The Rangers play Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow, Apr. 20, at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m. ET — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The best-of-seven series is tied at one game apiece, following the Penguins’ 4-3 victory in Game 2 of the series on Saturday, Apr. 18 at Madison Square Garden.
Tomorrow is the Rangers’ 482nd all-time playoff game. The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 227-246-8 all-time playoff record.
RANGERS VS. PENGUINS – 2014-15 REGULAR SEASON IN REVIEW
The Rangers posted a 3-0-1 record (2-0-0 at home, 1-0-1 on the road) against the Penguins in the regular season in 2014-15. Henrik Lundqvist appeared in all four games of the season series, posting a 3-0-1 record, along with a 1.69 GAA and a .950 SV%. Rick Nash led all skaters with four goals, seven points, and a plus-five rating, and tied for first among all skaters with three assists. Derick Brassard and Martin St. Louis each tallied five points (two goals, three assists) in the four contests.
RANGERS VS. PENGUINS – PLAYOFF HISTORY
The Rangers and Penguins are playing against each other in a playoff series for the second consecutive season, and for the sixth time overall. The Rangers have posted a 1-4 playoff series record against Pittsburgh, and defeated the Penguins, four games to three, in the Metropolitan Division Finals last season. New York is facing Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since the Patrick Division Semifinals in 1989.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. PENGUINS (Regular Season)
- Martin St. Louis – 54 GP, 19-33-52 – St. Louis tallied a point in all four regular season games against Pittsburgh in 2014-15 (two goals, three assists) and recorded a point in eight of his last nine regular season games against the Penguins (two goals, nine assists).
- Derick Brassard – 14 GP, 5-11-16 – Brassard registered a point in each of the last eight regular season games he played against Pittsburgh and nine of 10 regular season games against the Penguins since he made his debut with the Rangers against Pittsburgh on Apr. 3, 2013 (five goals, eight assists in the 10 contests).
- Mats Zuccarello – 14 GP, 3-9-12 – Zuccarello notched a point in seven of his last eight regular season games against the Penguins (three goals, six assists).
- The Rangers have posted a 1-0 record when outscoring its opposition on special teams in the playoffs this year. New York posted a 17-1-1 record when outscoring its opponent on special teams during the regular season in 2014-15.
- The Rangers were 1-for-7 (13:32) on the power play in Game 2 vs. Pittsburgh
- New York has tallied a PPG in each of its last three games (regular season and playoffs), four of its last five games, and six of its last nine games
- The Rangers were 2-for-4 (7:36) on the penalty kill in Game 2 vs. Pittsburgh
- The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal in 10 of their last 14 regular season and playoff games (30-for-35; 85.7%) and in 13 of their last 18 games (39-for-45; 86.7%). The Blueshirts are 49-for-56 (87.5%) on the penalty kill over the last 21 games and are 56-for-64 (87.5%) on the penalty kill over the last 24 contests. The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 23 of the last 32 games (75-for-86; 87.2%) and they are 137-for-160 (85.6%) on the penalty kill over the last 60 regular season and playoff games.
- The Blueshirts ranked sixth in the NHL on the penalty kill during the regular season (84.3%; 198-for-235)
- New York tied for third in the NHL in SHG (nine) during the regular season. Over the last two seasons (including playoffs) the Rangers have tallied more SHG (22) than any other NHL team.
SPLITTING THE DIFFERENCE
The Rangers have split the first two games of a playoff series in six of their last 10 series (including this year’s series against the Penguins), dating back to the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa in 2012. The Blueshirts have posted a 4-1 series record when splitting the first two games of a series over the span.
The Blueshirts posted a 28-11-2 record on the road during the regular season in 2014-15. New York’s 28 road wins tied the record for the most road wins earned by an Eastern Conference team in one season in NHL history (New Jersey also recorded 28 road wins in 1998-99). New York’s 28 road wins were also tied for the second-most wins any team has earned in one season in NHL history (Detroit – 31 in 2005-06). The Rangers won 10 of their final 11 regular season road games, 15 of their final 18 road games, 17 of their final 22 road contests, 21 of their final 27 road games, and 24 of their final 32 road contests.
