The Rangers face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Madison Square Garden (8:08 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 31-23-6, and eighth in the Eastern Conference with 68 points. The Rangers enter tonight's contest having been defeated by the Sabres, 4-2, yesterday at HSBC Arena, and have earned a point in three of their last six games. New York is 4-1-1 in their last six games at MSG. Following today's contest, the Rangers will travel to Toronto to face-off against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, February 25, at Air Canada Centre (7:30 p.m.), to complete their home-and-home set. The Maple Leafs, 21-26-12, currently rank 11th in the Eastern Conference standings with 54 points, and have lost seven of their last nine games. Tonight's contest between the Rangers and Maple Leafs will be preceded by a very special on-ice ceremony, as Harry Howell's #3 and Andy Bathgate's #9 are officially raised to the rafters at Madison Square Garden, joining only Ed Giacomin (No. 1), Brian Leetch (No. 2), Rod Gilbert (No. 7), Adam Graves (No. 9), Mark Messier (No. 11), and Mike Richter (No. 35) as the seventh and eighth Rangers to receive the team's highest honor. The highly anticipated ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.Download complete game notes >>
*(Adobe Acrobat Reader is required. Click here to download Acrobat Reader for free) Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised on MSG, with the live Bathgate-Howell ceremony coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York and on satellite radio at XM 208.
Rangers vs. Maple Leafs Pre-Game Notes
* The Rangers are 18-9-3 at home this season; The Maple Leafs have posted a 11-15-4 record in 30 road contests.
* The Rangers are 4-7-1 against the Northeast Division this season; The Maple Leafs have posted a 8-3-1 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.
* The Blueshirts have held opponents scoreless on the power play in their last five games at MSG (16-for-16).
* New York has posted a 28-15-6 record vs. Original Six opponents since the 2005-2006 season, including an 8-6-0 mark vs. Toronto during the stretch.
* The Rangers have averaged 3.07 goals for in their last seven games vs. the Maple Leafs (22 goals).
* Henrik Lundqvist
has posted a 4-4-0 record with a 3.66 goals against average in eight career regular season appearances vs. the Maple Leafs; In six career regular season appearances vs. Toronto, Stephen Valiquette is 3-1-0 with a 2.05 goals against average and one shutout.
* Blair Betts and Ryan Callahan
are tied for the team lead with one goal apiece in two games vs. the Maple Leafs this season; Nigel Dawes, Dan Girardi
, Dmitri Kalinin, and Fredrik Sjostrom have each collected one assist in the season series.
* Wade Redden
has registered 38 points (10 goals and 28 assists) in 56 career games vs. the Maple Leafs; Markus Naslund has notched 29 points (13 goals and 16 assists) in 28 career games vs. Toronto; Scott Gomez has collected 26 points (seven goals and 19 assists) in 31 career contests vs. the Maple Leafs.
* Naslund has tallied 22 points (12 goals and 10 assists) in his last 15 games vs. Toronto.
* Gomez (Dec. 31, 2005 - Belfour) and Naslund (Oct. 18, 2001 - Joseph) have each recorded a hat trick vs. the Maple Leafs.
* On days when a Rangers player has had his number retired, the Blueshirts have posted a 2-3-1 record (R. Gilbert on Oct. 14, 1979 - Rangers 3, Washington 5; E. Giacomin on Mar. 15, 1989 - Rangers 3, Winnipeg 6; M. Richter on Feb. 4, 2004 - Rangers 3, Minnesota 4; M. Messier on Jan. 12, 2006 - Rangers 5, Edmonton 4 (SO); B. Leetch on Jan. 24, 2008 - Rangers 2, Atlanta 1 (SO); A. Graves on Feb. 3, 2009 - Rangers 1, Atlanta 2 (SO)).
* The Blueshirts are 6-3-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season.
* Evgeny Grachev, the Rangers' third round selection (75th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has registered 34 goals and 30 assists for 64 points in 50 games with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season; The OHL rookie currently leads the Battalion and is tied for sixth in the league with 34 goals, while his plus-35 rating ranks first on the team and seventh in the OHL.
* New York lists no former Maple Leafs on their roster.
* Toronto's roster lists one former Ranger; Dominic Moore (2003-04 and 2005-06).All Time – Rangers vs. Maple Leafs
At MSG: 124-109-56-1
At Toronto: 88-161-39-12008-09 - Rangers vs. Maple Leafs
Oct. 17 Rangers 1 vs. Maple Leafs 0 (SO) at MSG
Nov. 1 Rangers 2, Maple Leafs 5 at Toronto
Feb. 22 Rangers vs. Maple Leafs at MSG
Feb. 25 Rangers vs. Maple Leafs at Toronto
Upcoming Regular-Season Schedule
Feb. 22 Rangers vs. Toronto, 8 p.m.
Feb. 25 Rangers at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Feb. 26 Rangers vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
Feb. 28 Rangers vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.
March 5 Ranger at Islanders, 7 p.m.Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 1-3-1
Last 10 NYR games: 2-6-2Injuries
* Paul Mara has missed three games with a shoulder injury.
* The Rangers have lost 22 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:
The Wolf Pack (29-23-2-3, 63 pts.) have won back-to-back games, after a 2-1 overtime win at home last night over Portland (Buffalo affiliate). That came after the Pack defeated Lowell (New Jersey affiliate) for the first time in five tries (1-3-0-1) Friday on the road, 5-2. The two wins have lifted Hartford into a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with Portland, four points behind first-place Providence (Boston affiliate). The Wolf Pack finish off a four-games-in-five-days stretch today (4:00), as they visit Manchester (Los Angeles affiliate). Next week sees the Pack play at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pittsburgh affiliate) Wednesday (7:05), host Manchester Friday (7:00) and visit Portland Saturday (7:00).
For more Wolf Pack news, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com