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Rangers face tough task against Ottawa and the “Hamburglar”

Bobby Bevilacqua

cam talbot and kreider 2-16

The Rangers are looking to rebound with a win in Ottawa in what very well could be Cam Talbot’s last game as the starting goaltender. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (46-19-7) are looking to build off of their tough loss on Tuesday when they head to Ottawa to take on the red-hot Ottawa Senators (37-24-11), and their rookie goalie sensation Andrew Hammond, lovingly dubbed the “Hamburglar.”

This is the second of three games between these two teams, and the only one being played in Ottawa. The Rangers came away with a 3-2 overtime victory at Madison Square Garden, the final game before the All Star Break. Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider scored the two regulation goals, and Carl Hagelin scored the overtime winner. Henrik Lundqvist was in net, stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced.

The Rangers have a chance to equal or eclipse the 100 point mark this season for just the eighth time in franchise history. The Rangers could also clinch a playoff spot in two ways; a win over Ottawa and a Boston loss against Anaheim tonight, or an overtime loss against Ottawa and a Boston regulation loss.

The Senators last played on Monday, a huge 5-2 shellacking of the San Jose Sharks, giving them a very impressive 15-1-1 record in the last 17 games. With this hot streak, the Senators have propelled themselves past the Boston Bruins for the last wind card spot, just one point ahead of Boston.

Most of this success is thanks to the 27 year old rookie goaltender, Andrew Hammond, who is 14-0-1 in his first 15 career starts. He tied a record for allowing two goals or less in his first 12 starts, and could set another record with a win or overtime loss tonight. Hammond has won his last nine games, and has allowed more than two goals in a game just twice this season. Ottawa is riding a hot goalie with a lot of confidence and support from the fans, so he will certainly be at the top of his game.

The Senators are getting a lot of scoring from another rookie, Mike Hoffman, who leads the team in goals, as well as leading rookies with his 26 goals. Along with Kyle Turris (21-31-52) and Bobby Ryan (18-35-53), Hoffman is a dangerous scorer, and will cause the Rangers trouble on that top line.

Henrik Lundqvist is back with the team for tonight’s game, but will backup Cam Talbot, needing just a bit more time to get ready to return. Cam Talbot has played a lot of games, and has done extremely well as the starter. With a win, Talbot would hit the 20 win mark, giving New York two goalies with 20 wins.

Kevin Hayes continues to stay hot, scoring his 14th goal of the season in Tuesday’s game. He has 22 assists, and 21 of them are primary assists, which means he is usually the guy setting up the goals. His incredible patience was evident during his goal on Tuesday, and he continues to impress with his puck possession and skill level. With 20 points (8-12-20) in the last 26 games, as well as a three game point streak on the line (1-3-4), I expect Hayes to stay hot tonight in Ottawa.

kevin hayes hi five line 1-3

Kevin Hayes has centered one of the Rangers most effective lines this season, and continues to pick up points in his promising rookie career. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Mats Zuccarello finally ended his 14 game goal drought in the Rangers last game, as well as extending his point streak, also extending his point streak to three games (1-3-4). Zuccarello has a great wrist shot, and needs to start shooting more in games. The line combination of JT Miller, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello has easily been the team’s best line since they were formed three games ago, and have goals in all three of those games.

The Rangers and the Senators will face off tonight at the Canadian Tire Centre at 7:30 PM. The game will be broadcasted on MSG+.

EXPECTED LINES (Not Confirmed)

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

JT Miller-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello

Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast

Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-James Sheppard

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle-Matt Hunwick

Cam Talbot

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Posted on March 26, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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