Game Preview: New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Saturday, Apr. 4, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Devils: 31-33-13 (75 pts)*
Rangers: 49-21-7 (105 pts)
The Rangers play their 78th game of the 2014-15 season tomorrow, Apr. 4, against the New Jersey Devils in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The 2014-15 Metropolitan Division Champions have earned at least one point in 22 of their last 27 games (19-5-3), including 12 of their last 16 games (11-4-1). The Blueshirts have won 19 of their last 26 contests (19-5-2), including 15 of the last 21 games (15-5-1). The Rangers have also recorded at least one point in 25 of their last 31 games (22-6-3). The Blueshirts have won 42 of their last 59 games (42-14-3), including 40 of their last 56 games (40-13-3) and 38 of their last 52 contests (38-11-3). The Rangers have earned at least one point in 55 of their last 73 games (48-18-7), including 48 of their last 63 games (43-15-5). The Rangers have posted a 49-21-7 record this season (105 pts), following a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, Apr. 2 in Minnesota. The Devils have posted a 31-33-13 record this season (75 pts) and face off against the Montreal Canadiens tonight at Prudential Center prior to playing against the Rangers tomorrow.
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Prior to tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will have a morning skate at 10:30 a.m. at MSG Training Center. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media following the morning skate.
*Schedule and availability subject to change
RANGERS VS. DEVILS
*All-Time: 108-87-27-7 record (59-31-20-3 at home, 49-56-7-4 on the road) *Note: All-time record includes games against the Kansas City Scouts from 1974-75 - 1975-76 and the Colorado Rockies from 1976-77 - 1981-82
2014-15: Tomorrow’s game is the third of four meetings between the Rangers and Devils this season, and the second/final meeting between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 2-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home, 1-0-0 on the road) against New Jersey, following a 3-1 win on Dec. 27 at MSG. Derek Stepan (three goals) and Martin St. Louis (three assists) are tied for the series lead with three points, while Chris Kreider (one goal, one assist) and Ryan McDonagh (two assists) have each notched two points. Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 1.96 GAA and a .922 SV% in two appearances. Following tomorrow’s game, the Rangers and Devils face off again on the following date: Apr. 7 (at New Jersey).
New York has earned at least one point in five straight games against New Jersey (4-0-1) and has won each of the last four meetings between the two teams.
The Rangers have earned at least one point in 31 of 43 regular season games against the Devils since the start of the 2007-08 season (27-12-4).
Rangers Assistant General Manager Jim Schoenfeld was the head coach of the Devils for parts of three seasons (1987-88 - 1989-90) and guided the franchise to its first playoff berth in New Jersey in 1987-88.
Devils forward Stefan Matteau is the son of former Ranger and 1994 Stanley Cup champion Stephane Matteau.
Cory Schneider's first NHL head coach was Alain Vigneault (Schneider was coached by Vigneault for parts of five seasons in Vancouver).
Chris Kreider and Schneider both attended Phillips Academy Andover (Kreider - 2007-08 - 2008-09; Schneider - 2002-03 - 2003-04) and Boston College (Kreider - 2009-10 - 2011-12; Schneider - 2004-05 - 2006-07).
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. DEVILS
Henrik Lundqvist - 52 GP, 32-14-6, 1.88 GAA, .931 SV%, 8 SO - Lundqvist has earned more career regular season wins and career regular season shutouts against the Devils than against any other NHL opponent.
Martin St. Louis - 53 GP, 19-30-49 - St. Louis has recorded 34 points (11 goals, 23 points) in his last 29 regular season contests against New Jersey.
Derek Stepan - 22 GP, 9-11-20 - Stepan tallied a hat trick in his last game against the Devils and has posted a multi-point game in each of his last three contests against New Jersey (five goals, two assists over the span).
New York has posted a 16-1-1 record when outscoring its opponent on special teams in 2014-15
The Rangers were 1-for-6 (8:21) on the power play on Apr. 2 at Minnesota
New York has tallied a PPG in each of the last two games
The Rangers were 2-for-2 (2:48) on the penalty kill on Apr. 2 at Minnesota
The Blueshirts rank seventh in the NHL on the penalty kill this season (84.3%; 188-for-223)
The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal in six of their last seven games (17-for-18; 94.4%) and in nine of their last 11 games (26-for-28; 92.9%). The Blueshirts are 36-for-39 (92.3%) on the penalty kill over the last 14 games and are 43-for-47 (91.5%) on the penalty kill over the last 17 contests. The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 19 of the last 25 games (62-for-69; 89.9%) and they are 124-for-143 (86.7%) on the penalty kill over the last 53 games.
