Game Preview: New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS
Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Senators: 41-26-13 (95 pts)
Rangers: 52-21-7 (111 pts)
The Rangers play their final regular season home game of the 2014-15 season tomorrow, Apr. 9, against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The 2014-15 Regular Season Champions enter the contest with a five-game winning streak, and they have earned at least one point in 25 of their last 30 games (22-5-3), including 15 of their last 19 games (14-4-1). The Blueshirts have won 22 of their last 29 contests (22-5-2), including 18 of the last 24 games (18-5-1). The Rangers have also recorded at least one point in 28 of their last 34 games (25-6-3). The Blueshirts have won 45 of their last 62 games (45-14-3), including 43 of their last 59 games (43-13-3) and 41 of their last 55 contests (41-11-3). The Rangers have earned at least one point in 58 of their last 76 games (51-18-7), including 51 of their last 66 games (46-15-5). The Rangers have posted a 52-21-7 record this season (111 pts), following a 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, Apr. 7 at Prudential Center. The Senators enter the contest with a 41-26-13 record this season (95 pts), following a 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, Apr. 7 in Ottawa.
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Prior to tomorrow’s contest, 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. SENATORS
All-Time: 37-38-3-4 record (15-23-0-2 at home, 22-15-3-2 on the road)
2014-15: Tomorrow’s game is the third and final meeting between the Rangers and Senators 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 the Senators, following a 5-1 win on Mar. 26 in Ottawa. Chris Kreider leads all skaters with three goals and four points, while Derek Stepan leads all skaters with three assists and a plus-five rating in the season series. Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot have combined to post a .949 SV% (56 saves on 59 shots) in two games.
New York has won four of its last five games against Ottawa (4-1-0) and has outscored the Senators, 22-11, in the five contests.
Ryan McDonagh and Kyle Turris were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2007-08). McDonagh, Turris, and Derek Stepan all attended the University of Wisconsin (Stepan: 2008-09 - 2009-10; McDonagh: 2007-08 - 2009-10; Turris: 2007-08).
Dan Girardi and Marc Methot were teammates in juniors with the London Knights for part of one season (2004-05). While Girardi and Methot played for London, the team won the OHL Championship and the Memorial Cup.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. SENATORS
Martin St. Louis - 53 GP, 15-30-48 - St. Louis has recorded a point in seven of his last nine games against Ottawa (two goals, eight assists).
Derek Stepan - 16 GP, 5-10-15 - Stepan has tallied a point in four of his last five games against the Senators, registering seven points (two goals, five assists) over the span.
Rick Nash - 15 GP, 9-1-10 - Nash has registered a goal in seven of 15 career games against Ottawa and has tallied five points (four goals, one assist) in seven games against the Senators since he joined the Rangers.
New York has posted a 17-1-1 record when outscoring its opponent on special teams in 2014-15
The Rangers were 1-for-7 (10:40) on the power play on Apr. 7 at New Jersey
The Rangers were 1-for-2 (3:27) on the penalty kill on Apr. 7 at New Jersey
The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the NHL on the penalty kill this season (84.5%; 196-for-232)
The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal in eight of their last 10 games (25-for-27; 92.6%) and in 11 of their last 14 games (34-for-37; 91.9%). The Blueshirts are 44-for-48 (91.7%) on the penalty kill over the last 17 games and are 51-for-56 (91.1%) on the penalty kill over the last 20 contests. The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 21 of the last 28 games (70-for-78; 89.7%) and they are 132-for-152 (86.8%) on the penalty kill over the last 56 games.
New York is tied for second in the NHL in SHG (nine) this season and is tied for the NHL lead in SHG (19) since 2013-14.
