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game preview

Senators at Rangers preview

Ottawa, New York play for first time since Eastern Conference Second Round

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

SENATORS (8-4-6) at RANGERS (9-9-2)

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


The Game

The New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators play at Madison Square Garden on Sunday for the first time since the Senators defeated the Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference Second Round last season.

The Rangers lost two in a row on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks (6-3) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (2-0). Their power play was 0-for-6 in those games after going 8-for-19 during a six-game winning streak that ended in Chicago.

The Senators were defeated in back-to-back games at home, including 3-2 in overtime against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. They lost 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. 

Center Matt Duchene has no points in four games since Ottawa acquired him in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 5. He has 20 shots on goal, including 18 in his past three games.


Players to watch

Senators forward Bobby Ryan has no points in two games since returning from a broken finger. He has been on a line with Duchene. Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said they've looked outstanding but haven't finished.

Rangers forward J.T. Miller, who has played most of his shifts on the wing, is expected to play center. He has won 57.9 percent of his faceoffs this season (95 of 164).


They said it

"Last year we had 21 points at this time after 18 games and [this season] we have 22. So, if you have one more point a monthly until the end of the year that's over 100 points, that's a lot of points." -- Guy Boucher 

"We went from a first 10-game segment, where we were 2-6-2, obviously had a lot of room for improvement, to this last 10-game segment, where we were 7-3. We lost our last two games, but we are going into the third [period] in both those games and we're one defensive play or one offensive play away from coming out of there with a win. So, we did some good things. We're starting a new segment." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault


Senators projected lineup

Tom Pyatt -- Matt Duchene -- Bobby Ryan

Ryan Dzingel -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Christopher DiDomenico

Nick Paul -- Nate Thompson -- Alexandre Burrows

Fredrik Claesson -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Johnny Oduya

Mark Borowiecki -- Cody Ceci

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Ben Harpur

Injured: Zack Smith (thumb), Chris Wideman (groin)


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Michael Grabner -- J.T. Miller -- Mats Zuccarello

Rick Nash -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Jimmy Vesey -- Boo Nieves -- Paul Carey

Ryan McDonagh -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Marc Staal -- Brendan Smith

Henrik Lundqvist

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: David Desharnais, Steven Kampfer

Injured: None


Status report

Desharnais will be scratched for the first time this season. … Boucher said he'll use Paul to give Ottawa a lineup featuring 12 forwards and six defensemen after using an 11-7 setup the past four games. He said he wants 12 forwards because the Senators are playing the second game of a back to back.


Stat pack

The Senators are 2-6 in games decided after regulation. They were leading or tied going into the third period in five of the six losses.

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