Game Preview: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
NEW YORK RANGERS at BOSTON BRUINS
Saturday, Mar. 28, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET
TD Garden – Boston, MA
Rangers: 47-19-7 (101 pts)
Bruins: 36-25-13 (85 pts)
The Rangers play their 74th game of the 2014-15 season and begin a back-to-back set tomorrow, Mar. 28, with an Original Six matchup against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden (1:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). New York has earned at least one point in 20 of its last 23 games (17-3-3), including 10 of its last 12 games (9-2-1). The Blueshirts have won 17 of their last 22 contests (17-3-2), including 13 of the last 17 games (13-3-1) and eight of the last 10 games (8-2-0). The Rangers have also recorded at least one point in 23 of their last 27 games (20-4-3). The Blueshirts have won 40 of their last 55 games (40-12-3), including 38 of their last 52 games (38-11-3) and 36 of their last 48 contests (36-9-3). The Rangers have earned at least one point in 53 of their last 69 games (46-16-7), including 46 of their last 59 games (41-13-5). The Rangers have posted a 47-19-7 record this season (101 pts), following a 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, Mar. 26 in Ottawa. The Bruins enter the contest with a 36-25-13 record this season (85 pts), following a 3-2 overtime loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, Mar. 26 in Boston.
RANGERS MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Prior to tomorrow’s game, Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media at 11:00 a.m.
*Availability subject to change
RANGERS VS. BRUINS
All-Time: 250-287-97-2 record (144-121-55-0 at home, 106-166-42-2 on the road)
2014-15: Tomorrow’s game is the third and final meeting between the Rangers and Bruins this season, and the second meeting between the two teams in Boston. The Rangers have posted a 1-1-0 record (1-0-0 at home, 0-1-0 on the road) against Boston, following a 3-2 win on Feb. 4 at Madison Square Garden. New York is 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in the season series. Rick Nash is tied for the series lead with two points (one goal, one assist).
Since Mar. 24, 2007, 26 of the last 29 regular season games between the Rangers and the Bruins have been decided by two or fewer goals, with 22 of those contests decided by one goal.
Rangers defenseman Matt Hunwick played in parts of four seasons with the Bruins from 2007-08 - 2010-11.
Dan Girardi and Daniel Paille are both from Welland, Ontario. Girardi and Paille played on the same team in youth hockey and were teammates with the Guelph Storm (OHL) in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BRUINS
Henrik Lundqvist - 33 GP, 21-10-2, 1.85 GAA, .937 SV%, 6 SO - Lundqvist has posted a 9-5-2 record, along with a 1.52 GAA, a .951 SV%, and 3 SO in 16 career regular season appearances against the Bruins on the road. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 12 of those 16 contests.
Derek Stepan - 15 GP, 5-5-10 - Stepan has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in his last two games against Boston, and has notched five points (two goals, three assists) in his last six regular season contests against the Bruins.
New York has posted a 14-1-1 record when outscoring its opponent on special teams in 2014-15
The Rangers did not have a power play opportunity on Mar. 26 at Ottawa
The Rangers were 6-for-6 (11:26) on the penalty kill on Mar. 26 at Ottawa
The Blueshirts are tied for seventh in the NHL on the penalty kill this season (84.1%; 180-for-214)
New York is tied for fourth in the NHL - and is tied for first in the Eastern Conference - in SHG (eight) this season is tied for second in the NHL in SHG (18) since 2013-14.
The Rangers are 28-for-30 (93.3%) on the penalty kill over the last 10 games and are 35-for-38 (92.1%) on the penalty kill over the last 13 contests. The Blueshirts have not allowed a PPG in 16 of the last 21 games (54-for-60; 90%) and they are 116-for-134 (86.6%) on the penalty kill over the last 49 games.
Marc Staal - 3 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
Dan Girardi - 4 points away from 200 in his NHL career
CLINCHING A SPOT
The Rangers became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot in 2014-15. New York has reached the playoffs in five straight seasons and in nine of the last 10 seasons. It is the first time the Rangers have made the playoffs in at least five consecutive seasons and nine times in a 10-season span since they reached the playoffs in 10 straight seasons from 1977-78 - 1986-87. Entering 2014-15, the Rangers were one of four teams to reach the playoffs in at least eight of the previous nine seasons (along with Pittsburgh, Detroit, and San Jose).
With their win on Mar. 26 at Ottawa, the Blueshirts reached the 100-point plateau for the eighth time in franchise history. The Rangers earned their 100th point of the season in their 73rd game, which is tied for the second-fewest games it has taken a Rangers team to reach the 100-point plateau in franchise history (they also earned 100 points in their first 73 games in 1970-71 and 1972-73). The Rangers have posted two 100-point seasons in the last four seasons (two in the last three seasons which were 82 games in length), which is the first time they have done so since they earned 100 points twice in a three season span from 1991-92 to 1993-94.
