The Ottawa Senators continue to wind down their season as they travel to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers. Ottawa comes off a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, while the red-hot Rangers have won 5 on a row. The Blueshirts began the month on the verge of slipping out of the playoffs, but with a run of 7 wins in 8 games (that began with a March 4 win over Ottawa) they have given themselves a bit of a cushion over 9th place Carolina. Craig Anderson will likely return to the Ottawa net, his first start since inking his 4-year contract extension. Henrik Lundqvist will most likely be in the Ranger cage, but if there is any game he could be rested, it would be this one.
The Rangers lead the season series 2 games to 1, with all games being won by the road team. The Rangers have outscored the Senators 12-7 in the three previous games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Craig Anderson – Returning after missing three starts, and after signing a 4-year, $12.75 million contract extension. The spotlight will be brighter now that he has accepted the starting role in Ottawa going forward.
Marian Gaborik – As the Slovak winger goes, so go the Rangers. The offensive catalyst has points in 13 of his last 18 games (7G, 8A). Gaborik has 13 points in 11 career games against the Senators.
LAST 5 GAMES
|PP||6/20 (30.0%)||6/16 (37.5%)|
|PK||16/17 (94.1%)||10/13 (76.9%)|
THREE KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY
Sound Defense – The Senators have given up more than 30 shots in 7 of their last 8 games. The players need to give their goaltenders more support and not rely on them to save their bacon every night.
Stay Out of The Box – The Rangers PP is on fire right now, and giving them more than 1 or 2 power plays will be suicidal, despite the recent success of the Senators PK.
Solving the King – Lundqvist has a league leading 10 shutouts this season, including his last game against Florida. Although he has a losing record (10-11) against Ottawa in his career, his 1.98 GAA and .933 SP vs. the Sens shows he is not the reason why.
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