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Preview: Senators at Rangers

Ottawa center Derick Brassard faces former team for first time since offseason trade

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

SENATORS (13-7-1) at RANGERS (15-6-1)

7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, TSN5, MSG, NHL.TV

 
Senators team scope

Center Derrick Brassard will play against the New York Rangers for the first time since he was acquired by the Ottawa Senators on July 18 in a trade that sent forward Mika Zibanejad to New York. Brassard spent parts of four seasons with the Rangers from 2013-16 and had 174 points (69 goals) in 254 games, including a career-high 27 last season, which led the Rangers. "It's a big game. It's a special day, special game but I'm not going to try and change anything," Brassard said Sunday. "I'm coming here with my teammates to try and win a hockey game. It wasn't easy the first time I played Columbus [after he was traded to the Rangers in 2013] ... I don't think it's going to be any easier tonight, but I'm going to have to just play my game and play hockey and try to do some good things on the ice. Right now we're playing well defensively and I'm trying to get some good chemistry with [Mark] Stone and [Mike] Hoffman now. I'm playing the game the way I'm supposed to play and hopefully I can chip in offensively." Craig Anderson will start after he made 32 saves in a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. The Senators have won three straight games and will try for a season-high fourth straight win. Ottawa did not hold a morning skate.

Video: NSH@OTT: Brassard fires a wrister past Rinne

 
Rangers team scope

Backup Antti Raanta will start after Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves in a 3-2 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. That likely will be the only lineup change, although the lines at the morning skate Sunday were different than the game on Friday. Derek Stepan and Jesper Fast moved up to the top line with Chris Kreider; Kevin Hayes and Brandon Pirri joined Michael Grabner on the second line; Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller and Rick Nash, who were on different lines on Friday, were on the third line, and Jimmy Vesey joined the fourth line with Matt Puempel and Josh Jooris. The most noticeable change was that Pirri moved from center to wing and Miller moved to center. "Pirri has been very good on faceoffs but I think he's a little bit more comfortable on the wing," coach Alain Vigneault said. "That versatility that we can play him in all three positions is a big bonus. J.T. has played (center) before and maybe for tonight against Ottawa, it might be a good spot for him." Puempel will play his former team for the first time since he was claimed off waivers from Ottawa on Monday. New York is 8-3-1 at home but has lost three straight at Madison Square Garden (0-2-1).

 Video: NYR@PIT: Raanta denies Crosby's one-timer

 
Senators projected lineup

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Zack Smith -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Chris Kelly -- Curtis Lazar -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki -- Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Max McCormick, Fredrik Claesson

Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion)

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Jesper Fast

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- Brandon Pirri

Mats Zuccarello -- J.T. Miller -- Rick Nash

Matt Puempel -- Josh Jooris -- Jimmy Vesey

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Klein

Antti Raanta

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Oscar Lindberg, Adam Clendening

Injured: Pavel Buchnevich (back), Mika Zibanejad (broken left fibula)

 

Status report

Claesson was recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, and McCormick was recalled on Sunday. Each could play because the Senators are dealing with injuries. "The defenseman could be the same, or could not, the forwards could be the same or could not," Boucher said. "We are bringing up McCormick just in case. We have a few guys banged up, so we have a game-time decision for some guys." MacArthur, who hasn't played in a game this season, skated Saturday in a non-contact jersey. ... Vigneault said Buchnevich is still doing off-ice work and Zibanejad will remain in a boot for a few weeks.

 

Who's hot

Brassard has two goals and three points in five games. Hoffman has a goal and four points in three games. Stone has two goals in three games. ... Hayes has two goals in three games. Grabner leads the Rangers with 12 goals. Zuccarello has one goal and four assists in six games.

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