New York is tied for fifth in the NHL in SHG (eight) this season and is tied for second in the NHL in SHG (18) since 2013-14.
Ryan McDonagh - 1 assist away from 100 in his NHL career
Derick Brassard - 2 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
Mats Zuccarello - 4 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
TAKING THE METRO
The Rangers clinched the 2014-15 Metropolitan Division title with a win on Apr. 2 at Minnesota. The Blueshirts have won a division title for the eighth time in franchise history and for the second time in the last four seasons (2011-12). The Blueshirts have won a division title twice in a four-season span for the first time since they earned two division titles in a three-season span from 1991-92 to 1993-94.
The Rangers’ 49 wins are tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in franchise history and their 105 points are tied for the fifth-highest single season total in franchise history.
MOST WINS IN ONE SEASON IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
MOST POINTS IN ONE SEASON IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
1. 52 (1993-94)
1. 112 (1993-94)
2. 51 (2011-12)
T-2. 109 (2011-12)
3. 50 (1991-92)
T-2. 109 (1970-71)
T-4. 49 (1970-71)
T-2. 109 (1971-72)
T-4. 49 (2014-15)
T-5. 105 (1991-92)
T-5. 105 (2014-15)
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. 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 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
New York enters the contest with the top record in the Eastern Conference. 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 - .682), goal differential (first - plus-53), ROW (tied for first - 45), wins (second - 49), points (second - 105), goals against per game (third - 2.29), and goals per game (third - 2.99). The Blueshirts have the fewest regulation losses (21) and fewest overall losses (regulation + OT/shootout; 28) in the NHL this season.
New York has won six of its last eight nine games (6-3-0) and has earned at least one point in 11 of its last 14 home games (9-3-2). The Blueshirts have won 15 of their last 22 home contests (15-5-2) and 18 of their last 26 home games (18-6-2). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 28 of their last 36 home games, dating back to Oct. 16 (23-8-5).
ONE AND WON
New York has posted a 23-7-7 record in one-goal games this season and has posted an 11-1-2 record in its last 14 one-goal games, dating back to Feb. 10 at Toronto.
Alain Vigneault leads all Rangers head coaches (min. 100 games coached) in point percentage (.632) in franchise history and he leads all NHL head coaches in wins (407) since 2006-07. Vigneault's teams have earned a division title in six of the last seven seasons and in seven of the last nine seasons.
Rick Nash reached the 40-goal plateau for the third time in his career in 2014-15 and he is the 19th player who has recorded 40 or more goals with the Rangers in franchise history. Nash has also tied his career-high with 41 goals this season. He enters the game ranked among the top 10 in the NHL in all of the following categories: even strength goals (first - 32), goals (second - 41), goals per game (second - 0.54), games with a goal (second - 34), SHG (tied for second - four), SOG (third - 290), GWG (tied for third - eight), SHP (tied for fifth - four), plus/minus rating (sixth - plus-28), and takeaways (sixth - 70). He is the only NHL player who ranks among the top 10 in all of those categories. Nash is also the first NHL player to register at least 40 goals and 70 takeaways in the same season since 2008-09, when he and Jeff Carter both accomplished the feat.
Henrik Lundqvist is the only goalie in NHL history who has recorded at least 20 wins in each of his 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 (616), wins (336), shutouts (55), and GAA (2.26), and is tied for first in SV% (.921).
INJURIES (115 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
Kevin Klein - upper-body - 3-4 weeks
Mar. 29 - Recalled Chris Summers from Hartford (AHL)
Mar. 30 - Reassigned Chris Summers to Hartford (AHL)
Apr. 1 - Agreed to terms with Brady Skjei on an entry-level contract
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
· Apr. 3, 1928 – The Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, defeating the Boston Bruins, 4-1, in Game 2 of a total-goals semifinals series.
· Apr. 3, 1937 – The Blueshirts advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, defeating the Montreal Maroons, 4-0, in Game 2 of a total-goals semifinals series in Montreal.
· Apr. 3, 2012 – The Rangers clinched the 2011-12 Atlantic Division title, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-3, in Philadelphia.
· Apr. 3, 2013 – After being acquired by the Rangers earlier in the day, Derick Brassard tallied a single-game career-high four points (one goal, three assists) in his Rangers debut, leading the team to a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at MSG.
· Apr. 4, 1993 – John Vanbiesbrouck earned his 200th career NHL win (and his final win as a Ranger), stopping all 24 shots he faced in a 4-0 victory over the Washington Capitals in Washington. At the time, Vanbiesbrouck became just the third goaltender to earn at least 200 career wins with the Blueshirts in franchise history (along with Ed Giacomin and Gump Worsley).
Above are the team issued pregame notes.