NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 13th (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (39-23-7) at New York Rangers (34-27-8), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try to cure their recent woes this evening, when they visit the surging New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The Senators, who have dropped four of their last five games (1-1-3), are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 85 points. However, Pittsburgh is just one point behind Ottawa in the conference standings. . Ottawa is coming of a home-and-home split with the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sens won Thursday's test in Ottawa by a 5-1 count, but Toronto countered with an overtime victory in Saturday's return trip to the Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs earned Saturday's victory by a 4-3 margin, as Darcy Tucker scored his second goal of the game with 1:49 left in overtime.
Tucker brought the puck into the zone along the right side and fed the puck to the slot, where Pavel Kubina immediately sent the disc back over to Tucker. The veteran forward then blasted home a one-timer for the win.
Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist and Jason Spezza had two helpers for the Senators, who received 41 saves from goaltender Ray Emery.
This evening marks the end of a two-game road trip for the Senators, who are 17-12-4 as the visiting club this year. Ottawa has been defeated in four of five and six of its last eight road tests.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have played themselves into the heat of the playoff race by winning four of their last five games.
The most recent triumph was a big one, as New York posted a home victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Jaromir Jagr's goal in the third round of the shootout was the game-winner in the 2-1 decision at Madison Square Garden.
With the win the Rangers moved from 10th place in the East to the eighth spot. However, since the Hurricanes earned a point with the shootout loss, they are now tied with the Rangers for the final playoff berth with 76 points.
Marek Malik tallied in regulation for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 shots to earn his 29th win of the season.
New York has gained at least a point in seven straight contests, going 5-0-2 in that stretch.
The Rangers are 16-14-5 as the host club this season and have been victorious in four of their last five tilts at MSG.
The Senators have won two of three meetings with the Rangers this season and eight of the last 10 overall encounters between the clubs. Ottawa has also taken two straight and six of its last eight games in Manhattan.
03/13 10:48:56 ET