The Rangers face-off against the Washington Capitals tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to begin a three-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 22-12-2, and rank second in the Eastern Conference with 46 points. The Rangers enter tonight's contest having been defeated by the Sharks, 3-2, on Saturday at HP Pavilion at San Jose, and have won four of their last six games. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, December 27, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the second game of their three-game homestand. The Capitals, 20-11-3, currently rank third in the Eastern Conference standings with 43 points, and have won seven of their last nine games. Download complete game notes >>
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Today's game will be televised on MSG. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York and on satellite radio at XM 206.
Rangers vs. Capitals Pre-Game Notes
* The Rangers are 12-6-1 at home this season; The Capitals have posted a 7-10-2 record in 19 road contests.
* The Rangers are 8-2-0 against the Southeast Division this season; The Capitals have posted a 5-1-2 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.
* The Blueshirts have held opponents scoreless on the power play in each of their last five games at MSG (17-of-17).
* In one game vs. the Capitals this season, the Blueshirts have tallied one goal in three power play opportunities (33.3%).
* New York has won its last seven meetings vs. Washington at MSG, outscoring the Capitals, 25-12, during the stretch.
* Henrik Lundqvist
has posted a 7-3-1 record, along with a 2.47 goals against average and one shutout in 11 career regular season appearances vs. Washington.
* In the season series, Aaron Voros leads the Rangers with one power play goal, while Brandon Dubinsky
and Dan Girardi
are tied for the team lead with one assist each in one game.
* Scott Gomez has registered 27 points (nine goals and 18 assists) in 31 career games vs. the Capitals; Chris Drury has notched 20 points (six goals and 14 assists) in 23 career games vs. Washington; Markus Naslund has recorded 17 points (five goals and 12 assists) in 21 career contests vs. the Capitals.
* Nikolai Zherdev has registered 16 points (five goals and 11 assists) in the last 14 games.
* Paul Mara is one game shy of 600 NHL games; Colton Orr is one game shy of 200 NHL games.
* Michal Rozsival notched his 50th NHL goal and Girardi recorded his 50th career point on Wednesday vs. the Kings at the Staples Center.
* Evgeny Grachev (Russia) and Tomas Kundratek (Czech Republic) have each been selected to participate in the 2009 IIHF U-20 World Junior Championship in Canada; Grachev, the Rangers' third round choice (75th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has registered 19 goals and 16 assists for 35 points in 30 games with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season; Kundratek, the Rangers' third round choice (90th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has recorded one goal and six assists for seven points in 21 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season.
* New York lists no former Capitals on their roster.
* Washington's roster lists three former Rangers; Alexandre Giroux (2005-06), Michael Nylander (2005-06 to 2006-07) and Tom Poti (2001-02 to 2005-06).All Time – Rangers vs. Capitals
At MSG: 44-34-9-1
At Washington: 34-45-9-32008-09 - Rangers vs. Capitals
Nov. 8 Rangers 1, Capitals 3 at Washington
Dec. 23 Rangers vs. Capitals at MSG
Jan. 3 Rangers vs. Capitals at Washington
Feb. 11 Rangers vs. Capitals at MSGUpcoming Regular-Season Schedule
Dec. 23 Rangers vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Dec. 27 Rangers vs. New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 29 Rangers vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Jan. 3 Rangers at Washington, 7 p.m.
Jan. 5 Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 3-2-0
Last 10 NYR games: 5-5-0Injuries
* The Rangers have lost nine manpower games due to injury or illness this season.Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:
The Wolf Pack headed into their Christmas break on a high note, coming back from a 3-1 deficit Sunday at home vs. Toronto (Maple Leafs affiliate) to post a 4-3 win. That was after the Pack saw a season-high unbeaten-in-regulation streak (4-0-0-1) end Saturday in their most lopsided loss of the year, a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal affiliate). The Wolf Pack is 5-1-0-1 in its last seven games and has at least a point in nine of its last 12 (7-3-1-1), and has claimed sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division, with a record of 15-12-1-3 for 34 points. Ken Gernander’s club has played six of its last seven on home ice, where the Pack is 11-5-0-2 on the year and 5-1-0-2 in its last eight. Following the Christmas holiday the team starts a stretch in which it will play seven of nine on the road, with a visit to Bridgeport (Islanders affiliate) Friday (7:00). Saturday (7:00) sees the Wolf Pack travel to Springfield (Edmonton affiliate), and the club will be in Lowell (New Jersey affiliate) Sunday (4:00).
For more Wolf Pack news, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com