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Rangers Return Home to Host the Senators at MSG

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Rangers (9-9-2, 20 pts) vs Senators (8-4-6, 22 pts)
7 pm, Madison Square Garden
MSG Network; ESPN 98.7 FM

The Game

The Rangers look to rebound following a pair of losses on the road when the host the Senators at The Garden for the first time since last year's playoff series.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 2-0 loss against Columbus Friday night despite 40 saves by Henrik Lundqvist. 

With Saturday being a day off, any lineup changes are unknown. Alain Vigneault shuffled his line in the third period, most notably moving Rick Nash to the top line alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, while Pavel Buchnevich was slided onto a line with David Desharnais and J.T. Miller.

Vigneault did confirm Lundqvist would start Sunday's game against Ottawa.

The Rangers and Senators meet for the first time since Ottawa beat the Rangers in a six-game series last spring.

Like the Rangers, Ottawa enters tonight's game with losses in two straight, including an overtime loss to Arizona Saturday night. 

New York will get its first look at Matt Duchene in an Ottawa jersey tonight following the three-team trade that sent him north from Colorado. The deal added more firepower to a Senators squad with several weapons up front and on the back end.

Mark Stone leads the team with 13 goals and 20 points, followed by defenseman Erik Karlsson's 17 points in 13 games. Mike Hoffman is off to a good start with 16 points, while former Ranger Derick Brassard has 15 through 18 contests. Duchene, meanwhile, is pointless through four games as a Senator.

Goaltender Craig Anderson is 7-4-3 with a 2.92 GAA and a .898 SV% in 14 games (13 starts). He's expected to start against the Rangers after serving as the backup Saturday night.

Players to Watch

Nash has been one of the hottest Rangers forwards over the last handful of games with four goals in his last five games, and as of late he's feasted on the Senators. No. 61 has six goals and two assists in his last 12 regular season games against the Senators.

Karlsson, meanwhile, was arguably the best player on either team when these two squads met last postseason. The 27-year-old finished with 71 points in 77 games last season and is on pace to eclipse that points per game pace with 17 through 13 games after missing the start of the season due to injury.

Inside the Numbers

Through 20 games this season, 30 of the Rangers' 63 goals (47.6%) have been registered by players who are 25 years old or younger (Zibanejad - nine; Buchnevich - eight; Hayes - four; Vesey - four; Miller - three; Skjei - two).

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