Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Storylines and stats: Rangers host Caps tonight at 6
The Capitals have won three straight; Rangers have at least a point in eight of last 11...
Is Rick Nash OK? The durable wing played 82, 75, 76 and 78 games over the past four seasons with the Blue Jackets and all 13 Rangers games so far. But he skipped practice yesterday for "maintenance" and Chris Kreider was summoned from Hartford after one game there. Torts expects him to play, Kredier likely here as precaution, unless someone else is dinged.
How does a rested Henrik Lundqvist, who outlasted the Caps in the seven-game playoff series last season, respond to his game off against the Isles? He and the Rangers lost 3-1 to the Devils in Newark on Feb. 5 after Martin Biron was in the net for Tampa on Feb. 2.
Carl Hagelin has scored in three straight games.....
Can Brad Richards bounce back from the rare third-period benching on Thursday? Have a feeling he will...
This from the team's stat pack:
- Last Season: New York was 2-2-0 overall (1-1-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Rangers out-shot the Capitals, 129-87, including a 47-24 advantage in the third period. Ryan Callahan led the team with four assists and five points in the season series, while Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko tied for the team-high with two goals. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA, and Martin Biron was 0-1-0 with a 4.01 GAA.
- The Rangers have won five of their last seven regular season games against the Capitals, out-scoring Washington, 26-14, over the span
- New York is tied for fourth in the NHL with a 5-2-1 (11 pts) record at home; Washington is tied for 22nd in the NHL with a 2-4-1 (5 pts) mark on the road.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. CAPITALS:
- Henrik Lundqvist — 22 GP, 13-7-2, 2.77 GAA, 3 SO
- Brad Richards — 50 GP, 8-27-35
- Ryan Callahan — 18 GP, 8-7-15
- Rick Nash — 9 GP, 7-5-12
- Marc Staal — 17 GP, 1-6-7
The Blueshirts' penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in each of the last four contests (12 times shorthanded). New York has posted a record of 3-1-1 when holding opponents scoreless on the power play.
- Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in four power play attempts (6:58) on Thursday vs. the Islanders. New York ranks 29th overall (5-48, 10.4%) and are tied for 25th at home (4-28, 14.3%). The Rangers are 1-6 (7:05) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/14 vs. NYI), and 0-0 (0:00) when four-on-three. Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
- Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Islanders scoreless in one attempt (2:00) on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. New York is tied for 10th overall (44-53, 83.0%) and ranks 14th at home (28-34, 82.4%). The Rangers are 2-2 (3:12) in three-on-five situations (last –1/29 vs. PHI), and 2-2 (1:57) when three-on-four (last – 1/31 vs. PIT). Shorthanded goals for (1): 1/20 vs. PIT (Nash).
The Rangers have registered at least a point in every game when scoring the first goal this season, posting a record of 5-0-1 in those contests, compared to 2-5-0 when allowing the game's first goal. The Blueshirts have posted a 5-0-1 mark when leading after the first period, and are 5-0-0 when leading after the second period.
The Blueshirts have posted a record of 4-1-1 when out-shooting their opponents, which is tied for eighth in the NHL. The Rangers are 3-4-0 when being out-shot by their opponent.
The Rangers rank second in the NHL in hits (388) this season, led by Callahan who is tied for eighth in the league with 43 hits. Boyle ranks second on the team and is tied for 14th in the NHL with 41 hits, while Marc Staal leads all Rangers defensemen and is tied for 24th in the league overall with 36 hits
THE HOT LIST:
- The Blueshirts enter the contest with a four-game point streak (3-0-1), and have out-scored their opponents, 16-9, over the span
- The Rangers' penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in each of the last four games (12 times shorthanded)
- Henrik Lundqvist — is 6-3-0 with a 2.10 GAA and a .922 Sv% in his last nine games; has held opponents to two goals or less in five of his last eight games (5-3-0, 1.99 GAA, .926 Sv% over the span)
- Carl Hagelin — enters the contest with a three-game point streak (four goals, two assists over the span), including a career-high, three-game goal streak, and has tallied eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last six games
- Dan Girardi — enters the contest with a career-high-tying, three-game point streak (one goal, three assists over the span)
- Rick Nash — enters the contest with a three-game point streak (one goal, three assists over the span), including a three-game assist streak
- Marc Staal — four assists in the last four games
- Ryan McDonagh — three points (one goal, two assists) in the last four games
- Marian Gaborik — 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in eight home games