Game Preview: New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS
Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Kings: 34-23-14 (82 pts)
Rangers: 46-18-7 (99 pts)
The Rangers play their 72nd game of the 2014-15 season tomorrow, Mar. 24, against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). New York has earned at least one point in 19 of its last 21 games (16-3-2), including nine of its last 10 games (8-1-1). The Blueshirts have won 16 of their last 20 contests (16-2-2), including 12 of the last 15 games (12-2-1) and seven of the last eight games (7-1-0). The Rangers have also recorded at least one point in 22 of their last 25 games (19-3-3). The Blueshirts have won 39 of their last 53 games (39-11-3), including 37 of their last 50 games (37-10-3) and 35 of their last 46 contests (35-8-3). The Rangers have earned at least one point in 52 of their last 67 games (45-15-7), including 45 of their last 57 games (40-12-5). The Rangers have posted a 46-18-7 record this season (99 pts), following a 7-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, Mar. 22 at MSG. The Kings have posted a 34-23-14 record this season (82 pts), and they play against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center tonight prior to facing the Rangers tomorrow.
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Prior to tomorrow’s game, the Rangers will have a morning skate at 10:30 a.m. at Madison Square Garden. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media following the morning skate.
*Schedule and availability subject to change
RANGERS VS. KINGS
All-Time: 67-44-16-1 record (37-19-6-0 at home, 30-25-10-1 on the road)
2014-15: Tomorrow’s game is the second and final meeting between the Rangers and Kings this season, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (0-0-0 at home, 1-0-0 on the road) against the Kings, following a 4-3 win on Jan. 8 in Los Angeles. Four different Rangers tallied a goal and 10 different Blueshirts recorded a point in the contest. Dan Boyle (one goal, one assist) and Derick Brassard (two assists) each notched two points in the contest, while Cam Talbot made 28 saves to earn the win.
The Rangers have earned at least one point in six of their last eight regular season games against the Kings, dating back to Dec. 17, 2008 (5-2-1 record).
New York has won 11 of its last 16 regular season home games against Los Angeles, dating back to Oct. 31, 1990 (11-4-1-0).
Several Hockey Hall of Famers played for both the Rangers and Kings, including Wayne Gretzky, Terry Sawchuk, Marcel Dionne, Luc Robitaille, Harry Howell, and Jari Kurri. Roger Neilson, who is in the Hall of Fame as a Builder, was a head coach for both teams during his career.
Marian Gaborik played for parts of four seasons with the Rangers (2009-10 - 2012-13). He is the last player who recorded at least 40 goals in a season with the Blueshirts (41 in 2011-12).
Dan Girardi and Dustin Brown were teammates in juniors with the Guelph Storm (OHL) for part of one season (2002-03).
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. KINGS
Rick Nash - 36 GP, 15-17-32 - Nash has tallied three assists/points in two regular season games against the Kings as a member of the Rangers. He has notched 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in his last 16 games against Los Angeles.
Keith Yandle - 41 GP, 5-19-24 - Yandle has recorded 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his last 12 games against Los Angeles.
New York has posted a 14-1-1 record when outscoring its opponent on special teams in 2014-15
The Rangers were 1-for-2 (2:45) on the power play on Mar. 22 vs. Anaheim
The Blueshirts have posted an 18-6-4 record in games which they have tallied a PPG this season
The Rangers were 1-for-1 (2:00) on the penalty kill on Mar. 22 vs. Anaheim
The Blueshirts rank eighth in the NHL on the penalty kill this season (83.5%; 172-for-206)
New York is tied for fourth in the NHL - and is tied for first in the Eastern Conference - in SHG (eight) this season despite playing the seventh-fewest minutes shorthanded of any NHL team (350:59). The Rangers are tied for second in the NHL in SHG (18) since 2013-14.
The Rangers are 20-for-22 (90.9%) on the penalty kill over the last eight games and are 27-for-30 (90%) on the penalty kill over the last 11 contests. The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 14 of the last 19 games (46-for-52; 88.5%) and they are 108-for-126 (85.7%) on the penalty kill over the last 47 games.
Marc Staal - 3 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
Dan Girardi - 4 points away from 200 in his NHL career
The Rangers, who have earned 99 points in 71 games this season, are one point away from reaching the 100-point plateau for the eighth time in franchise history.
