The New York Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday March 15.
Below are the team issued postgame notes.
- TOP OF THE HEAP – As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Rangers have the top record in the Metropolitan Division, the Eastern Conference, and the NHL.
- POINT TAKEN – The Rangers have 95 points in their first 68 games this season, which is the most they have had in the first 68 contests of any season since 1971-72 (101 points). The Rangers extended their winning streak to five games. The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in seven straight games (6-0-1) and in 17 of their last 18 contests (14-1-3), and they have won 14 of their last 17 contests (14-1-2). The Rangers have recorded at least one point in 20 of their last 22 games (17-2-3). The Blueshirts have won 37 of their last 50 games (37-10-3), including 35 of their last 47 games (35-9-3) and 33 of their last 43 contests (33-7-3). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 50 of their last 64 games (43-14-7), including 43 of their last 54 games (38-11-5).
- RANK AND FILE – As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Rangers lead the NHL in wins (44), points (95), regulation/OT wins (41), and points percentage (.699). New York also ranks second in the NHL in goals against per game (2.25) in 2014-15.
- ONE AND WON – New York has allowed one goal or fewer in regulation in each of the last seven games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers have also allowed one goal or fewer in regulation in seven straight games for the first time in franchise history. The Rangers have allowed one goal or fewer in a game in each of the last five contests, in six of the last seven contests, in seven of the last 10 contests, in eight of the last 12 games, and in nine of the last 15 contests. The Blueshirts lead the NHL in games with one goal or fewer allowed (57) since the start of the 2013-14 season, and they have posted a 52-3-2 record in those contests.
- SACRIFICING THE BODY – New York was credited with a season-high 36 blocked shots in the game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blueshirts’ 36 blocked shots are the most they have recorded in one game since 2005-06, which is when the NHL began recording the stat on a consistent basis. 15 of 18 skaters were credited with at least one blocked shot, eight different skaters registered two, and two skaters – Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh – each recorded six blocked shots in the contest.
- HOME COOKING – New York has won each of its last five home games and has earned at least one point in each of its last 10 home games (8-0-2 record). The Rangers have earned a point in at least 10 straight home games during one season for the first time since Feb. 16 – Apr. 4, 2008 (11 games; 8-0-3). The Blueshirts have won 14 of their last 18 home contests (14-2-2) and 17 of their last 22 home games (17-3-2). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 27 of their last 32 home games, dating back to Oct. 16 (22-5-5 over the span).
- RIGHT BACK AT IT – The Rangers have posted an 8-2-1 record in the second half of back-to-back games this season, including an 8-0-1 record in the second half of their last nine back-to-back sets.
- FINISHING THE JOB – The Blueshirts have posted a 29-0-1 record when leading after two periods this season. New York has registered a 143-1-9 record in its last 153 regular season games when leading after 40 minutes. The 153-game stretch began on Feb. 6, 2010 vs. New Jersey. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers are the only NHL team since 1999-2000 (the first year when teams earned a point for a loss after regulation) to have no more than one regulation loss over a span of 150 or more regular season games when leading after two periods.
- LEADING THE WAY – New York has posted a 23-1-3 record when leading after the first period this season.
- FIRST IN SCORE – The Blueshirts have tallied the first goal of the game in 25 of their last 38 games, in 33 of their last 50 contests, and in 42 of 68 games this season. New York has posted a 34-5-3 record when tallying the first goal of the game in 2014-15.
- TEAM EFFORT – With James Sheppard and Matt Hunwick each tallying their first goals as Rangers in the contest, 23 different players have registered at least one goal with the Blueshirts this season. Three different Rangers have recorded their first goal with the team over the last two games (Sheppard, Hunwick, and Keith Yandle).
- FIRST IMPRESSION – In each of the last two games, the game-winning goal was also a player’s first goal with the Rangers (Keith Yandle – last night in Buffalo, Matt Hunwick – tonight against Florida. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Rangers won two straight games, with the player who scored the game-winner scoring his first goal for the team, was Oct. 3-5, 2009 (Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy).
- KILL ZONE – The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on the penalty kill in the contest. New York is 16-for-17 on the penalty kill over the last five games (94.1%) and is 23-for-25 (92.0%) over the last eight contests. The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 12 of the last 16 games (42-for-47; 89.4%) and they are 104-for-121 (86.0%) over the last 44 games.
- TAMING THE CATS – The Rangers have won six consecutive games against the Panthers, dating back to Nov. 10, 2013. New York has outscored Florida, 24-12, in the six contests. The Blueshirts have also won 15 of their last 20 contests against the Panthers (15-5-0).
- Cam Talbot tied a single-game career-high with 38 saves to record his 17th win of the season and extend his personal winning streak to four games. He has posted a 0.75 GAA, a .976 SV%, and 1 SO during his personal winning streak. Talbot has posted a 5-0-1 record, along with a 1.00 GAA, a .967 SV%, and 1 SO in his last six appearances. He has also posted an 8-1-1 record, along with a 1.49 GAA, a .951 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 10 appearances. Talbot has allowed one goal or fewer in regulation in each of his last six appearances. He has earned at least one point in 15 of his last 16 appearances (12-1-3 record), and in 16 of 18 appearances since Feb. 4 (13-2-3 record over the span).
- Matt Hunwick recorded two points (one goal, one assist), including his first goal as a Ranger, recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating in the contest. He tallied a game-winning goal for the first time since Nov. 10, 2009, when he was a member of the Boston Bruins. Hunwick has now posted three multi-point games this season (Oct. 27 vs. Minnesota and Nov. 5 vs. Detroit were his other two multi-point games). He has posted a plus-seven rating over his last seven games, and he has posted a plus-15 rating this season.
- James Sheppard tallied his first goal/point as a Ranger, was credited with three hits, recorded two shots on goal, blocked two shots, and posted a plus-one rating in the game. Sheppard has established a career-high in goals (six) this season.
- Dominic Moore tied a season-high with two assists/points, recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating in the contest. Moore has tallied four points (one goal, three assists) in the last eight games.
- Jesper Fast recorded an assist and posted a plus-one rating in 11:46 of ice time. Fast, who logged 1:55 of shorthanded ice time in the game, has been on the ice for just one power play goal against in 46:54 of shorthanded ice time this season.
Alain Vigneault on Cam Talbot…
“He’s been playing really well for a long time. I’ve mentioned on a couple of occasions, last year he got us some big wins. This year I think after the first three games, he really found his rhythm. Ever since Hank [Henrik Lundqvist] went down, he’s had to step up, he’s had to play more, and he’s certainly fulfilled the challenge.”
Matt Hunwick on finding ways to win…
“I think we have a resilient group. We have a group that has a lot of talent all over the place (throughout the lineup). We seem to find ways to win, whether it’s defensemen scoring goals or the third or fourth line. Our top guys have been great all year, but sometimes it’s the guys maybe you wouldn’t expect that help you win those close games once in a while.”
James Sheppard on scoring his first goal as a Ranger and the crowd’s reaction…
“It was very loud. We were just working down there and it (his goal) kind of came out of nowhere. Not that any goals are really expected, but this one was kind of just out of the blue. It was great to hear the fans erupt and the smile on Quickie’s (Fast) face and Yan’s (Keith Yandle) face was nice to see.”
- Tomorrow: Team is OFF
- Next Game: Wednesday, Mar. 18 vs. Chicago (8:00 p.m. ET – TV: NBCSN)