Preview: Ottawa at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 6, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
The New York Rangers look to snap out of their funk at both ends of the ice when they host the red-hot Ottawa Senators on Sunday. New York has won only once in its last six games (1-4-1), scoring fewer than two goals four times during that span, following a dominant start during which it gained at least one point in 18 of the first 21 contests.
The Rangers also have allowed 17 goals during their slump. “At the end of the day, we just have to play hard, play our system, play in our structure and try to be better than the other team,” forward Derick Brassard told the New York Post. “Obviously, we are facing some adversity right now and we are just going to have to battle through it.” The Senators start a four-game road trip after rallying for a 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Islanders on Saturday that improved them to 7-2-2 in their last 11 contests. Captain Erik Karlsson, who leads all NHL defensemen with 32 points, scored the winning goal and added two assists in Saturday’s overtime triumph over the New York Islanders.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN5, TVA (Ottawa), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (14-7-5): Mike Hoffman is just as hot as Karlsson, recording nine goals during a seven-game point streak after notching his team-leading 14th with 36.2 seconds left in the third period to tie Saturday’s contest. Kyle Turris left Saturday’s game late in regulation with an apparent leg injury and his status is uncertain. Turris is one of four Ottawa forwards with at least 22 points – a group that includes Hoffman, Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone – while Mika Zibanejad has recorded 17.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (17-7-3): Leading scorer Mats Zuccarello has 22 points but has notched just one in his last seven games to join a group of forwards that is struggling in the offensive end. Power forward Rick Nash has slowed down after a hot stretch, registering one point in his last four contests, while Kevin Hayes has notched just one assist in his last six games. Oscar Lindberg has netted three goals in his last five games, tying him for first among rookies with 10.
1. New York G Henrik Lundqvist’s next victory will tie him with Evgeni Nabokov (353) for 18th in NHL history.
2. Ottawa G Craig Anderson won on consecutive nights late last month, but the Senators lost the other three second games of back-to-backs this season.
3. The Rangers beat the Senators 2-1 in a shootout on Nov. 14 and took two of the three meetings last season.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Senators 3