FEWEST GAMES IT HAS TAKEN TO EARN 100 POINTS IN ONE SEASON IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
# OF GAMES
TOP OF THE HEAP
The Rangers enter the contest with the top record in the NHL this season. The Blueshirts are the only team to rank in the top five in the NHL in both goals per game and goals against per game in 2014-15. The Blueshirts are also the only team to rank in the top three in the NHL in all of the following categories: point percentage (first - .697), goal differential (first - plus-54), wins (tied for first - 46), points (tied for first - 99), regulation/OT wins (second - 42), goals against per game (second - 2.22), and goals per game (third - 3.00). The Blueshirts also have the fewest regulation losses (18) and fewest overall losses (regulation + overtime/shootout; 25) in the NHL this season.
The Rangers earned their 45th win of the season on Mar. 21 at Carolina. The Blueshirts have won at least 45 games in each of the last two seasons and they reached the 45-win plateau for the eighth time in franchise history. The Blueshirts reached the 45-win plateau in 70 games, which is the second-fewest contests it has taken a Rangers team to earn 45 wins in franchise history (1971-72 - 67 games). The Rangers have earned at least 23 wins both at home and on the road in the same season for the third time in franchise history (also accomplished the feat in 1993-94 and 2011-12).
New York has allowed two goals or fewer in ten consecutive games and in 39 of 71 games in 2014-15. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in at least ten straight games for the first time since Feb. 20 – Mar. 18, 1971 (12 consecutive games). The Rangers have posted a 35-2-2 record when allowing two or fewer goals in a contest this season.
New York has won six of its last seven home games (6-1-0) and has earned at least one point in 11 of its last 12 home games (9-1-2 record). The Blueshirts have won 15 of their last 20 home contests (15-3-2) and 18 of their last 24 home games (18-4-2). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 28 of their last 34 home games, dating back to Oct. 16 (23-6-5 over the span).
MAKING NOISE ON THE WESTERN FRONT
The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in nine of their last 10 games against Western Conference opponents (7-1-2) and have posted a 13-3-2 record in their last 18 games against teams in the Western Conference. The Rangers have posted a 16-4-5 record against Western Conference opponents this season, as well as an 11-1-1 record against teams in the Pacific Division.
A STAR ON BROADWAY
Cam Talbot has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last nine appearances. Talbot has posted a 6-1-0 record, along with a 1.13 GAA, a .965 SV%, and 2 SO in his last seven appearances. He has also posted a 7-1-1 record, along with a 1.13 GAA, a .965 SV%, and 1 SO in his last nine games. Talbot has posted a 10-2-1 record, along with a 1.52 GAA, .951 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 13 games. He has earned at least one point in 17 of his last 19 appearances, posting a 14-2-3 record, along with a 2.03 GAA, a .936 SV%, and 2 SO over the span. Talbot has also earned at least one point in 18 of 21 appearances since Feb. 4, posting a 15-3-3 record, along with a 2.12 GAA, a .930 SV%, and 2 SO during the stretch.
Rick Nash enters the game ranked among the top 10 in the NHL in all of the following categories: even strength goals (first - 30), SHG (tied for first - four), goals per game (second - 0.56), games with a goal (tied for second - 32), goals (third - 39), SOG (third - 268), GWG (tied for third - eight), SHP (tied for third - four), takeaways (sixth - 66), and plus/minus rating (tied for eighth - plus-24). He is the only NHL player who ranks among the top 10 in all of those categories.
TOO HOT TO YANDLE
Keith Yandle tied single-game career-highs with three assists/points on Mar. 22 vs. Anaheim. Yandle's third assist of the game was also his 40th assist of the season. He has reached the 40-assist plateau in each of the last two seasons and in three of the last five seasons (three of the last four 82-game seasons). Yandle is also the only NHL defenseman who has registered three 40-assist seasons since 2010-11. He leads all NHL defensemen in power play assists (25) and power play points (27), ranks second among NHL defensemen in assists (40), and is tied for 10th among NHL defensemen in points (45) this season.
INJURIES (102 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
Kevin Klein - upper-body - 3-4 weeks
Henrik Lundqvist - neck - injured reserve
Martin St. Louis - lower-body - 10-14 days
Above are the team issued pregame notes.