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Overtime not kind to Rangers

by John Kreiser
The New York Rangers' lack of success in overtime and shootouts kept them out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2010.

Advantage Margin: -17
The Rangers went from having 17 more power-play chance than the opposition in '08-09 to 17 fewer last season mostly because they gave opponents 166 opportunities on the road while earning only 135 power plays.

Special Teams Goal Margin: +3
The margin was the same as a year earlier, but the way the Rangers got there wasn't. The power play was better (29th to 13th); the penalty-killing wasn't quite as good (second to seventh) -- and the Rangers went from allowing a League-high 14 shorthanded goals to seven.       

Goals by defensemen: 32
Rookie Michael Del Zotto (9 goals) gave the Rangers an offensive boost from the blue line during the early stages of the season, but New York is still looking for Brian Leetch's successor.

Overtime Record
Total: 4-7-4
OT: 1-7 SO: 3-4
One year after they made the playoffs because of their success in the shootout (10-6 in 2008-09), the Rangers missed the postseason for the same reason -- capped by a loss to Philadelphia in the season finale. Having the League's worst record in OT games didn't help either.

Times Scored First: 33 Record: 21-8-5
Another reason the Rangers saw their streak of playoff appearances end was the decline in their ability to get the first goal -- they did it eight fewer times than in '08-09. Nor were they especially good at turning the early leads they did get into wins; their .618 winning percentage was in the bottom third of the League.

Best 09-10 Number: 18
Victories by the Rangers in games decided by three or more goals; only division winners Chicago, San Jose, Vancouver and Washington had more. The Rangers were especially good at winning home blowouts -- 12 of their 18 wins at Madison Square Garden were by three goals or more.

Worst 09-10 Number: 4
Points earned by the Rangers when trailing after two periods, the fewest in the NHL. New York won just once (also a League low) and earned two OT points in the 28 games in which the opposition led after 40 minutes.

No big trips, no long homestands. The Rangers' longest road trip is four games, as is their longest stay at home. The lone four-game trip comes right before the Rangers end the season by playing their last three games at Madison Square Garden.
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