The New York Rangers are fresh off a six-game homestand in which the team won their final four games to increase their record to 7-3-3. Tonight, the Rangers play the last team in the NHL that bested them, the Ottawa Senators who won a 5-4 shootout decision back in October.
Tonight the Rangers are looking for their fifth-straight win, here's what they will have to do to get it:
Shore Up The Defense: The New York Rangers might have beaten the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 on Sunday, but Martin Biron had to stand on his head until the Rangers finally took over the game. Ottawa has more than a few players who can put the puck into the back of the net, and they showed it in their three-goal third period against New York back in October. Tonight won't be any different, the Rangers' defense needs to be on their toes.
Join me after the jump for more including the Rangers' official pre-game notes.
Convert On The Power Play: Like the game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Rangers had a chance to finish off the Jets early. But New York couldn't convert on an extended five-on-three and kept it a one-goal game much longer then it needed to be. When the Rangers go on the man advantage tonight, they need to convert.
Get Dubinsky A Goal: Brandon Dubinsky needs a goal about as bad as anyone in the NHL right now. And while the Rangers shouldn't be passing up their own opportunities to try and get him the puck, he just needs a goal to get back on track. We've seen Dubinsky get chances but he hasn't been able to bury any of them as of yet. Tonight is as good a time as any.
Official New York Rangers pre-game notes below.
NEW YORK RANGERS at OTTAWA SENATORS
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Scotiabank Place - Ottawa, Ontario
Rangers: 7-3-3 (17 pts)
Senators: 7-7-1 (15 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Nov. 7
The Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m.), in their second of four meetings this season. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and fifth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 7-3-3 (17 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow's contest having defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 3-0, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden to close out their six-game homestand with a 4-1-1 record. New York improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, including wins in their last four contests. The Senators enter the contest with a 7-7-1 (15 pts) record to rank ninth in the Eastern Conference, and have lost their last three games. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, Nov. 11, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), before leaving for a four-game road trip.
RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Prior to tomorrow's contest, the Rangers' morning skate is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Scotiabank Place. Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 11:45 a.m.
* Schedule and availability subject to change
* TV: MSG Network
7:00 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Mike Keenan
7:30 p.m. - Rangers at Senators
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
7:00 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:30 p.m. - Rangers at Senators
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. SENATORS:
* All-Time: 32-33-3-3 overall (14-20-0-2 at home; 18-13-3-1 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the second of four meetings this season, and the first of two at Scotiabank Place. New York is 0-0-1 following a 5-4 shootout loss on Oct. 29 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers power play is 2-4 (50.0%) in the season series, and Brad Richards has tallied a team-leading three points (two goals, one assist) in one game.
* Last Season: New York was 2-1-1 overall, including a 2-0-0 mark on the road. Three of the four contests were decided by two goals or less, including one that required the shootout on Mar. 24 at Madison Square Garden (1-2, OT). Brandon Prust and Derek Stepan tied for the team-high with two goals and three points apiece in the series. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 1.72 goals against average and a .936 save percentage while appearing in all four games.
* The Rangers have registered at least a point in nine of the last 12 contests vs. the Senators, posting a record of 7-3-2 over the span. New York has out-scored Ottawa, 31-23, during the stretch.
