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Rangers Battle Senators at Madison Square Garden

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

After a big bounce back win Friday afternoon in Philadelphia, the Rangers return home to take on the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden Sunday night.

New York is coming off a 3-2 victory Friday in what was a tight checking, physical affair against the Flyers. The Blueshirts received goals from Derek Stepan, Kevin Hayes and the debuting Matt Puempel, while Henrik Lundqvist turned aside a season-high 40 saves to improve to 10-6-1 on the year.

Sunday marks the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Senators, and the first of two at The Garden. Last season, the Rangers went 2-1 against Ottawa, with Ryan McDonagh leading the way with three points in the season series.

Antti Raanta will get the start for the Rangers Sunday night. He's 5-0 with a 2.22 GAA and a .934 SV%.

Stepan has been the hottest Blueshirt against Ottawa entering tonight's contest, with seven points in his last eight matches against the Senators. Rick Nash has eight points in his last 11 games against the team from Canada's capital city.

Sunday marks the first meeting for Puempel against his former squad, who waived him a week ago to lead to his arrival on Broadway a day later. In addition to the goal Friday, Puempel finished his Rangers debut with two shots and a plus-1 rating in 12:32 of ice time.

The Senators enter tonight's game coming off a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes Saturday night in Ottawa. Forward Kyle Turris scored with 3:32 remaining in the game to lift the Senators to the one-goal victory. Goaltender Craig Anderson made 32 saves for his 10th win of the season.

With Anderson playing Saturday, goaltender Mike Condon is expected to get the start against the Rangers. He's 2-1 this season with the Senators, who acquired him earlier in the season from Pittsburgh.

Defenseman Erik Karlsson is leading the way offensively for the Senators with 16 points in 20 games. Turris ranks second on the squad with 13 points, but is leading the way with 10 goals. In fact, no other Senator has more than five goals after Turris.

As a whole, Ottawa has had difficulty in the offensive zone this season, with its 48 goals this season tied for fourth-fewest in the NHL.

Former Ranger Derick Brassard will face his former team for the first time as a member of the Senators after being dealt to Ottawa in the offseason for Mika Zibanejad. Brassard has nine points in 21 games, including just three goals, though two of those have come in the last five games.

Rangers (15-6-1, 31 pts) vs. Senators (13-7-1, 27 pts)

7 PM at Madison Square Garden

Live coverage begins on MSG Network at 6:30 PM

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