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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 tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the first of three January meetings between the teams. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 23-14-3, and sixth in the Eastern Conference with 49 points. The Rangers enter tonight's contest having been defeated by the Capitals, 2-1, on Saturday at the Verizon Center, and have recorded a point in five of their last eight games (4-3-1). Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, January 7, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.). The Penguins, 19-16-4, currently rank ninth in the Eastern Conference standings with 42 points, and have lost 10 of their last 14 games.

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Tune In Tonight!
Today's game will be televised nationally on Versus. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York and on satellite radio at XM 205.

Rangers vs. Penguins Pre-Game Notes

* The Rangers are 13-7-2 at home this season; The Penguins have posted a 11-7-2 record in 20 road contests.

* The Rangers are 7-3-0 against the Atlantic Division this season; The Penguins have posted a 7-2-3 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.

* New York has tallied one or more power play goals in seven of their last nine meetings with Pittsburgh, notching 10 goals in 45 power play attempts (22.2%) over the span.

* The Rangers have held the Penguins scoreless on the power play in four of their last five meetings (16-17, 94.1 percent).

* New York is 7-2-0 in their last nine games vs. Pittsburgh.

* The Blueshirts have won their last seven contests vs. the Penguins at MSG, outscoring Pittsburgh, 23-10, during the stretch.

* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 14-6-3 record, along with a 2.09 goals against average and one shutout in 23 career regular season appearances vs. Pittsburgh; Lundqvist is 2-0-0 with a 1.85 goals against average in two games vs. the Penguins this season.

* In the season series, Scott Gomez leads the Rangers in scoring with three assists, while Nikolai Zherdev has notched a team-leading, two goals in two games.

* Gomez has registered 44 points (nine goals and 35 assists) in 52 career games vs. the Penguins; Chris Drury has notched 26 points (10 goals and 16 assists) in 29 career games vs. Pittsburgh; Markus Naslund has recorded 17 points (11 goals and six assists) in 16 career contests vs. the Penguins.

* Lundqvist (19 wins) is looking to become just the fifth goaltender in NHL history to begin his career with four straight 20-win seasons (Mike Liut, 1979-84; Bill Durnan, 1943-50; Frankie Brimsek, 1938-43; George Hainesworth, 1926-32); Only three other Rangers netminders posted four consecutive 20-win seasons (Mike Richter, 1995-01; Ed Giacomin, 1965-73; Dave Kerr, 1937-40).

* Nigel Dawes has registered four points (two goals and two assists) in the last four games; He is looking to skate in his 100th NHL game tonight

* Two Rangers prospects participated in the 2009 IIFH U-20 World Junior Championship in Canada; Evgeny Grachev, the Rangers' third round choice (75th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has registered two goals and two assists for four points in six contests for Russia heading into their Bronze Medal matchup vs. Slovakia today; Tomas Kundratek, the Rangers' third round choice (90th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, finished tied for third among all defensemen in assists (six) and fourth in points (six) while skating in six games for the Czech Republic.

* New York lists two former Penguins on their roster; Naslund (1993-94 to 1995-96) and Michal Rozsival (1999-00 to 2002-03).

* Pittsburgh's roster lists three former Rangers; Pascal Dupuis (2006-07), Petr Sykora (2005-06) and Jeff Taffe (2005-06).

All Time – Rangers vs. Penguins
Overall: 109-89-23-6
At MSG: 62-43-9-1
At Pittsburgh: 47-46-14-5

2008-09 - Rangers vs. Penguins
Oct. 25 Rangers 3, Penguins 2 (SO) at MSG
Dec. 3 Rangers 3, Penguins 2 (SO) at MSG
Jan. 5 Rangers vs. Penguins at MSG
Jan. 18 Rangers vs. Penguins at Pittsburgh
Jan. 28 Rangers vs. Penguins at Pittsburgh
March 28 Rangers vs. Penguins at Pittsburgh

Upcoming Regular-Season Schedule
Jan. 5 Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Jan. 7 Rangers vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9 Rangers at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 Rangers at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 Rangers at Islanders, 7 p.m.

Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 1-3-1
Last 10 NYR games: 5-4-1


* None

* The Rangers have lost 10 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

Highlights from Hartford

Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:

The Wolf Pack split their first two games of calendar year 2008 this past weekend, both on home ice. On Friday night the Pack scored a 3-1 victory over the Western Conference co-leaders, the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit), who came into the game 7-0-1-0 in their previous eight games.  Saturday, however, saw the Wolf Pack fall to the league-leading Hershey Bears (Washington affiliate) by a score of 6-2.  The Pack are 7-4-0-1 in their last 12 games as they start a stretch of four straight road games tomorrow night (8:30) at Manitoba (Vancouver affiliate).  The Wolf Pack and the Moose also do battle Wednesday night (8:30), before the Pack move on to Springfield (Edmonton affiliate) on Friday (7:30) and Bridgeport (Islanders affiliate) Saturday (7:00).

For more Wolf Pack news, visit
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