Game 68 preview: New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers on 18 March 2014.

The Ottawa Senators can make things at least some what interesting with a win tonight against the New York Rangers. Sitting seven points behind tonight's opponents for the last playoff spot with two games in hand, a victory tonight and a few more might at least take things to the last week. A loss would just continue the spiral and bring the Senators closer to the bottom five of the league.

There will be no changes to the lineup with Craig Anderson still injured. Matt Kassian and Patrick Wiercioch will be the healthy scratches. Here are the lines in order of ice time against Colorado on Sunday.

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Smith - Neil
Michalek - Spezza - Hemsky
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Condra

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Gryba
Phillips - Ceci

Lehner (starter)

Some notes for tonight:

  • Robin Lehner has really been terrible lately. With the best goaltender of a generation on the other end, Lehner will have to be much better.
  • A regulation win tonight and in their two games in hand would leave the Senators one point back of the Rangers. So if you want something to cling to, that's probably it.
  • Among defencemen in the NHL, Erik Karlsson is ahead of Duncan Keith by eight points for the scoring race. He is also two points ahead of Keith for the even strength points lead and two points behind Keith Yandle for the power play points lead.
  • Ottawa has lost six out of the eight games since the Olympic break, going 2-4-2. A 5-2-1 record (by winning both games in Alberta and not blowing it in Montréal) would have the Senators playing to equal the Rangers and have two games in hand.
  • Bobby Ryan leads the Senators in even strength points but has only nine on the power play.
  • The Rangers are only two points ahead of the Capitals for the final playoff spot so they really need a win tonight. New York is also only three points ahead of Detroit with the Red Wings holding two games in hand.
  • Ottawa is seven points out of a playoff spot and eight points ahead of being the fourth worst in the NHL.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa New York
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 22 Rick Nash 20
Assists Erik Karlsson 44 Derek Stepan 34
Points Erik Karlsson 61 Brad Richards 46
Shots Erik Karlsson 214 Brad Richards 216
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:19 Ryan McDonagh 24:41

Category Ottawa New York
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.79 14th 2.51 19th
Goals Against 3.21 29th 2.44 6th
Corsi Close % 51.8% 9th 53.0% 6th
Fenwick Close % 50.7% 14th 53.5% 5th
Shots For 32.6 4th 32.9 3rd
Shots Against 34.4 28th 29.5 14th
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