* Henrik Lundqvist has appeared in 24 consecutive games vs. Ottawa dating back to Dec. 26, 2005
* New York ranks 12th with a 3-2-2 (8 pts) record on the road; Ottawa ranks seventh with a 5-3-1 (11 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers have posted a 1-1-1 record vs. Northeast Division opponents; the Senators are 1-1-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 10-11-2 record with a 2.01 GAA and one shutout in 24 career regular season contests vs. Ottawa; Martin Biron is 14-9-2-2 with a 2.79 GAA and two shutouts in 30 career regular season games vs. the Senators
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 13 goals, 12 assists and 25 points in 32 career regular season contests vs. Ottawa; Marian Gaborik has tallied 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 13 games vs. the Senators
* New York lists no former Senators on their roster
* Ottawa lists one former Ranger on their roster: Alex Auld (2009-10)
* Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in six power play opportunities (8:25) on Sunday vs. Winnipeg, and are 7-36 (19.4%) with the man advantage in the last seven games. New York ranks 25th overall (8-59, 13.6%) and is tied for 23rd on the road (3-28, 10.7%). The Rangers are 1-5 (3:44) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/06 vs. WPG), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Jets scoreless in four shorthanded situations (8:00) on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, and are 33-37 (89.2%) in the last 10 games. New York is tied for sixth overall (49-56, 87.5%) and ranks 12th on the road (32-37, 86.5%). The Rangers are 2-3 (1:16) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/05 vs. MTL), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/20 at CGY (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Sunday vs. Winnipeg. The Rangers are plus-three in 22 four-on-four situations (38:34), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
The Rangers concluded their second of 14 back-to-back sets this season with a 3-0 win vs. Winnipeg on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. New York has posted a record of 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 22-8-3 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 10-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. The Rangers' next back-to-back set begins on Nov. 25 at Washington and concludes on Nov. 26 vs. Philadelphia.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers defeated the Winnipeg Jets with a 3-0 win on Sunday to complete their six-game homestand with a 4-1-1 record. Marian Gaborik led New York with nine points and six assists in six games, while Ryan Callahan notched a team-high four goals during the homestand. The Blueshirts' 4-1-1 start through six games at Madison Square Garden is their best start at home since they posted a record of 5-0-1 through six home games to begin the 1992-93 season.
JOINING THE RUSH
New York defensemen have accounted for 22.9% of the team's scoring, fifth-best in the league, tallying a combined eight goals through 13 games to begin the season, tying for sixth in the NHL. Ryan McDonagh leads all Blueshirt defensemen and is tied for fourth among NHL blueliners with three goals.
100 WINS AS A RANGER
Head Coach John Tortorella recorded his 100th win as the Rangers' Head Coach with the Blueshirts' 5-3 win on Saturday vs. Montreal.
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS:
* Ryan Callahan is tied for fourth in shots on goal (51), fifth in game-winning goals (two), 15th in goals (six), ranks second among forwards in blocked shots (20) and 10th among forwards in average ice time (21:24)
* Henrik Lundqvist is tied for fifth in shutouts (one) and ranks 11th in saves (299)
* Dan Girardi leads the league in average ice time (27:58) and is tied for 11th in blocked shots (34)
* Ryan McDonagh ranks 15th in average ice time (25:04), and tied for fourth among defensemen in goals (three) and 11th with a plus-six rating
* Marian Gaborik ranks second in shots on goal (57) and is tied for 11th in goals (seven)
* Brad Richards ranks fifth among forwards in average ice time (21:59)
* Michael Del Zotto is tied for 11th among defensemen with a plus-six rating
New York has seen six new faces in their lineup during the 2011-12 season. The Rangers had three players make their Rangers debut in the team's season opener on Oct. 7 against the Kings - Tim Erixon (NHL debut), Brad Richards (one assist) and Mike Rupp. In addition, defenseman Jeff Woywitka made his Rangers debut on Oct. 15 at Long Island, while defenseman Brendan Bell made his Blueshirts debut on Oct. 22 at Edmonton. Forward Andre Deveaux made his Rangers debut on Oct. 31 vs. San Jose, following his recall the day before. Defenseman Anton Stralman is looking to make his Rangers debut after signing with the team on Saturday.
COUNTDOWN TO 2,500 WINS
The Rangers are currently nine wins shy of 2,500 wins, having won 2,491 games all-time in franchise history.
THE HOT LIST:
* The Rangers' power play is 7-36 (19.4%) in the last seven games
* Marian Gaborik has recorded nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last six games
* Derek Stepan has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) and a plus-five rating in the last five games
* Artem Anisimov has recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in the last four games, including four assists in the last two
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied five points (two goals, three assists) in the last seven games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied six points (five goals, one assist) in the last seven games
* Dan Girardi has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in the last seven games
* Brad Richards has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games
* Erik Christensen has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games
MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Ryan Callahan: 3 games from 300th NHL career
* Erik Christensen: 7 assists form 100th NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 9 points from 100th NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 6 assists from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 8 assists from 100th NHL career
* Derek Stepan: 5 games from 100th NHL career
* Wojtek Wolski: 1 game from 400th NHL career; 9 goals from 100th NHL career
MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Brian Boyle: 200th career NHL game (11/3 vs. ANA)
* John Tortorella: 100th win as Rangers Head Coach (11/5 vs. MTL)
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) - 13
* Mike Rupp (knee, 10/24) - 6
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) - 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 30
* Nov. 5 - Agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Anton Stralman