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Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers: Official Pre-Game Notes

Thursday, Mar. 4, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden

  • New York, NY

Rangers: 29-27-7 (65 pts.)
Penguins: 37-22-4 (78 pts.)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 2
The Rangers face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division matchup.  The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 29-27-7 (65 pts.).  The Rangers enter tomorrow's contest having defeated the Ottawa Senators, 4-1, on Tuesday at Scotiabank Place, in their return from the Olympic Break.  The Blueshirts have won each of their last three games, and are 4-1-0 in their last five contests.  The Penguins enter the contest with a 37-22-4 (78 pts.) record to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference.  Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers return to action on Saturday, Mar. 6, when they will face-off against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set.
Please note there is no morning skate scheduled for tomorrow, Mar. 4.  Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 5:00 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose 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. Penguins
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Al Trautwig, Brian Leetch and John Giannone (In-Game Reporters)
Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game with Kenny Albert
7:00 p.m. - Rangers vs. Penguins
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

All-Time: The Rangers are 111-96-23-6 all-time against the Penguins: 63-45-9-1 at home and 48-51-14-5 on the road.

2009-10: This is the sixth and final meeting between the Rangers and Penguins this season, and the third at Madison Square Garden.  The Rangers own a 1-4-0 record thus far, following a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 12 at Mellon Arena, and are 0-2-0 at MSG.

Last Season: New York was 3-3-0 against Pittsburgh in 2008-09, including a 3-0-0 mark at home. Two of their three meetings at MSG ended in the shootout.

The Rangers rank 25th in the NHL at home with a record of 14-15-4 (32 pts.) in 33 games; the Penguins have posted a record of 18-12-1 (37 pts.) in 31 road games to rank seventh in the league

New York has posted a record of 5-9-2 vs. the Atlantic Division; Pittsburgh has registered an 11-6-1 mark vs. the Atlantic Division

Henrik Lundqvist has posted a record of 1-3-0 with a 3.03 goals against average in four appearances vs. Pittsburgh this season; Lundqvist is 16-12-3 with a 2.36 goals against average and two shutouts in 31 career regular season appearances vs. the Penguins

Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers with three goals and five points in five games vs. Pittsburgh this season; Chris Drury has recorded a team-high three assists in the season series vs. the Penguins

Forwards Chris Drury (12 goals and 21 assists, 38 games) and Olli Jokinen (17 goals and 16 assists, 40 games) are tied for the team lead with 33 career points vs. Pittsburgh; Jokinen's 17 goals are also a team-high
Wade Redden has registered a team-high 22 assists, and leads all team defensemen with 26 points in 55 career regular season contests vs. the Penguins; Michal Rozsival leads all Rangers defensemen with seven goals in 34 career regular season games vs. Pittsburgh

Hats Off - Olli Jokinen has tallied two career hat tricks vs. Pittsburgh, on Nov. 25, 2005 and Jan. 10, 2007

First Goal - 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

NHL Debuts - Four Rangers players - Olli Jokinen (Jan. 10, 1997), Jody Shelley (Feb. 17, 2001), Michael Del Zotto  (Oct. 2, 2009) and Matt Gilroy (Oct. 2, 2009) - made their NHL debut vs. the Penguins

New York lists two former Penguins on their roster: Erik Christensen (2005-06 - 2007-08); Michal Rozsival (1999-00 - 2002-03)

Pittsburgh lists one former Ranger on their roster: Pascal Dupuis (2006-07)

Power Play: The Rangers have converted at a 26.1% (six-for-23) success rate with the man advantage over the last six games.  New York ranks 18th in the NHL with an 18.0% (42-234) success rate, including a 22.7% (30-132) success rate at home to rank fourth in the league.  The Rangers notched one five-on-three goal in one chance on Feb. 10 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 held the Senators scoreless in two shorthanded situations (4:19) on Tuesday at Ottawa, and are now 36-for-42 (85.7%) in the last nine games.  New York ranks fifth in the NHL with an 84.8% (217-256) success rate overall, and ranks ninth with an 84.5% (109-129) success rate at MSG. The Rangers held the Devils scoreless in one five-on-three attempt on Feb. 6 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 77 (111:30) four-on-four situations this season. Four-on-Four goals for (4): 10/8 (R. Callahan); 10/17 (B. Dubinsky); 2/12 (O. Jokinen); 2/14 (V. Prospal). 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).

