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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. New Jersey

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Game Preview

Tonight's Game
The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils tonight at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.; TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7FM), in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. The series is tied at two games apiece, following a 4-1 loss to the Devils in Game 4 on Monday at Prudential Center. The Rangers enter tonight's contest with a 208-224-8 record all-time in 440 playoff contests (116-87-2 at home; 92-137-6 on the road). New York has posted a 24-32 record all-time in Game 5 of playoff series.

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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network. You can also catch the radio broadcast on ESPN New York (98.7 FM) and on satellite radio at XM 92. Tune to MSG Network immediately following the live broadcast for a 90-minute Rangers-Devils postgame show.

Rangers vs. Devils Pregame Notes

* The Rangers were 3-2-1 overall (2-1-0 at home; 1-1-1 on the road) against the Devils during the 2011-12 season. Four of their six meetings were decided by two goals or less. Carl Hagelin led all skaters with six assists and eight points in the season series against New Jersey. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-2-0 with a 1.41 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and one shutout, while Martin Biron made 26 saves in his only appearance (4-3 shootout loss).

* Thirteen of their last 17 Rangers-Devils regular-season meetings have been decided by two goals or less.

* The Rangers are 5-2 in games when outscoring their opponent on special teams in the playoffs.

* The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play attempt (2:00) in Game 4, and are now 4-for-11 (36.4 percent) in the series. New York ranks fourth overall (13-for-68, 19.1 percent) overall, and sixth at home (7-for-37, 18.9 percent). The Blueshirts are 1-for-1 in five-on-three situations (0:40; last - 4/23 at OTT), and 0-for-1 while skating four-on-three (0:30; last - 4/23 at OTT). .

* The Rangers have won their last seven playoff series in which they held home-ice advantage, including a 4-3 series win against New Jersey in the 1994 Conference Final.

* The Blueshirts have opened six of their last nine playoff series with a win in Game 1. The Rangers' 3-0 win vs. the Devils on Monday was the 12th shutout by the Rangers in series opening games all-time. New York is 8-3 in playoff series when posting a shutout in Game 1. Overall, the Rangers have posted a 32-11 series record when winning Game 1, including wins in seven of the last eight playoff series in which the Blueshirts won the opening game

* Rangers defensemen lead the league in playoff scoring with a combined 11 goals and 35 points in 18 games. Dan Girardi leads all defensemen in points (11), and is tied for first in goals (three) and assists (eight). Michael Del Zotto is tied for second in points (10) and first in assists (eight), while Marc Staal and Anton Stralman are tied for the lead in defensemen goals with three apiece.

* Henrik Lundqvist has posted 30 or more saves in the playoffs 15 times, posting an 8-7 record with a 1.60 goals-against average, .951 save percentage and three shutouts in those contests.

* The Rangers rank first in the NHL with 340 blocked shots in the playoffs, paced by Dan Girardi (T-1st, 54), Ryan McDonagh (T-1st, 54), Marc Staal (6th, 35), and Ryan Callahan (9th, 30). Ruslan Fedotenko (22) and Brad Richards (16) also rank third and tied for sixth, respectively, in blocked shots among NHL forwards.

* New York leads the league with 603 hits in the playoffs. The Blueshirts have five players ranked in the top 11 in the NHL -- Ryan Callahan (1st, 76), Michael Del Zotto (T-5th, 58), Brian Boyle (T-7th, 53), Brandon Prust (10th, 49), and Dan Girardi (11th, 48).

* The Blueshirts have seven players with previous playoff experience against the Devils, led by Brad Richards (11 GP) who has registered three goals and eight assists against New Jersey entering the series.

* The Rangers list one former Devil on their roster: Mike Rupp (2002-03 to 2003-04, 2006-07 to 2008-09).

* New Jersey lists one former Ranger on its roster: Petr Sykora (2005-06).

Rangers vs. Devils Playoff History
The Rangers and Devils are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time overall and the third time in seven years. Their last postseason encounter was in the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a series won by the Rangers, 4-1. Overall, the Blueshirts have a 4-1 playoff series record vs. the Devils, posting a 16-12 mark in 28 postseason contests.

All-Time Rangers Playoff Records
Overall: 208-224-8
Home: 116-87-2
Away: 92-137-6
Goals for: 1,213
Goals against: 1,205

All Time Regular Season -- Rangers vs. Devils
Overall: 101-84-27-6
At MSG: 56-30-20-2
On Road: 45-54-7-4

2011-12 Rangers vs. New Jersey
Dec. 20 Rangers 4, Devils 1 at New Jersey
Jan. 31 Rangers 3, Devils 4 (SO) at New Jersey
Feb. 7 Rangers 0, Devils 1 at MSG
Feb. 27 Rangers 2, Devils 0 at MSG
March 6 Rangers 1, Devils 4 at New Jersey
March 19 Rangers 4, Devils 2 at MSG

Rangers-Devils Series Schedule
(Series tied 2-2)

May 14 Rangers 3, Devils 0 at MSG
May 16 Rangers 2, Devils 3 at MSG
May 19 Rangers 3, Devils 0 at Prudential Center
May 21 Rangers at New Jersey, 8 p.m.
May 23 Rangers vs. New Jersey, 8 p.m.
May 25 Rangers at New Jersey, 8 p.m.
May 27 Rangers vs. New Jersey, 8 p.m.*
* -- if necessary


* Michael Sauer has missed 18 playoff games due to a concussion, suffered on Dec. 5.

* Mats Zuccarello has missed 18 playoff games with a fractured wrist suffered on March 23.

* Brandon Dubinsky has missed 11 playoff games with an injury suffered on April 26.

* The Rangers have lost 57 total man-games to injuries or illness during this postseason.

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