NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 18th
(All times Eastern)
New York Rangers (25-21-3) at Ottawa Senators (21-18-9), 2 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging New York Rangers will aim for fifth win in
six games when they visit the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon at
Canadian Tire Centre.
In addition to winning four of five outings, New York is boasting a 9-3-1
record over its last 13 games. The recent hot stretch has pushed the Rangers
into a tie with Philadelphia for second place in the Atlantic Division. The
top three teams in each division get an automatic berth to the postseason.
Henrik Lundqvist was the star for the Blueshirts in a 1-0 win Thursday over
the visiting Detroit Red Wings. Lundqvist came out on top of a goaltending
duel with Jimmy Howard and Mats Zuccarello scored the game's only goal with
5:58 remaining in the third period.
Lundqvist turned away 38 shots in delivering his third shutout of the season
and just getting the better of Howard, who returned from a hip flexor injury
to stop 47-of-48 shots in a hard-luck defeat.
"Both guys, both Hank and Howard, had their A-game out there," Rangers head
coach Alain Vigneault remarked. "They were seeing the puck and controlling
their rebounds. We were just fortunate to finally be able to put one past
The Rangers finally got one past the Detroit netminder on their 45th chance of
the game. Skating in on a 3-on-2 rush, Zuccarello attempted a pass across the
crease that was deflected by Red Wings defenseman Brian Lashoff and caromed
underneath Howard's right arm, breaking the scoreless stalemate in the 55th
minute of play.
"It was one of those (games) where a typical goal like that was going to
decide the game," said Zuccarello, who is tied for the team lead this season
with 12 goals.
The close win helped New York wrap a four-game homestand with a 3-1-0 record
and improved the club's season mark at Madison Square Garden to 11-11-3. The
Rangers, who are 14-10-0 on the road, will only be away from the Garden for
one game, as they're set to begin a three-game homestand tomorrow evening
Cam Talbot will start in net for the Rangers today and Lundqvist will get the
call Sunday against the Caps.
The Senators had a two-game win streak halted Thursday by visiting Montreal.
but the overtime setback did extend Ottawa's point streak to eight games
(6-0-2). The Sens overcame an early 3-0 deficit to force overtime, but P.K.
Subban's goal 23 seconds into the extra session lifted the Canadiens to a 5-4
triumph in Canada's capital city.
Erik Karlsson registered a goal and two assists for the Senators, who also had
a four-game home winning streak snapped.
Ottawa had won four straight at home and was back at Canadian Tire Centre
after a 3-0-1 road trip. The Sens are 11-10-5 on home ice this season and will
head out for four straight on the road after this afternoon's contest.
Craig Anderson surrendered all five goals on just 23 shots in the loss.
Ottawa trailed 3-0 in the first period, but was able to cut the deficit to one
by the end of 20 minutes and the Sens held a 4-3 edge heading into the third
period. However, Montreal tied the game on a Tomas Plekanec goal with 8:58
left in the third and Subban beat Anderson from the right circle to end the
contest early in the extra session.
"I thought we played the third period a little timid again and didn't
establish our game and establish a forecheck," said Ottawa head coach Paul
Today's game marks the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Sens
this season. Ottawa has claimed five straight overall against New York in the
regular-season series and has taken the last three tilts in Ottawa.
01/18 10:33:36 ET