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Nash-less Rangers pay visit to Senators

by Dave Lozo

RANGERS (8-6-1) at SENATORS (9-6-2)


Last 10: New York 6-3-1; Ottawa 4-5-1

Season series: This is the first of three meetings between two teams that played a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last season, with the top-seeded Rangers beating the Senators 2-1 in Game 7.

Big story: The Rangers are hitting the road without star forward Rick Nash, who is staying behind in New York with an undisclosed injury. The team hasn't ruled out Nash joining the team in Montreal for Saturday's game.

Team Scope:

Rangers: Without Nash against the Canadiens on Tuesday, the Rangers looked punchless in a 3-1 loss. Forward Marian Gaborik moved onto Nash's line with Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan, but wasn't very effective.

Anton Stralman scored the team's lone goal with that line on the ice, but the trio only generated five shots on net. In the Rangers' previous game against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, the Hagelin-Stepan-Nash combo had 14 shots, eight of which came from Nash.

Senators: With Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza lost for the remainder of the regular season, offense was expected to as tough to come by as victories. But in their last two games, with a lot of help from goaltenders Ben Bishop and Craig Anderson, the Senators have two wins, 2-1 on Monday in New Jersey and 3-1 at home against the New York Islanders.

Needing goals from new sources, the Senators on Tuesday received goals from Colin Greening, his second of the season, and the first NHL goals from Andre Benoit and Dave Dziurzynski. They'll need that same recipe of goaltending and timely scoring against the Rangers.

Who's hot: Hagelin has points in five straight games (five goals, three assists). … Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has a goal and two assists in his past four games.

Injury report: For the Rangers, it's Nash (undisclosed). … The Senators are without Karlsson (Achilles), Spezza (back), Milan Michalek (knee), Peter Regin (chest) and Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash).

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