This matchup brings back some memories for us all, whether you are a Rangers or Ottawa fan, the six-game series during the playoffs was a grueling and exciting series to watch. Let’s fast forward to the regular season though, we are 20 some odd games in and the Senators rank third in the Atlantic and the Rangers rank seventh in the Metropolitan.
Ottawa is sporting a tough overtime loss to one of the worst teams in hockey, but with an 8-4-6 record, the Senators look to get back in the win column and inch a little closer to Toronto. The Rangers went into Chicago on a six-game win streak, saw that get snapped after losing 6-3, quickly turned the page and went into Columbus Friday night, where they lost 2-0. The Rangers are on a two-game losing streak and must get back in the win column to stay afloat in this competitive Metropolitan division.
Players to Watch Tonight: OTT VS NYR
Some key players to watch tonight for Ottawa are Matt Duchene, who was recently acquired and has played four games for the club, recording zero points. Also, it is hard to take your eyes off Erik Karlsson, his dynamic two-way ability to puts him in a class of his own. But the real key to Ottawa’s success is having their two offensive guns, Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman producing tonight.
For the Rangers, with Rick Nash being moved to the first line, paired with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, the Rangers hope for Nash to explode on the offensive side of the puck and help the Rangers offense get back on track. Nash has 7 goals and 4 assists on the season. Also, we can look for Kevin Shattenkirk to continue to man this power play, leading the defensive side of things with 17 points and 9 power play points. In addition to that, Mika Zibanejad’s hot start will look to stay afloat vs his old team, Zibanejad has been the focal point of the Rangers offense all season and has 19 points(9 goals, 10 assists) in 20 games.
Goalie matchups for tonight have been confirmed and Ottawa is going to Craig Anderson and the Rangers turn to Henrik Lundqvist. Anderson is 7-4, 2.92 goals against and .898 save percentage on the year. Lundqvist is 8-6, 2.98 goals against and .908 save percentage on the year.
Rangers Keys to Success…
The Rangers are coming off a days rest as Ottawa is going back-to-back. The travel from Ottawa to New York may play a factor in tonights match up. With the late travel and long game for Ottawa last night, the Rangers shall look to jump on them early, forecheck hard and throw pucks into the net. Keeping the game simple and not allowing Ottawa to create time and space is the key to the Rangers success.
David Desharnais scratched, Paul Carey will replace him.
Craig Anderson gets the start tonight.
Nick Paul will replace Ben Harpur as Senators go with 12 forwards.