FEWEST GAMES IT HAS TAKEN TO EARN 100 POINTS IN ONE SEASON IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
# OF GAMES
TOP OF THE HEAP
The Blueshirts enter the game with the top record in the NHL. The Rangers 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 - .692), goal differential (first - plus-56), wins (tied for first - 47), points (tied for first - 101), ROW (second - 43), goals against per game (second - 2.23), and goals per game (third - 3.01). The Blueshirts also have the fewest regulation losses (19) and fewest overall losses (regulation + overtime/shootout; 26) in the NHL this season.
The Rangers have won each of their last six road games and have earned at least one point in each of their last seven road contests (6-0-1). The Rangers have posted three separate six-game winning streaks on the road over the last two seasons (Oct. 26 – Nov. 23, 2013; Jan. 4 – Feb. 7, 2014). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers have registered three separate six-game winning streaks on the road in a two-season span for the first time in franchise history, and they are the first NHL team to post three separate six-game winning streaks on the road in a two-season span since Edmonton did so during the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons. New York’s six-game winning streak on the road is tied for the third-longest road winning streak in franchise history and is one shy of tying the franchise record for the longest winning streak on the road in one season. The Blueshirts have won 11 of their last 13 road games (11-1-1), 13 of their last 17 road contests (13-3-1), 17 of their last 22 road games (17-4-1), and 21 of their last 27 road contests (21-5-1). The Rangers lead the NHL in road wins (24), road points (50), and road point percentage (.694) this season. New York’s 24 road wins are tied for the second-highest total the team has earned in one season in franchise history. With five road games remaining in 2014-15, the Rangers are one road win away from tying their single-season franchise record of 25, which was established last season. The Blueshirts are also three points shy of tying their single-season franchise record of 53, which was established during the 2011-12 season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Six different Rangers (Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, and Chris Kreider) have recorded 40 or more points this season. It is the first time six Blueshirts have tallied at least 40 points in the same season since 2008-09.
For the fifth time in franchise history, two Rangers goaltenders have posted at least 20 wins in the same season (Henrik Lundqvist – 25; Cam Talbot – 20). Lundqvist and Talbot join Mike Richter and John Vanbiesbrouck (1991-92) and Ed Giacomin and Gilles Villemure (1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73) as the only goaltending duos who have each earned 20 wins in the same season in Rangers history.
Henrik Lundqvist is the only goalie in NHL history who has recorded at least 20 wins in each of their first 10 seasons in the league. He is also the only NHL goalie who has won at least 20 games in each of the last 10 seasons (2005-06 - 2014-15). Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Lundqvist leads all goalies (min. 300 appearances) in appearances (613), wins (334), shutouts (55), and GAA (2.26), and he is tied for first in SV% (.921).
Cam Talbot earned his 20th win of the season on Mar. 26 at Ottawa, becoming the first Rangers goaltender other than Henrik Lundqvist to record 20 or more wins in a season since Mike Richter did so during the 2001-02 season. Talbot is the fourth Rangers goaltender to record at least 20 wins in a season since 1985-86 (Lundqvist, Richter, and John Vanbiesbrouck are the other three). Talbot has posted a 7-2-0 record, along with a 1.44 GAA, a .954 SV%, and 1 SO in his last nine appearances. He has also posted an 8-2-1 record, along with a 1.45 GAA, a .953 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 11 games. Talbot has posted an 11-3-1 record, along with a 1.65 GAA, .946 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 15 games. He has earned at least one point in 18 of his last 21 appearances, posting a 15-3-3 record, along with a 2.08 GAA, a .934 SV%, and 2 SO over the span. Talbot has also earned at least one point in 19 of 23 appearances sinceFeb. 4, posting a 16-4-3 record, along with a 2.16 GAA, a .929 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), goals per game (second - 0.54), SHG (tied for second - four), games with a goal (tied for second - 32), goals (third - 39), SOG (third - 276), GWG (tied for third - eight), SHP (tied for third - four), takeaways (tied for sixth - 66), and plus/minus rating (tied for sixth - plus-27). He is the only NHL player who ranks among the top 10 in all of those categories this season.
Chris Kreider tied a single-game career-high with three points (two goals, one assist) in the Rangers’ last contest on Mar. 26 at Ottawa. He registered three points in one period in a regular season game for the first time in his career (he tallied three points in the second period in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 27, 2014 at Montreal). Kreider became the first Ranger to record three points in one period of a regular season game on the road since Vinny Prospal did so on Mar. 12, 2010 against Atlanta. He has established career-highs in goals (20), assists (20), and points (40) this season. Kreider is one of three NHL players who have registered at least 20 goals, 40 points, and 80 penalty minutes this season (along with David Backes of the St. Louis Blues and Scott Hartnell of the Columbus Blue Jackets). Kreider is the only NHL player who has registered 20 or more goals, 40 or more points, a plus/minus rating of plus-10 or higher, and 80 or more penalty minutes in 2014-15.
INJURIES (107 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
Kevin Klein - upper-body - 3-4 weeks
Martin St. Louis - lower-body - 10-14 days
Mar. 25 - Reassigned goaltender Mackenzie Skapski to Hartford (AHL)
Above are the team issued pregame notes