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Reeling Rangers visit shaky Senators

by Dave Lozo /

RANGERS (10-8-1) at SENATORS (8-6-2)

Last 10 -- Rangers 3-6-1; Senators 4-4-2

Season series - This is the second meeting of the season between the teams. The Rangers won the first meeting 5-2 at Madison Square Garden on opening night.

Big story - The banged up and reeling Rangers are just 1-4-1 in their last six road games, while the Sens are kicking off a five-game homestand with an afternoon contest.

Team Scope:

Rangers - They've won just three of their past 11 games and were beaten 5-3 at home by Atlanta on Thursday. Centers Brandon Dubinsky and Chris Drury are out indefinitely. Does that mean lineup changes are afoot?

"I am not sure what we are going to do. It is hard," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "Am I interested in play guys 27, 28 minutes? No, I don't think that is a great situation. I am hoping other guys step so they'll get the minutes."

Senators -
Facing former Senators goalie Ray Emery on Thursday night, Ottawa hung tough with the Flyers for two periods. But a three-goal outburst buried the Sens in a 5-1 loss.

Coach Cory Clouston didn't have many kind words for starting goaltender Pascal Leclaire.

"We need more from (Leclaire). For the most part, the games we've won, he's been there for us," he said. "When he's been there, the chances of us winning are pretty good. For the most part, he's made some timely saves in our wins. The last little while, he has given up some goals that have lost some momentum for us."

Backup Brian Elliot is likely to get the start in net against the Rangers. Elliott made 25 saves in a 2-0 home loss against the Rangers on Jan. 10, his only career start against New York.

Who's hot - Rangers forward Marian Gaborik has 3 goals and 3 assists in his past five games. Senators leading scorer Daniel Alfredsson has 3 goals in his last 5 contests against the Rangers.

Injury report - Dubinsky (hand) is out indefinitely; Drury (concussion) didn't dress Thursday but could be back. For Ottawa, defenseman Anton Volchenkov (elbow) is expected to miss about two more weeks.

Stat pack - Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 4-2-0 with a 1.66 GAA in his last six starts against Ottawa. Leclaire is 2-3-1 with a 3.55 goals-against average in his last seven starts.

Puck drop -
The Senators haven't been too resilient recently after allowing the opposition to score, something that Clouston says has to change.

"We have to find a way not to have an emotional letdown," he said after Thursday's loss. "The first 40 minutes we played well. I don't know if you can play a better road game than that and that goal early in the third really seemed to deflate us."

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