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The Tank Rolls On: New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators Game Thread

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The Rangers wrap up their road trip with a stop just outside of Canada's capital for an afternoon tilt with the Ottawa Senators

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

One of these teams has publicly announced that they are focusing on the long-term future of their organization as we hurtle towards the deadline even though they sit 5 points out of a playoff spot with plenty of time left; the other is the Ottawa Senators, who are 16 points out of a playoff spot and just traded for Marian Gaborik. The New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators face off this afternoon to improve their odds at drafting Rasmus Dahlin come the Entry Draft in June.

The Rangers head into this afternoon match up with the Senators on the heels of a 50 shot shutout loss (their second loss in a row) to the Islanders and are playing just how you want them to. The young players in the lineup have looked real good and have injected, if nothing else, a reason to watch the slow, progressive erosion of Henrik Lundqvist's sanity. The Rangers are also getting back some reinforcements while also losing some key players to injury as Pavel Buchnevich returns to the lineup after missing eight games due to a concussion which is nice, but Kevin Hayes looks to be "less than 50% to play" and Vinni Lettieri was sent down because Alain Vigneault needs his Cody McLeod shaped security blanket and Ryan McDonagh continues to miss time due to an "upper-body injury" and is definitely not locked in a hermetically sealed vault in Jeff Gorton's office as the trade deadline approaches.

Nope, not at all.

The Rangers also recalled backup goalie/starting bench door opener Brandon Halverson to replace Alexander Georgiev who is sick with the flu, it was a busy Friday for the blueshirts.

As for the Senators; they just traded Dion Phaneuf for Marian Gaborik, Mark Stone, Derick Brassard, and Mike Hoffman might be dealt at the deadline, and Erik Karlsson is most likely abandoning ship the second the clock strikes 12:01 am on July 1st (if the Senators don't trade him for pennies on the dollar). So things are going well this season for Ottawa.

(Insert Rangers Lines)