Rangers have been hot on penalty-kill

Henrik Lundqvist and Dan Girardi defend against the Henrik Lundqvist and Dan Girardi defend against the Detroit Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader during the third period of a game at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 16 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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A short February schedule of four games started Tuesday night, and the Rangers hoped to carry over one critical element of their 11-4-1 run: the penalty-kill, ranked seventh in the league at an 83.1 success rate.

Through the last 16 games, the Rangers killed 35 of 43 power plays, and had allowed just one goal in the last nine chances. In the lockout-shortened 48-game season of 2012-13, the Blueshirts finished 15th in the NHL while shorthanded.

Looking for gold

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Three Rangers Olympians -- Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan, who will play for Team USA -- are scheduled to appear on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday morning. The trio, along with Henrik Lundqvist and Carl Hagelin (Sweden), Rick Nash (Canada) and Mats Zuccarello (Norway), are expected to leave for Sochi on Sunday.

Winning the silver medal in Vancouver in 2010 was an accomplishment, Callahan said, but gold is the target in Russia. "We put pressure on ourselves," he said.

Growing family

Marc Staal was missing from the morning skate, but not because of an injury or illness. The defenseman and his wife, Lindsay, welcomed their first child, a daughter, Anna Veralyn, to New York.

Ice chipsEntering Tuesday night, Henrik Lundqvist was five wins away from Mike Richter's franchise record of 301. He should break that mark in March . . . LW Derek Dorsett, whose left leg was broken when he blocked a shot from Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen on Jan. 3, continues to work out off-ice and will skate during the Olympic break.

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