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Rangers look to make it three straight against the Senators; McDonagh steadily improving

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs senators 12-6

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After winning consecutive game for the first time since November 21-23, the Rangers (26-16-5) will look to continue their win streak in the last game of their road trip against the Ottawa Senators (22-20-6).

This is the last of the three game season series and New York is looking to close out the sweep in today’s matinee. Back on November 14th, the Rangers skated away with a 2-1 shootout win as Dan Boyle scored the deciding goal in the shootout. Chris Kreider scored the only goal for New York. On December 6th, Lundqvist’s 23 saves helped guide the Rangers to a 4-1 victory at Madison Square Garden. Derick Brassard scored twice, and Ryan McDonagh had a goal and two assists.

After a long period of struggling and inconsistencies, the Rangers are finally showing signs of shaping up into the team they were in the past few seasons. They followed up their dominating 3-2 overtime win over the Canucks with a 4-1 victory in Carolina. They skated really well, pressured the Hurricanes on the forecheck while also continuing to play strong defensively as well as getting good goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist for his 22nd win of the season. They’re 3-1-0 in the last four games and 6-4-1 in the last 11.

Ottawa has not fared as well lately, currently sitting five points out of a playoff spot after spending the first part of the season in the top three in the Atlantic Division. They lost their last two games, allowing a total of 11 goals and continuing to have questions in net.

Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond each allowed five goals in their respective starts against the Devils and the Islanders. Either one of them could get the start tonight, but my guess would be Anderson in net. He is currently 19-14-4 with a 2.88 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

Erik Karlsson looks to be on his way towards a second consecutive Norris Trophy, and he’s leading his team with an incredible 51 points in just 48 games. That’s impressive for a forward, let alone a defenseman logging around 30 minutes a night at the blue line. He’s in the midst of a four game point streak, with six points (1-5-6) in that span. He’s second in the league with 41 assists this year.

Bobby Ryan is showing signs of his strong years in Anaheim, leading all Ottawa forwards with 41 points (16-25-41) this season. He’s also currently riding a four game point streak, tallying five points (3-2-5).

Henrik Lundqvist has been playing some really good hockey lately. He’s allowed two goals or less in each of the last five games, including a 30 save performance against the Hurricanes on Friday. With wins in four of the last five games, Hank will look to keep up his good form.

JT Miller is blossoming into the top-six forward that management hoped he would when they drafted him 15th overall in the 2011 draft. He had two fantastic goals against Carolina, giving him a new career high in goals (12) and points (24) with 35 games left to go in the season. He has four goals in the last four games, and he’ll see a lot of ice-time in Ottawa.

Ryan McDonagh has been an absolute monster in the past few games. He looks like he’s at the top of his game, playing great defense, skating well and contributing to the offense at even strength. He scored a great goal to open the scoring against Carolina, sniping one off of the crossbar and into the net. He now has six goals and 24 points, and will look to continue his four game win streak.

As far as the lineup goals, there was no update on Rick Nash, who crashed awkwardly into the boards, headed into the locker room, and came out later in the third period only to be hit with a slap shot. My guess is that he’ll be good to go. Chris Kreider is also expected to return to the lineup, and if both Nash and Kreider are good to go, AV will have to decide who to scratch. Daniel Paille played a solid 15 minutes in his debut and could be used, in place of Glass, to try and deter Erik Karlsson on the power play.

The Rangers and the Senators will face off at the Canadian Tire Center at 3 PM. The game will be broadcasted on MSG.

POTENTIAL LINEUP

Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-JT Miller

Oscar Lindberg-Kevin Hayes-Viktor Stalberg

Daniel Paille-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

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Posted on January 24, 2016, in Game Previews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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