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Rangers hope to have answer for Senators

by Dave Lozo
SENATORS (27-37-9) at RANGERS (40-30-4)


Last 10 --
Ottawa 6-4-0; New York 7-3-0

Season series -- This is the fourth and final meeting between these teams. The Rangers won two of three, including a 4-1 win in Ottawa on March 4.

Big story -- The Rangers avoided a trap on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers; now they'll have to do it again. The Senators seem destined for the draft lottery, but they've won five of eight to show the last thing they're doing is laying down to opposing teams.

Team Scope:

Senators --
Riding a little two-game win streak into Carolina, the Senators jumped to a 2-0 lead against the Hurricanes and looked to be in full spoiler mode. But Carolina stormed back and held on for a 4-3 victory Tuesday.

Curtis McElhinney allowed four goals on 24 shots, so look for Craig Anderson to get the start against the Rangers.

Rangers -- It took two periods for the Rangers to solve Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun on Tuesday night, but Brandon Dubinsky found a way midway through the period and gave the Rangers a 1-0 victory. The win kept them three points ahead of the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres moved them to within three points of the sixth-place Montreal Canadiens.

"There are no bad teams in this League," defenseman Dan Girardi said. "No game is an easy game. Ottawa has some young guys that are playing loose and playing well. We just have to take it one game at a time."

Who's hot --
Ottawa's Jason Spezza has 4 goals and 6 assists in his last seven games. ... Dubinsky has 2 goals and 4 assists in his last four games.

Injury report --
Daniel Alfredsson (lower back), Matt Carkner (lower body), Milan Michalek (left foot), and Pascal Leclaire (lower body) are all out indefinitely for the Senators, while center Peter Regin is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Anderson has missed the past three games with an undisclosed lower-body injury. … Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (undisclosed) is considered day-to-day and could return against the Sens.

Stat pack --
The two-goal first period Tuesday marked the first time the Senators had scored more than one goal at the RBC Center since their last win in Raleigh, 6-0 on Dec. 12, 2007. … The Rangers have won 40 games for a fifth straight season.

Puck drop -- "We're doing a lot better job of sticking with the game plan," Girardi said. "We're not getting frustrated, not trying to do stuff ourselves, sticking with what works. We've been winning some games here, playing well as a team and getting the job done."

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