Derick Brassard - 1 goal away from 100 in his NHL career
Marc Staal - 1 assist away from 100 in his NHL career
Dan Girardi - 2 points away from 200 in his NHL career
Rick Nash - 3 points away from 700 in his NHL career
Mats Zuccarello - 3 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
TOP OF THE HEAP
As a result of their victory over New Jersey on Apr. 7, the Rangers earned the Presidents’ Trophy as the 2014-15 Regular Season Champions. The Rangers have now won the Presidents’ Trophy three times in franchise history (1991-92, 1993-94, 2014-15), and they have finished the season with the league’s top record for the fourth time in franchise history (1941-42, 1991-92, 1993-94, 2014-15). New York is the second NHL team to have won the Presidents’ Trophy at least three times and is the only Wales/Eastern Conference team to have won the Presidents’ Trophy three times.
The Blueshirts tied a single-season franchise record by earning their 52nd win of the season on Apr. 7 at New Jersey. New York has now recorded 52 wins in a season twice in franchise history (1993-94, 2014-15). The Rangers have earned 111 points this season, which is the second most they have earned in one season in franchise history and is one shy of their franchise record (112 in 1993-94).
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.
RANK AND FILE
The Rangers are the only team to rank in the top three in the NHL in both goals per game (third - 3.05) and goals against per game (third - 2.28) in 2014-15. The Blueshirts lead the NHL in all of the following categories: wins (52), points (111), point percentage (.694), goal differential (plus-61), and ROW (48).
CLINCHING A SPOT
By clinching a playoff berth, 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).
FIRST IN SCORE
The Rangers have outscored their opponent, 11-4, in the first period over the last six games and they have outscored their opponent, 82-54, in the first period this season. New York leads the NHL in first period goals and first period goal differential (plus-28) this season.
Alain Vigneault is the second head coach in NHL history who has earned a Presidents’ Trophy three times in his career (Scotty Bowman – four). Vigneault is also the fourth head coach who has earned a Presidents’ Trophy with two different teams in his career (Vancouver and the Rangers), joining Bowman (Pittsburgh and Detroit), Mike Keenan (Chicago and the NY Rangers), and Joel Quenneville (St. Louis and Chicago). Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins (410) since the start of the 2006-07 season and he leads all Rangers head coaches (min. 100 games coached) in point percentage (.639) in franchise history.
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 established a career-high with 42 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), games with a goal (second - 35), SOG (second - 304), goals (tied for second - 42), goals per game (tied for second - 0.53), SHG (tied for second - four), SHP (tied for second - five), GWG (tied for third - eight), takeaways (tied for fifth - 74), and plus/minus rating (sixth - plus-29). He is the only NHL player who ranks among the top 10 in all of those categories.
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 (618), wins (338), shutouts (55), and GAA (2.26), and is tied for first in SV% (.921).
HEY HEY HAYES
Kevin Hayes has notched 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the last 11 games, 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in the last 16 games, 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in the last 23 contests, and 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in the last 31 games. Over the last 31 games (since Feb. 7), Hayes ranks fourth in the NHL (min. 10 GP) in points per 20 minutes of ice time (1.14) and ranks eighth in the NHL in assists per 20 minutes of ice time (0.73).
Ryan McDonagh has tallied a point in five of the last six games, recording seven points (one goal, six assists) over the span. The Rangers captain is tied for first among all NHL defensemen in assists and points over the last six contests (since Mar. 29).
INJURIES (119 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
Kevin Klein - upper-body - 3-4 weeks
Mats Zuccarello - soreness - day-to-day
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
· Apr. 8, 1994 – The Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3, at MSG to capture their second Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history.
· Apr. 8, 2006 – Jaromir Jagr tallied his 53rd goal of the 2005-06 season, breaking Adam Graves’ single-season franchise record. The Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-3, in overtime.
· Apr. 9, 1989 – Mike Richter made his NHL debut in Game 4 of the Patrick Division Semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins at MSG.
· Apr. 9, 2011 – Ryan McDonagh tallied his first NHL goal, which was the game-winning goal, in the Rangers’ last game of the 2010-11 season. The Blueshirts’ 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils helped New York clinch a playoff berth on the final day of the season.
Above are the team issued pregame notes.