NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 30th (All times eastern)
New York Rangers (41-20-12) at Ottawa Senators (48-16-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers try to post their third straight win tonight when they visit the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place for a battle of first-place clubs.
New York, which is heading toward its first playoff berth since 1997, currently leads the Atlantic Division by four points over second-place Philadelphia. The Flyers do to hold a game in hand.
On Wednesday, Martin Straka recorded a natural hat trick and Jaromir Jagr tallied four assists to lead the Rangers over the rival Islanders, 5-1, at Nassau Coliseum.
Jagr now has 113 points on the season, breaking Jean Ratelle's mark of 109 for the most ever by a Ranger. That record had stood alone since 1971-72.
Blair Betts tallied a goal and an assist while Henrik Lundqvist made 18 saves for the Rangers, who had lost three straight before the current spurt. Petr Prucha added his 29th goal of the season for the Rangers.
Jagr checks in with a 10-game point streak, having tallied nine goals and 12 assists in that time. With 52 goals, the Czech superstar has tied the Rangers' team record set by Adam Graves in 1993-94.
New York will host the Flyers on Saturday.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has lost two straight contests on the heels of a four-game winning streak. On Tuesday the Sens dropped a 3-2 shootout tilt to visiting New Jersey, as Scott Gomez scored the only goal in the shootout to lead the Devils.
Gomez' shootout winner did not come without some question. The veteran forward skated straight in on goaltender Ray Emery and pushed a backhander into his pads. Emery slid far enough back into the net with the puck under his glove that the referee ruled it a goal. After review, the play stood as called.
Dany Heatley scored both Ottawa goals, while Emery finished with 33 saves.
On the health front, the Sens lost defenseman Chris Phillips to an injury Tuesday. The blueliner is expected to miss between three and four weeks with a sprained knee.
With 103 points, the Senators are three ahead of Carolina for the top spot in the East. They currently trail Detroit by two for the best overall mark in the NHL.
Ottawa will host Washington on Saturday.
The Sens and Rangers have split two meetings this season, with each team winning in its own building.
New York has lost in five straight trips to Ottawa.
03/30 10:18:41 ET