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Up next: Marian Gaborik, Sean Avery and the New York Rangers

[SBN Rangers blog - Blueshirt Banter]

Record: 24-21-7 (7th in the East)

Scorers: Marian Gaborik (29g, 32a), Vinny Prospal (9g, 27a), Brandon Dubinsky (11g, 17a)

As far back as I can remember (or is it "choose to remember?") the Rangers have never been an offensive powerhouse.  Sure, they've had some solid goal scorers in the red, white and blue over the years, but often one guy stands out as the perennial scorer while others just try to keep up. 

During the 2005-06 season Jaromir Jagr set a Rangers franchise record for most points in a season with 123.  Granted that is definitely one hell of a season, but  Michael Nylander, second on the team, had 79.  Fast forward one more year to 06-07 where Jagr would finish with 96, 13 more than Nylander's 83.

I don't suspect Marian Gaborik will come anywhere near Jagr's 123 (although a 100+ season is still likely), but there is a similar trend developing in NYC this season.  The man they call Gabby leads the team in goals and points, for a solid total of 61.  That's already 25 points more than Vinny Prospal.  He's also only one of three Rangers with double-digit goals (Ryan Callahan 12, and Brandon Dubinsky, 11 are the others), and the only Rangers with more than 20.  Compare that to Pittsburgh, who has seven guys with more than 10 goals and one with more than 30 (Sid, 33).

I bring the subject of goal scoring up because over the last two games the Rangers have seen more lights behind Henrik Lundqvist than on the other side of the ice.  Two straight shutouts, 2-0 to the Flyers and 6-0 to the Canadiens, have left the Rangers scoreless in six straight periods.  Although I guess it must also be said that they did score eight goals against the Lightning and six against the Canadiens in the week prior.

The Rangers have yet to solve the Penguins this season, losing all three match ups leading up to tonight's game.  Much like how the Devils have had Pittsburgh's number this season, it would appear as if the Penguins are doing just the same to the team across the Hudson.

Puck and thread drop at 7:00 tonight.  For those with VERSUS, you have no excuse for not showing up to the thread.