The New York Rangers look to avoid a three-game slide and gain a little bit of revenge against the team that knocked them out of the 2016-17 playoffs when they host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night. The Rangers lost in six games to Ottawa in the second round last season and face the Senators for the first time since that setback after following up six straight wins with losses to Chicago and Columbus.
“At the end of the day, it’s not good enough,” New York forward Mats Zuccarello told reporters after the Rangers were outshot 42-36 at Columbus in a 2-0 loss on Friday. “We have to create more. We have to get on the inside, get some pucks through, and make some plays.” New York will try to limit the shots after allowing 85 the last two games and win for the sixth straight time at home while Ottawa looks to avoid a third consecutive setback. The Senators have managed only three wins in their last eight games (3-3-2) after coughing up a lead and dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to Arizona on Saturday afternoon - their sixth loss in eight games decided after regulation. Right wing Mark Stone scored his sixth goal in six games Saturday for Ottawa and leads the team with 13.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA (Ottawa), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (8-4-6): Matt Duchene has yet to record a point and owns a minus-5 rating in four games since coming over from Colorado in a blockbuster three-team deal, but has registered 20 shots on net. Erik Karlsson, who is second on the team with 17 points, has been kept off the scoresheet in the last two contests after recording 11 during a seven-game point streak. Goalie Craig Anderson, who was rested Saturday and is expected to start Sunday, is 10-5-3 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in his career versus the Rangers.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (9-9-2): New York averaged 4.3 goals during its winning streak, but has been held to three total the last two and came up empty on six power-play opportunities. Center Mika Zibanejad leads the team with nine goals and 19 points - five coming in the last five games - and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is next with 17 with 10 coming in the past nine contests. Rick Nash picked up his production after a slow start with four goals in his past four games while fellow forward J.T. Miller has gone without a point during the same stretch.
1. Ottawa D Chris Wideman is out indefinitely after suffering a torn hamstring Thursday against Pittsburgh.
2. New York D Brendan Smith returned to the lineup Friday after being a healthy scratch the last six contests.
3. The Senators also took two of three from the Rangers in the regular season in 2016-17.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Senators 3