Pregame Analysis

Rangers Host Senators on Steven McDonald Night

The Blueshirts will give out the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Senators (7:30 P.M. ET, MSG+).

The description listed on the Rangers website for The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award:

“The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is awarded annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986 and passed away on January 10, 2017.”

This award means so much to all players on the Rangers and it is something everyone wants to win. Last year’s winner was Henrik Lundqvist who won the award for the second time in his career. Some years have had more predictable winners such as Cam Talbot in the 2014-2015 season, but this season has numerous individuals who can claim the coveted award. An argument can likely be made for almost any player on the Rangers.

Mika Zibanejad – Zibanejad leadsthe Rangers in points with 72 and is the only Ranger to play in every game thisseason.

Ryan Strome – Strome revitalizedhis season since being traded to the Rangers in November. Strome has 31 points sincejoining the Rangers and has set a new career high in goals for a season.

Brendan Smith – Smith had arguablythe worst year of his career last season and spent much of it in the AHL. Smithhas since bounced back and has done everything asked of him including playingforward. He has beat out other forwards for spots in the lineup due to his hardplay and ability to draw penalties.

Tony DeAngelo – For much of the beginningof the season, DeAngelo was struggling and couldn’t find regular minutes. DeAngelohas had a very successful second half of the season. Not only does DeAngelolead the Blueshirt defense in points, he also is the only defender to haveplayed over 50 games and be a plus player.

Henrik Lundqvist – While statistically Lundqvist has had the worst season of his career, he is still the leader of this team. Lundqvist had the choice to leave New York during the rebuild but he decided he wanted to remain a Ranger for life. Lundqvist is the only current Ranger to have won the award.

Alex Georgiev – Georgiev has had a very good rookie season with some stand out games. He has had multiple wins in which he has made 40+ saves and he even holds a win where he made 55 saves. Georgiev has two shutouts on the year and has been one of the best rookie goalies of the season

After the ceremony, the Rangers will take on the last place Ottawa Senators. The Senators have just 62 points and are one of two teams yet to have 30 wins. The leading point scorer for the Senators is defender Thomas Chabot with 53. Brett Burns is the only other defender leading his team in points.

Since the Rangers last played Ottawa, the Senators have traded away key players including Matt Duchene, Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel. Ottawa also fired head coach Guy Boucher. Boucher’s Senators was one goal away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final in the 2016-2017 season. The Senators are 6-8-1 under interim head coach Marc Crawford.

Anders Nilsson will start for the Senators. Nilsson was acquired in a trade from the Vancouver Canucks back in January. The Swedish netminder holds a record of 10-11-0 since joining Ottawa. He will go for his 50th career win on Wednesday night.

Henrik Lundqvist will go for career win 450. According to head coach David Quinn, Lundqvist and Georgiev will split the final two games of the season.

Filip Chytil will not play Wednesday night. Chytil left Monday’s game in the dying minutes with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. Chytil is currently listed as day-to-day. John Gilmour will replace Freddy Claesson in the lineup. Brendan Smith will also return to the lineup as a forward. Smith was a healthy scratch on Monday after taking four penalties against the Flyers. Pavel Buchnevich is listed as questionable. Buchnevich was not available against the Devils due to a concussion.

Projected Lineup

Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich

Namestnikov-Howden-Strome

Vesey-Nieves-Lemieux

Smith-Andersson-Lettieri

Skjei-Shattenkirk

Staal-DeAngelo

Gilmour-Pionk

Lundqvist

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