A BROADWAY HIT - The Blueshirts currently lead the NHL with 1,810 hits, including 1,027 hits at home to rank second in the league.  Ryan Callahan ranks second in the NHL with 241 hits, and Michael Del Zotto ranks third among all first-year players with 129 hits.

BLUESHIRT OLYMPIANS - The Rangers had five players representing their native country at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, with three of the players returning with medals.
Ryan Callahan (USA): 1 assist, 6 games played
Chris Drury (USA): 2 goals, 6 games played
Marian Gaborik (SVK): 4 goals, 1 assist, 7 games played
Olli Jokinen (FIN): 3 goals, 1 assist, 6 games played
Henrik Lundqvist (SWE): 2-1, 1.34 goals against average, .927 save percentage, 2 shutouts, 3 games played
Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan each captured the Silver Medal with Team USA; Drury finished tied for fifth on the team in goals, second in game winning goals (one) and seventh in plus-minus rating (plus-three), and tied for 12th among all tournament skaters in faceoff winning percentage (58.33%)
Olli Jokinen helped lead Finland to the Bronze Medal, tying for third in the tournament in power play goals (two) and 10th in goals, and second on the team in goals, points, power play goals and game winning goals (one), and fifth on Finland in shots (14)
Marian Gaborik led all skaters in shots (31) and tied for first in the tournament in power play goals (three) and second in goals, and led Slovakia in goals and tied for fifth on the team in points en route to a fourth place finish
Henrik Lundqvist led all tournament goaltenders in goals against average and shutouts (two), and finished fourth in the tournament in save percentage while leading Sweden to a fifth place finish
In addition, Head Coach John Tortorella and Massage Therapist/Assistant Trainer Bruce Lifrieri earned the Silver Medal with Team USA, and Head Athletic Trainer Jim Ramsay captured the Gold Medal with Canada
Hartford Wolf Pack forward Andres Ambuhl also made his second Olympic appearance, skating in five games with Switzerland

WINS LEADERS SINCE 2006-07 - Since the start of 2006-07, Henrik Lundqvist ranks sixth in the NHL with 138 wins, trailing Miikka Kiprusoff (151) by 13, Martin Brodeur (147) by nine, Roberto Luongo (146) and Evgeni Nabokov (146) by eight, and Ryan Miller (140) by two.

·         Sean Avery enters tomorrow's contest riding a two-game goal/point streak (two goals and three points)
·         Erik Christensen enters tomorrow's contest riding a two-game assist/point streak (three assists and five points)
Brian Boyle: 3 games from 100 NHL career
Ryan Callahan: 7 points from 100 NHL career
Brandon Prust: 4 games from 100 NHL career
Olli Jokinen: 250th career NHL goal, Feb. 12 at PIT
Chris Drury: 600th career NHL point/250th career NHL goal, Feb. 14 vs. TBL
Michael Del Zotto (injured, Feb. 12) - 2 games missed
Marian Gaborik (injured, Feb. 9) - 3 games missed
Total Man-Games Lost: 56

Feb. 24: Recalled goaltender Chad Johnson from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and assigned goaltender Steve Valiquette to Hartford
Feb. 26: Recalled goaltender Miika Wiikman from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and assigned goaltender Chad Johnson to Hartford
Feb. 27: Claimed goaltender Alex Auld off re-entry waivers from Dallas
Feb. 27: Assigned goaltender Miika Wiikman to the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL
Mar. 1: Recalled defenseman Corey Potter from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL)
Mar. 3: Acquired forward Kris Newbury from Detroit, in exchange for forward Jordan Owens
Mar. 3: Acquired defenseman Anders Eriksson from Phoenix, in exchange for goaltender Miika Wiikman and a seventh round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Mar. 3: Assigned defenseman Corey Potter to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL)