GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Stat of the day: 3-9.
Should the Rangers fail to make the playoffs for the first time since the lockout in 2004-05, a determining factor could be how poorly the Blueshirts have played beyond the 60-minute mark.
"We've had 12 extra points on the board and we've only picked up three," coach John Tortorella explained Tuesday. "We're 3-9 and those are points that come back and bite you. We're 2-3 in the shootout and 1-6 in 4-on-4 [overtime]," including Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Sabres.
Tortorella has long lamented that the Rangers cannot complete plays with goals. "In the 4-on-4 you have to have the mentality to try and win, but you can't be sloppy about it," he said. "We do have a pretty good goalie as far as shootouts. That's the frustrating part in losing games 4-on-4. Not even getting them to the shootout."
One of the shootouts, a 1-0 loss on Jan. 12, came against the Devils, who host the Rangers in Newark Wednesday.
The No. 1 line of Vinny Prospal, Erik Christensen and Marian Gaborik will get "another whack," said Tortorella. "I thought [Gaborik] was more engaged . . . but they weren't on the scoresheet. I hope they at least get some offensive chances."
Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky skated together and Tortorella, who was pleased with the second-half performance of the trio of Sean Avery-Artem Anisimov-Olli Jokinen against Buffalo, will start with that unit. "I thought Sean and Joks did a really good job underneath the hashmarks, forechecking, holding on to pucks," he said.
Gaborik, the team's leading scorer who has not skated at full strength the last two games after a suspected groin pull in the Olympics, said: "I have to play every game starting tomorrow. There's no easy game down the stretch."