Dec 18, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• Since signing a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension on Dec. 4, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is 2-3-1, with a 3.42 GAA and .878 save%. During that span, he has allowed 18 goals, including three or more in five consecutive starts. Only the Stars’ Kari Lehtonen (six) has a longer active streak of allowing 3+ goals.
• Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is among the NHL’s elite in all four major goaltending categories this season: wins (19, ranked 1st), GAA (1.98, 7th), save percentage (.925, T-9th) and shutouts (3, T-1st). However, his numbers on the road are notably weaker than at home.
Home: 13-2-0 1.63 GAA .943 sv% 1 shutout
Road: 6-6-1 2.39 GAA .899 sv% 2 shutouts
• Penguins center Sidney Crosby has scored 20 goals in 44 career games vs. the Rangers. However, the “Blueshirts” have kept Crosby without a goal in 11 straight meetings, the longest active streak of any team against the Penguins’ captain. St. Louis (7) is the only other NHL team that has shut out Crosby in more than five games. (Elias Sports Bureau)
• The Penguins are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, the lone loss a last-minute, 3-2 defeat to the Bruins on Dec. 7. In their last nine games (8-1-0), they have outscored their opponents by a combined 30-12.
• The Penguins lead the NHL in power-play efficiency (26.5%) and are 2nd on the penalty kill (87.4%). They are the only team ranked in the top-five in both special-teams categories, and one of only three that are ranked in the top-ten in both (Montreal, Nashville).
• The Penguins enter tonight’s game with a 19-8-1 record vs. Eastern Conference teams and are 11-4-0 within the Metropolitan Division. No NHL team has more wins within its own division or conference.
• Rangers center Brian Boyle has gone without a goal in 19 straight games. That’s his third goal drought lasting 19 or more games since the end of the 2010-11 season, when he tallied a career-high 21 goals.
• Heading into action on Dec. 17, the Penguins had 170 man-games lost this season due to injury (2nd-most in the NHL to Anaheim – 181). To compare, the Rangers had 65 (7th-fewest in the league).
• With injuries to Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi and a suspension to Deryk Engelland, the Penguins are trotting out five defensemen with a combined 139 games of NHL experience and 28 points. The veteran presence along the Pens’ blueline is held by Matt Niskanen (445 games, 134 points).
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