate in a four-on-four situation last night vs. Montreal. The Rangers are plus-three in 22 four-on-four situations (38:34), 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 will conclude their second of 14 back-to-back sets this season when they face-off against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow at Madison Square Garden. New York has posted a record of 1-0-1 (1-0-0 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.
IT'S MANITOBA TIME
On Oct. 24, the Rangers defeated the Jets, 2-1, for their first win in Winnipeg since a 5-4 victory against the previous Winnipeg Jets franchise on Nov. 21, 1992.
100 WINS AS A RANGER
Head Coach John Tortorella recorded his 100th win as the Rangers' Head Coach with the Blueshirts' 5-3 win last night vs. Montreal.
WILD WILD WEST
New York has posted a record of 4-1-2 against Western Conference opponents this season, and lead all Eastern Conference teams with 10 points and is tied for first with four wins vs. the West. Seven of the Rangers 11 games to begin the season (through Nov. 3) were against Western Conference opponents. The last time New York played more games vs. Western Conference opponents than vs. Eastern Conference opponents that late into the season was in 2003-03 (six of the first 11 games through Nov. 4).
JOINING THE RUSH (through Nov. 4)
New York defensemen have accounted for 23.1% of the team's scoring, which ranks fourth in the league. Ranger blueliners have tallied six goals combined through 11 games to begin the season. Ryan McDonagh leads all Blueshirt defensemen and is tied for third among NHL blueliners with three goals.
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: (through Nov. 4)
· Ryan Callahan is tied for fifth in shots on goal (47) and game-winning goals (two), ranks second among forwards in blocked shots (19) and 10th among forwards in average ice time (21:22)
· Henrik Lundqvist is tied for ninth in save percentage (.932), fourth in shutouts (one) and seventh in saves (274)
· Dan Girardi ranks second in average ice time (27:49)
· Ryan McDonagh is tied for 17th in average ice time (24:55) and third among defensemen in goals (three)
· Marian Gaborik is tied for eighth in shots on goal (46)
· Brad Richards ranks sixth among forwards in average ice time (21:48)
New York has seen six new faces in their lineup during the 2011-12 season. The Rangers had three players make their Rangers debut in the team's season opener on Oct. 7 against the Kings - Tim Erixon (NHL debut), Brad Richards (one assist) and Mike Rupp. In addition, defenseman Jeff Woywitka made his Rangers debut on Oct. 15 at Long Island, while defenseman Brendan Bell made his Blueshirts debut on Oct. 22 at Edmonton. Forward Andre Deveaux made his Rangers debut on Monday vs. San Jose, following his recall on Oct. 30.
COUNTDOWN TO 2,500 WINS
The Rangers are currently 10 wins shy of 2,500 wins, having won 2,490 games all-time in franchise history.
THE HOT LIST:
· The Rangers are 6-30 (20.0%) with the man advantage in the last six games
· Marian Gaborik has recorded six points (one goal, five assists) in the last five games
· Ryan Callahan has tallied six points (five goals, one assist) in the last six games
· Dan Girardi has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six games
· Brad Richards has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last four games
· Erik Christensen has registered four points (one goal, three assists) in the last three games
· Derek Stepan has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games
· Artem Anisimov has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in the last three games
· Brandon Dubinsky has tallied three assists in the last three games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
· Ryan Callahan: 4 games from 300th NHL career
· Erik Christensen: 7 assists form 100th NHL career
· Steve Eminger: 9 points from 100th NHL career
· Marian Gaborik: 7 assists from 300th NHL career
· Dan Girardi: 8 assists from 100th NHL career
· Derek Stepan: 6 games from 100th NHL career
· Wojtek Wolski: 1 game from 400th NHL career; 9 goals from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
· Brian Boyle: 200th career NHL game (11/3 vs. ANA)
· John Tortorella: 100th win as Rangers Head Coach (11/5 vs. MTL)
- Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) - 12
- Mike Rupp (knee, 10/24) - 5
- Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) - 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 27
- Nov. 1 - Recalled forward Sean Avery from Connecticut (AHL)
- Nov. 5 - Agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Anton Stralman