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Gameday Journal: Game 81 - Rangers vs. Senators

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

4:15 PM: Here's some crucial information ahead of tonight's game against the Rangers...

Puckdrop: 7:00 p.m.

Jersey: Road White

Television: TSN5, RDS2

Radio: TSN 1200, Unique FM 94,5


3:45 PM: Get up to speed for tonight's game with the Pre-Game Report courtesy of Sens TV...


3:00 PM: And from NHL.com, here's a look at tonight's projected line-ups...

Click to enlarge

RANGERS

Forwards

Jesper Fast - Derick Brassard - Martin St. Louis

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - J.T. Miller

Carl Hagelin - Kevin Hayes - Ryan Bourque

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - James Sheppard

Defence

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Keith Yandle - Dan Boyle

Chris Summers - Matt Hunwick

Goaltenders

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Scratched: none


1:45 PM: Sens head coach Dave Cameron offered up some pre-game thoughts from New York...

On changes to tonight's line-up:

No.

On today being a maintenance for Karlsson:

Him and Wamsley. Wammer wasn't on the ice today. Maintenance day for Wammer. He's a go for tonight. He's cleared. (laughs)

On making tonight just another game for the team:

You just prepare the same way. That's why you do routines. Routine stays the same. Everybody knows it's a bigger game because there are fewer games left. Just sticking to the same routine.

On facing the President's Trophy winning New York Rangers:

Huge challenge for us. Gotta take away their speed, that's the first thing you have to do. You have to slow that team down. If you don't go through pucks that opens up the ice and that's when they are the most dangerous.

On the reason he has been relying on some of the younger players:

They've played good. That's what you're judged on, how well you play.


Sens TV also had a chance to talk with last game's overtime hero Mark Stone. You can watch his comments here...


Finally, Clarke MacArthur also spent some time with the media today. Here are his pre-game thoughts...


1:00 PM: We caught up with Mike Hoffman after today's skate and here are some of his pre-game thoughts...

On the buzz surrounding the team lately:

At the end of the day, we can only control what happens in this room so that's our #1 priority. It's a big one tonight and hopefully we come away with the 2 points.

On the young guys stepping up:

I think you need that if you're going to be a successful team in this league because you can't always rely on the 4, 5, 6 year veterans to pull the weight all the time. It's a team game and we need everyone to do their part and step up at certain times.

On earning the coaches staff's trust:

The confidence you get from the coaching staff really helps. Confidence is a big part of the game. We trust that whoever goes out on the ice is going to get the job done.

On facing the Rangers tonight minus Staal, Nash and Zuccarello:

Other guys are going to come in and get opportunities, right? They're on their way to the playoffs and if someone goes down for them, this might be an audition for them. I don't think it really changes too much, you don't want to hamper yourself mentality by thinking that it's going to be an easier game. The guys that are coming in are working just as hard if not harder than the guys they are replacing.

On having a rash of players score their first careen NHL goals against the Sens:

I remember my first couple games in the league. You want to make an impact and you work extra hard every time you get the chance to be on the ice so you can never take them lightly.


12:30 PM: From the coach: no changes to tonight's line-up...


11:45 AM: The morning skate is under way at MSG...

The #Sens morning skate is underway at MSG as the team preps to face the Rangers tonight at 7 p.m.

A photo posted by Ottawa Senators (@senators) on


11:30 AM: Crazy cool rink and the boys are about to skate on it...


7:00 AM: The Ottawa Senators continue to chase a playoff spot and find themselves in New York set to face the Rangers tonight. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.

The Sens are coming off a ridiculous 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night. Trailing 3-0 after the first period, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mark Stone (x2 including the OT winner) and Mike Hoffman rattled off 4 unanswered goals to power the Sens past the Penguins and netted the team a valuable 2 points in the Eastern Conference Wildcard race. Andrew Hammond was able to shake off a tough first period and finished with 25 saves in the victory. The Senators now have a record of 41-26-13 and currently sit even in points with the Boston Bruins but 9th in the East due to tie-breakers.

The Rangers are fresh off a 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and their 52nd win on the season proved to be enough to clinch the NHL's President's Trophy. Kevin Hayes, Ryan McDonagh, James Sheppard and Carl Hagelin scored for New York while Cam Talbot turned aside 19 of the 21 shots he faced to earn the decision. The Rangers hold the best record in the league at 52-21-7 good for 111 points in the standings.

These teams recently met on March 26th, 2015 in Ottawa with the Rangers beating the Sens by a score of 5-1. You can watch highlights from that game here:

The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate shortly and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts, Sens TV videos, Instagram goodness and more.

Stay tuned!

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