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Rangers vs Senators: What To Know About Ottawa

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

When the Rangers finished off the Montreal Canadiens Saturday in Game 6, their next opponent was not yet known. That changed Sunday when the Ottawa Senators edged the Boston Bruins in overtime in Game 6 to take the series, 4-2.

With the series set to begin Thursday night in Ottawa, let's take a closer look at just who the 2017 Senators are.

2016-17 SEASON SERIES: The Senators took two of the three games in the regular season, though the final match was on the second-to-last day of the regular season when Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes did not play.

FORWARDS: Ottawa had three forwards register at least 50 points, led by Mike Hoffman's 61 in 74 regular season games. Hoffman also led the club with 13 power play goals. Kyle Turris led the club with 27 goals overall in 71 games.

Former Ranger Derick Brassard registered 14 goals and 39 points in 81 games. But the 29-year-old center has once again raised his game for the postseason, as he had eight points against the Bruins in the first round.

Speaking of the playoffs, forward Bobby Ryan got off to a blazing start with four goals - including a pair of game-winners - and seven points in the six contests against the Bruins.

Forward Clarke MacArthur, who missed all but four games over the last two regular seasons due to concussion problems, had two goals in the first series, including the overtime-winner in Game 6.

DEFENSE: Like Alex Ovechkin in Washington or Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh, when anyone thinks of the Ottawa Senators the mind immediately goes to Erik Karlsson, and for good reason.

The 26-year-old blueliner had a remarkable regular season with 17 goals and 71 points in 77 games, leading to his fourth Norris Trophy nomination of his career to go along with two victories. Karlsson had six assists in the six-game series against Boston while averaging 30:24 per game of ice time, which included 41:51 in Game 5's double overtime loss.

Dion Phaneuf had a goal and two assists against Boston in his first playoff series as a member of the Senators.

GOALTENDING: It's been a difficult season away from the ice for goaltender Craig Anderson, as he and his family continue to cope with his wife Nicholle's battle with cancer. Despite that, the 35-year-old turned in a strong regular season with 25 wins in 40 games to go along with a .926 SV%.

Anderson held Boston to two goals or fewer in three of the six games, including a shutout in Game 4. 

He's 16-16 with a .931 SV% and a 2.27 GAA in 33 career playoff games. He was in goal for every game between the Rangers and Senators back in 2012, a series the Rangers won in seven games.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Ottawa's power play struggled during the regular season with a 17 percent efficiency rating, good enough for 23rd in the NHL. That's turned around a bit in the postseason, as it scored five power play goals in 23 chances (21.7 percent) against the Bruins.

The Senators had the 22nd-ranked penalty kill during the regular season at 79.6 percent, three spots behind the Rangers - though just .1 percent difference overall.

Ottawa surrendered three power play goals in 16 chances against the Bruins for a success rate of 81.3 percent.

PLAYOFF HISTORY: This marks the second time the Rangers and Senators will meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. New York topped the Senators, 4-3, in 2012 on their way to their first Eastern Conference Final since 1997. 

New York overcame a 3-2 series deficit, and closed out the Senators, 2-1, in Game 7 at The Garden on goals by defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi.

The Rangers have six players from that series still on the roster, including Chris Kreider, who made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the series.

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