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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 18th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (51-21-9) at New York Rangers (44-25-12), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two struggling teams with a lot to play for tonight meet when the Ottawa Senators visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Ottawa, with 111 points, is one behind Carolina for the race atop the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes host Buffalo tonight.

If Carolina loses in regulation and Ottawa wins, the Sens take the top seed. If Carolina loses in regulation and Ottawa loses in overtime or a shootout to tie, the Canes take it because they will have more wins.

If the Hurricanes lose in overtime or a shootout and the Senators win, Ottawa will take first because things will go down to the third tiebreaker -- goal differential.

Ottawa has lost its last two games, including Saturday's 5-1 tilt in Toronto. Tomas Kaberle tallied a goal and two assists to lead the Maple Leafs.

Dany Heatley scored the lone goal for Ottawa, while Ray Emery allowed five goals on 31 shots in the loss.

The Senators, with 111 points, are two behind the franchise record for points in a season. The mark was established in 2002-03.

New York, meanwhile, has a one-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils in the Atlantic Division race. The easiest way for the Rangers to take the division is with a simple win. If they lose, things will come down to the various tiebreakers.

The Rangers have lost their last four games, including Saturday's 4-1 tilt in Philly. R.J. Umberger had a goal and an assist and Antero Niittymaki made 25 saves to lead the Flyers.

Marcel Hossa netted the Rangers' lone goal with Dominic Moore picking up the primary assist for New York. Netminder Kevin Weekes allowed four goals on 29 shots in defeat.

Weekes has been filling in for rookie netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who missed seven straight games with a hip flexor injury. Lundqvist is expected to return to the lineup tonight.

Ottawa is 2-1 against New York this season and has won five of the last six meetings overall.

04/18 10:18:25 ET