The Rangers lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (29) since the start of the 2012 Playoffs.
FIRST IN SCORE
New York has tallied the first goal of the game in each of the first two contests of the series, and has outscored Pittsburgh, 3-0, in the first period through the first two games. The Rangers led the NHL in first period goals (84) and first period goal differential (plus-30) during the regular season in 2014-15.
TOP OF THE HEAP
The Rangers posted a 53-22-7 record this season and earned the Presidents’ Trophy as the 2014-15 Regular Season Champions. In the process, the Blueshirts established single-season franchise records in wins (53) and points (113), eclipsing the previous records established in 1993-94 (52 wins and 112 points). The Rangers have now won the Presidents’ Trophy three times in franchise history (1991-92, 1993-94, 2014-15) and have finished the season with the league’s top record four times (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 since it was first awarded in 1985-86 (Detroit – six), and is the only Wales/Eastern Conference team to have won the Presidents’ Trophy three times.
Alain Vigneault enters the contest with 51 career playoff wins, and is tied with Hockey Hall of Famer Roger Neilson for 21st on the NHL’s all-time playoff wins list. Vigneault is one of 17 head coaches in league history who have earned at least 500 career regular season wins and 50 playoff wins.
Henrik Lundqvist appeared in his 94th career playoff game with the Rangers in Game 2 against Pittsburgh, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in playoff appearances (skaters and goaltenders included). Among the 30 NHL franchises, Lundqvist is one of two goaltenders who have appeared in more playoff games than any other player (skaters and goaltenders included) in their franchise’s history (the other is Martin Brodeur with New Jersey).
Since the start of the 2012 Playoffs, Lundqvist has posted a 16-10 record, along with a 1.81 GAA, a .935 SV%, and 4 SO in 26 playoff appearances which followed a Rangers loss. (Note: the games included were following a loss which occurred in the same year).
Rick Nash was named the Rangers’ MVP and the winner of the Players’ Player Award for the 2014-15 season. He is the eighth Ranger who has won both awards in the same season since 1958-59. Nash, who established career-highs in goals, plus/minus rating, and even strength goals this season, led the NHL in even strength goals (32), ranked second in goals per game (0.53), games with a goal (35), and shots on goal (304), tied for second in shorthanded goals (four) and shorthanded points (five), ranked third in goals (42), tied for third in game-winning goals (eight), and ranked sixth in plus/minus rating (plus-29) and takeaways (74). Nash was the only player who ranked sixth or higher in the NHL in all of those categories.
Nash has registered a point in all six regular season and playoff games he has played against the Penguins in 2014-15, tallying nine points (five goals, four assists) in those contests. He is tied for the team lead in points (two) in the playoffs.
DAN’S THE MAN
Dan Girardi skated in all 82 games of a season for the fifth time in his NHL career in 2014-15. He is tied with Brian Leetch for the most seasons in which a Ranger has played all 82 games since the NHL adopted an 82-game schedule in 1995-96. Girardi leads all NHL players in games played (regular season and playoffs) since he made his NHL debut on Jan. 27, 2007 (742). Girardi, who has skated in 91 career playoff games with the Rangers, is two games away from tying Walt Tkaczuk for first on the Rangers’ all-time playoff games played list (skaters only).
Derick Brassard has registered at least one point in all six of the Rangers’ regular season and playoff contests against Pittsburgh this season (four goals, three assists). Since he made his debut with the Rangers in a game against the Penguins on Apr. 3, 2013, Brassard has tallied 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in 19 regular season and playoff games against Pittsburgh. He is tied for sixth among NHL centers – and leads the Rangers – in points (26) since the start of the 2013 Playoffs.
Ryan McDonagh has tallied 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in his last 17 playoff games, dating back to Game 4 of the Rangers’ second round series against Pittsburgh in 2014. The Rangers captain has recorded 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his last 10 regular season and playoff games in 2014-15.
INJURIES (2 Man-Games Lost to Injury):
- Kevin Klein – day-to-day
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
- 20, 1997 – Wayne Gretzky scored his first playoff goal as a Ranger, which was the game-winning goal, and Mike Richter stopped all 31 shots he faced in a 3-0 win against the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.