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Game Notes: Rangers vs. Pittsburgh

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Tonight's Game

The Rangers face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins today in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals (7:00 PM) at Madison Square Garden. On Sunday, the Rangers were defeated by the Penguins, 2-0, in Game Two at Mellon Arena and now trail the best-of-seven series two games to none. New York enters today's game with a 193-206-8 all-time record in its previous 407 playoff contests, including an 107-79-2 mark at home. The Rangers have posted a 32-40 record all-time in Game Three of postseason series, including a 23-23 mark at MSG. In the Conference Quarterfinals, the Rangers eliminated the Devils in five games, marking the second consecutive season the Blueshirts advanced to the Conference Semifinals

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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised on MSG. There will be extensive postgame coverage on MSG, as well as a re-airing of highlights as part of the "Rangers in 60" broadcast at 11 p.m. You can also catch tonight's radio broadcast on ESPN 1050 New York.

Rangers vs. Penguin Pre-Game Notes:

* Including the regular season, the Rangers have won nine of their last 13 games at home (9-1-3), including a 2-0 record vs. the Penguins during the stretch; The Blueshirts have notched 44 goals while holding their opponents to a 2.07 goals against average (28 goals against) over the span.

* Jaromir Jagr is tied for third in the league in scoring, registering two goals and eight assists for 10 points in the playoffs; His eight assists are tied for the league lead.

* Brandon Dubinsky is tied for second in the NHL among rookies in playoff goals (three) and points (six), and ranks third in assists (three).

* Scott Gomez and Sean Avery are tied for fifth in the league with four goals apiece in the playoffs.

* Michal Rozsival is tied for sixth in the NHL among defensemen in scoring, tallying one goal and four assists for five points in seven postseason contests.

* Marc Staal leads all rookie defensemen in playoff scoring with three points (one goal and two assists); His two assists are tied for fourth overall among rookies.

* Dan Girardi is tied for third in the NHL with 36 hits in the playoffs.

* The Rangers have tallied three goals in nine power play attempts (33.3%) in two playoff games at MSG, which ranks first in the NHL.

* The following members of the Rangers have won a Stanley Cup: Jagr (Pittsburgh - 1991, 1992), Brendan Shanahan (Detroit - 1997, 1998, 2002), Gomez (New Jersey - 2000, 2003), and Chris Drury (Colorado - 2001).

* The following members of the Rangers have played in the Stanley Cup Finals: Jagr (Pittsburgh - 1991, 1992), Shanahan (Detroit - 1997, 1998, 2002), Gomez (New Jersey - 2000, 2001, 2003), Drury
(Colorado - 2001), Martin Straka (Florida - 1996), Marek Malik (Carolina - 2002).

* On Friday, the Rangers recalled 10 players from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL); goaltender David LeNeveu, defensemen Andrew Hutchinson, Corey Potter and Bobby Sanguinetti, and forwards Artem Anisimov, Dane Byers, Brodie Dupont, Lauri Korpikoski, Greg Moore, and P.A. Parenteau.

* The Rangers have three former Penguins on their roster; Jagr (1990-91 to 2000-01), Rozsival (1999-00 to 2002-03) and Straka (1992-93 to 1994-95, 1997-98 to 2003-04).

* The Penguins roster lists four former Rangers; Pascal Dupuis (2006-07), Adam Hall (2006-07), Petr Sykora (2005-06), and Jeff Taffe (2005-06).

All-Time Playoff History - Rangers vs. Penguins
The Rangers and Penguins are meeting in the playoffs for the fourth time overall and the first time in 12 years. The clubs' last postseason encounter was an Eastern Conference Semifinal series in 1996, won by Pittsburgh 4-1. Overall, the Blueshirts have a 0-3 playoff series record vs. the Penguins, posting a 3-14 mark in 17 postseason contests.

Series Schedule
(Pittsburgh leads series 2-0)
April 25 Rangers 4, Penguins 5 at Pittsburgh
April 27 Rangers 0, Penguins 2 at Pittsburgh
April 29 Rangers vs. Pittsburgh at MSG, 7 p.m.
May 1 Rangers vs. Pittsburgh at MSG, 7 p.m.
May 4* Rangers at Pittsburgh, 2 p.m.
May 5* Rangers vs. Pittsburgh at MSG, 7 p.m.
May 7* Rangers at Pittsburgh, TBD
* -- if necessary

Rangers' All-Time Playoff Records
Overall: 193-206-8
Home: 107-79-2
Road: 86-127-6
GF: 1,148
GA: 1,173

* None

* The Rangers have lost five manpower games due to injury or illness during the 2008 postseason.

Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:

The Wolf Pack's 2007-08 season, and Ken Gernander's first campaign as Pack head coach, ended in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, as the Wolf Pack, the second-place finishers in the Atlantic Division, were defeated, four-games-to-one, by the third-place Portland Pirates (Anaheim affiliate). The series concluded with a 3-2 Portland victory in Game Five at the XL Center Tuesday, April 22. That capped off a streak of four straight one-goal wins for the Pirates, after the Wolf Pack had captured the series opener at home, 3-1, on April 16. The Pack had finished the regular season with a record of 50-20-2-8 for 110 points, which set a franchise record for standings points and tied the team mark for most wins in a season

Individual highlights of the Pack's playoff run and 2007-08 season included:

Artem Anisimov finished the regular season as the Wolf Pack's highest-scoring rookie, with 16-27-43 in 74 GP, and at a plus-16, ranked tied for fifth among AHL first-year pros.

Andrew Hutchinson scored goals in both of the Wolf Pack's last two playoff contests, a 4-3 loss at Portland in Game Four and a series-ending, 3-2 defeat at home in Game Five. He also aptured the 2007-08 Eddie Shore Award (AHL's Outstanding Defenseman), the first Wolf Pack player ever so honored, adding to his 2007-08 First-Team All-Star nod. Hutchinson led AHL defensemen in regular-season points (64) and assists (46), and finished third among league blueliners in goals (18). He finished the regular season plus-28, which tied him for third-best among AHL defensemen and for fourth overall in league. In 2007-08, Hutchinson set Wolf Pack franchise records for single-season points and goals by a defenseman, while tying the tam mark for assists by a blueliner.

Lauri Korpikoski scored a goal in Game Five vs. Portland to the Wolf Pack a 2-1 lead at 12:43 of the second period of a game they would eventually lose, 3-2.  He also registered an assist in the Pack's 4-3 road defeat in Game Four.

David LeNeveu
went 6-0-2 in his last eight regular-season decisions.

P.A. Parenteau earned First-Star honors in the Wolf Pack's only win of their first-round playoff loss to Portland, a 3-1 triumph in Game One, with two goals, including the game-winner. He finished fourth in the AHL in regular-season points, with a career-high 81, and also established a career best with 34 goals on the year.

Corey Potter finished the regular season with the best plus/minus (+33) among AHL defensemen, and second-best overall plus/minus in the league.

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