New York Rangers

Video: Nash takes NHL goalscoring lead with 32nd of season

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During the 2003-04 campaign, Rick Nash won his first and only Rocket Richard award as the league’s top sniper, finishing with 41 goals to share the honors with Ilya Kovalchuk and Jarome Iginla.

More than 10 years later, Nash is looking for Rocket No. 2.

Nash scored his league-leading 32nd goal of the season to open Rivalry Night against the Bruins on Wednesday, potting on the backhand after assists from Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider:

The goal moved Nash one ahead of Washington captain Alex Ovechkin and into sole possession of top spot in the league. New York’s prized sniper is now on pace for 53 goals this season, which would be a career-high and smash his old personal best, set in ’03-04.

Lundqvist is ‘day-to-day’ with a ‘neck injury’

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Henrik Lundqvist has a “neck injury” and his status is considered “day-to-day.”

The Rangers provided the update this afternoon via Twitter, adding that “further updates will be provided when more info is available.”

It was announced earlier in the day that Lundqvist would be held out of tonight’s game versus the Bruins, with Cam Talbot getting the start instead.

“Hank won’t be available tonight,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. “He has an upper-body injury that we are investigating right now.”

Lundqvist took a shot up high in Saturday’s game versus Carolina…

…and while Lundqvist managed to stay in the game and then play Monday versus Florida, Vigneault confirmed that the injury was “related” to that shot.

Obviously, not the greatest news for the Rangers. But at the very least, “day-to-day” suggests the injury isn’t overly serious.

Get your game notes: Bruins at Rangers

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Boston Bruins at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

TOP STORYLINES

• Bruins catching fire: In the 10 games since Jan. 7, Boston has posted an 8-1-1 record.

• This has been a significant turnaround for the B’s, who were criticized publicly by team CEO Charlie Jacobs. On Jan. 6, he called the season “disappointing” and the team’s performance “unacceptable.”

• Before this stretch began, Boston was 5th in the Atlantic and 1 point outside the playoff picture. Now, the B’s are 4th in the Atlantic, in the 2nd Wild Card spot, and 7 points clear of 9th-place Florida in the East.

• Last game (Jan. 31): BOS def. LA 3-1. Tuukka Rask stopped 30 of 31 shots and Brad Marchand scored twice to help defeat the defending champion Kings.

• New York back on track: The Rangers came out of the All-Star Break with a pair of losses (at NYI, vs. MTL), but now have wins in back-to-back games after beating CAR and FLA (outscored them 10-4).

• The Rangers lead the NHL in wins since December 8, going 18-5-0 in that timeframe.

• Last game (Feb. 2): NYR def. FLA 6-3. 11 Rangers registered points, including Rick Nash who scored twice to tie Alex Ovechkin for the league-lead in goals at 31. NYR outscored FLA 3-0 in the 3rd period.

• This game tonight concludes a 4-game home stand for NYR (currently 2-1-0).

BOSTON TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Patrice Bergeron leads the team in scoring (33 points), but has only 2 points (both goals) in his past 8 games.

• Brad Marchand had a pair of goals vs. LA, and now has 4 goals in his last 5 games.

• Loui Eriksson (neck) left the game vs. LA after taking a hit into the glass from Robyn Regehr. Eriksson, who had 2 concussions last season, is expected to return vs. NYR according to coach Claude Julien:

“Loui is doing okay. He’s stiff from that neck thing, but he’s expected to play the next game. It wasn’t as severe as it could have been.” – Julien on Monday

• Milan Lucic was held without a point vs. LA, but has 10 points (4G-6A) in his last 10 games.

• Torey Krug enters with an active 3-game point streak (2G-1A). He also has 10 points (2G-8A) in his last 10 games.

• Krug posted 40 points (14G-26A) during a strong rookie season last year, and he is improving slightly on that output this season with 26 points (10G-16A) in 46 GP.

• Tuukka Rask has started 9 of the Bruins’ 10 games during this 8-1-1 stretch, and after stopping 30 of 31 shots vs. the Kings on Saturday, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner is playing better than at the start of the season.

• In the 14 games before Rask’s current hot streak, he had only 1 game in which he allowed 1 or fewer goals. He has allowed 1 or fewer goals in 4 of the 9 games since.

RANGERS TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Rick Nash scored twice on Monday vs. FLA – once shorthanded and once into an empty net – to tie Alex Ovechkin (WSH) for the NHL goal-scoring lead at 31.

• Nash reached the 30-goal plateau for the 8th time in his career (1st w/ NYR – 3rd season w/ NYR).

• This is the 12th season since Nash entered the league in 2002-03 as a rookie. In that timeframe, only Ovechkin (10), Jarome Iginla (10), and Ilya Kovalchuk (9) have more 30-goal seasons than Nash.

“It’s a nice accomplishment [to score 30 goals]. It just shows how good my linemates are and how good the team is doing. Personal success always comes after team success.” – Nash after the game vs. FLA

• The last Ranger to lead the NHL in goals in a season was Lynn Patrick in 1941-42.

• NYR’s franchise record for goals in a season is 54 (J. Jagr in 2005-06). Nash is on pace for 53.

• His career high is 41 goals, set in 2003-04 (2nd NHL season; w/ CBJ).

• Carl Hagelin is providing the Rangers with solid secondary scoring of late. He has assists in consecutive games, and 5 points overall in his last 5 games (2G-3A).

• Dan Boyle has goals in consecutive games, including the game-winner Monday vs. FLA. He would tie his career-best (done 3 times) with a 3-game goal streak if he scores vs. BOS.

• Boyle had 9 points (4 goals) in his first 30 games this season.

Goalie nods: Struggling Fleury to start versus Oilers

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Marc-Andre Fleury will be between the pipes for the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Edmonton.

After starting the season so well, not to mention signing a $23 million extension, Fleury had a tough month of January, allowing 26 goals on 244 shots for a save percentage of just .893. (And his February didn’t start out too well either, with a 4-0 loss to Nashville on Sunday.)

Fleury’s five-on-five save percentage now ranks 23rd out of the 32 goalies that have played the most this season.

The Oilers are going with Viktor Fasth.

Elsewhere…

Cam Talbot for the Rangers versus Tuukka Rask for the Bruins.

Jonas Hiller for the Flames versus the Sharks, who have not announced a starter.

Video: Subban the latest to be fined for diving

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Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban has become the fifth player this season to be fined for diving/embellishment — on Wednesday, the NHL announced Subban was dinged $2,000 for an incident against the Rangers last week.

The details:

Subban was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 586 vs. Tampa Bay on Jan. 6. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 712 at New York on Jan. 29.

Subban was assessed a minor penalty for embellishment and Rangers forward Chris Kreider received a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play, at 13:05 of the first period.

And the incident:

The Habs rearguard joins the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck and Nashville’s James Neal in the quintet of players to be publicly outed as divers, under new rules put forth by the league this season.