Game Preview: New York Rangers at Winnipeg Jets
NEW YORK RANGERS at WINNIPEG JETS
Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2015, 8:00 p.m. ET
MTS Centre – Winnipeg, MB
Rangers: 47-21-7 (101 pts)
Jets: 39-25-12 (90 pts)
The Rangers play their 76th game of the 2014-15 season tomorrow, Mar. 31, against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre (8:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). New York has earned at least one point in 20 of its last 25 games (17-5-3), including 10 of its last 14 games (9-4-1). The Blueshirts have won 17 of their last 24 contests (17-5-2), including 13 of the last 19 games (13-5-1). The Rangers have also recorded at least one point in 23 of their last 29 games (20-6-3). The Blueshirts have won 40 of their last 57 games (40-14-3), including 38 of their last 54 games (38-13-3) and 36 of their last 50 contests (36-11-3). The Rangers have earned at least one point in 53 of their last 71 games (46-18-7), including 46 of their last 61 games (41-15-5). The Rangers have posted a 47-21-7 record this season (101 pts), following a 5-2 loss against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, Mar. 29 at Madison Square Garden. The Jets enter the contest with a 39-25-12 record this season (90 pts), following a 4-3 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, Mar. 29 in Winnipeg.
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Prior to tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will have a morning skate at 11:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. ET) at MTS Centre. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media following the morning skate.
*Schedule and availability subject to change
RANGERS VS. JETS
*All-Time: 25-18-1-10 record (10-11-1-6 at home, 15-7-0-4 on the road) *Note: All-time record includes games played against the Atlanta Thrashers from 1999-00 - 2010-11
2014-15: Tomorrow’s game is the second and final meeting between the Rangers and Jets this season, and the only meeting between the two teams in Winnipeg. The Rangers have posted a 0-0-1 record (0-0-1 at home, 0-0-0 on the road) against the Jets, following a 1-0 shootout loss on Nov. 1 at MSG. Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 25 shots he faced through regulation and overtime in the contest.
The Rangers have posted a 6-3-1 record in 10 games since the Thrashers/Jets franchise moved to Winnipeg prior to the start of the 2011-12 season. The Blueshirts have also posted a 3-1-0 record in the four contests which have taken place in Winnipeg during the span.
Lee Stempniak skated in 53 games with the Rangers this season
Tanner Glass played one season with the Jets (2011-12)
J.T. Miller and Jacob Trouba were teammates with the U.S. National Team Development Program during the 2010-11 season, and they helped Team USA capture a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship
Derek Stepan and Drew Stafford both attended Shattuck-St. Mary's High School in Minnesota
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. JETS
Henrik Lundqvist - 26 GP, 11-7-7, 2.09 GAA, .921 SV%, 3 SO - Lundqvist has posted a 4-2-1 record, along with a 1.70 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 2 SO in his last seven appearances against the Jets. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of the seven appearances, including each of the last four.
Derek Stepan - 13 GP, 4-5-9 - Stepan has tallied a point in six of his last eight games against Winnipeg, recording eight points (four goals, four assists) over the span.
New York has posted a 14-1-1 record when outscoring its opponent on special teams in 2014-15
The Rangers were 0-for-5 (7:21) on the power play on Mar. 29 vs. Washington
The Rangers were 3-for-4 (5:18) on the penalty kill on Mar. 29 vs. Washington
The Blueshirts rank eighth in the NHL on the penalty kill this season (84%; 184-for-219)
The Rangers have not allowed a PPG in four of their last five games (13-for-14; 92.9%) and in seven of their last nine games (22-for-24; 91.7%). The Blueshirts are 32-for-35 (91.4%) on the penalty kill over the last 12 games and are 39-for-43 (90.7%) on the penalty kill over the last 15 contests. The Blueshirts have not allowed a PPG in 17 of the last 23 games (58-for-65; 89.2%) and they are 120-for-139 (86.3%) on the penalty kill over the last 51 games.
New York is tied for fifth in the NHL in SHG (eight) this season is tied for second in the NHL in SHG (18) since 2013-14.
Derick Brassard - 3 goals away from 100 in his NHL career
Marc Staal - 3 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
Dan Girardi - 4 points away from 200 in his NHL career
Ryan McDonagh - 4 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
Mats Zuccarello - 4 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
CLINCHING A SPOT
By clinching a playoff berth this season, the Rangers have now 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).
The Rangers have won six of their last seven road games (6-0-1), and have earned at least one point in seven of their last eight road contests (6-1-1). The Blueshirts have won 11 of their last 14 road games (11-2-1), 13 of their last 18 road contests (13-4-1), 17 of their last 23 road games (17-5-1), and 21 of their last 28 road contests (21-6-1). The Rangers lead the NHL in road point percentage (.676), are tied for the NHL lead in road wins (24), and rank second in the NHL in road points (50) 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 four road games remaining in 2014-15 (including tomorrow’s contest), 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.
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.
TOP OF THE HEAP
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: goal differential (first - plus-51), point percentage (tied for first - .673), ROW (second - 43), wins (tied for second - 47), goals against per game (tied for second - 2.29), goals per game (third - 2.99), and points (fourth - 101). The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead for the fewest regulation losses (21) and they have the fewest overall losses (regulation + OT/shootout; 28) in the NHL.
MAKING NOISE ON THE WESTERN FRONT
The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in nine of their last 11 games against Western Conference opponents (7-2-2) and have posted a 13-4-2 record in their last 19 games against teams in the Western Conference. The Rangers have posted a 16-5-5 record against Western Conference opponents this season.
Alain Vigneault enters the contest with 963 career regular season games coached. Vigneault is one game shy of tying Jack Adams and Sid Abel for 23rd place on the NHL's all-time games coached list. He leads all Rangers coaches (min. 100 games coached) in point percentage (.627) in franchise history.
Rick Nash tallied his 40th goal of the season on Mar. 28 at Boston. Nash reached the 40-goal plateau for the third time in his career and he is the 19th player who has recorded 40 or more goals with the Rangers in franchise history. He enters the game ranked among the top 10 in the NHL in all of the following categories: even strength goals (first - 31), goals per game (second - 0.54), games with a goal (second - 33), goals (tied for second - 40), SHG (tied for second - four), SOG (third - 284), GWG (tied for third - eight), SHP (tied for fourth - four), plus/minus rating (tied for fifth - plus-27), and takeaways (sixth - 68). He is the only NHL player who ranks among the top 10 in all of those categories this season.
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 (614), wins (334), shutouts (55), and GAA (2.27), and is tied for second in SV% (.920).
DAN'S THE MAN
Dan Girardi enters the contest with 644 career NHL games played. Girardi also enters the contest tied with Rod Seiling for 17th place on the Rangers' all-time games played list and tied for seventh place on the Rangers’ all-time games played list by defensemen.
INJURIES (112 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)
Mar. 29 - Recalled Chris Summers from Hartford (AHL)
Mar. 30 - Reassigned Chris Summers to Hartford (AHL)
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
· Mar. 30, 1969 – Harry Howell played his final regular season game as a Ranger, which was a 4-0 Blueshirts victory over Toronto at MSG. Howell is the Rangers’ all-time leader in regular season games played with 1,160.
· Mar. 30, 1975 – Rod Gilbert tied a single-game franchise record with five assists in an 8-2 Rangers victory over the Kansas City Scouts at MSG.
· Mar. 31, 2004 – Mark Messier played his final NHL game and tallied his final NHL goal/point against Buffalo at MSG.
Above are the team issued pregame notes.