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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Wednesday, February 8th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (36-12-5) at New York Rangers (32-15-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers seek their fourth consecutive win tonight when they welcome the Ottawa Senators to Madison Square Garden for a battle of first-place clubs.

The Rangers enter Wednesday's action with 72 points -- one ahead of second- place Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

On Saturday, Jaromir Jagr scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Rangers defeated the Flyers, 4-3, at the Wachovia Center.

Michael Nylander registered a goal and an assist, Marcel Hossa and Petr Sykora tallied a goal apiece and Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves for the Rangers, who have won three straight since losing to the Flyers, 3-2, in overtime on Monday.

New York's Martin Straka extended his point streak to five games, having tallied one goal and seven assists during the run.

The Rangers, who are 17-6-5 on home ice, will host Toronto on Friday to begin a home-and-home.

Ottawa, meanwhile, has won two of its last three games. On Monday, Peter Schaefer netted two goals and added an assist as the Senators defeated the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2, at Scotiabank Place.

Bryan Smolinski added a goal and an assist while Antoine Vermette had two helpers for the Senators, who won for just the second time in five outings.

Ray Emery received the start for Ottawa and finished with 22 saves on the night.

The Senators check in with 77 points -- four ahead of the second-place Sabres in the Northeast Division race. Ottawa trails Carolina by three points for the overall NHL lead.

Ottawa will host Atlanta on Thursday.

The Sens posted a 6-2 win over the visiting Rangers on December 26 and have won four straight meetings in the series.

02/08 10:42:21 ET

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