Less than a year removed from one of the most disappointing playoff losses in team history, the New York Rangers will look to take a modicum of revenge this afternoon.
Still faced with the looming trade deadline, the Rangers will look to reinsert themselves into the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a back-to-back afternoon road set, beginning today against the Ottawa Senators (2:00 PM, MSG).
The Rangers (27-26-5) are currently five points out of the last Eastern wild card, as they fell 3-0 to the current holders of the spot, the New York Islanders, on Thursday night by a 3-0 final. The Blueshirts were stymied all night by Jaroslave Halak who made 50 saves to preserve a shutout. Wasted was a 32-save performance by Henrik Lundqvist in defeat.
The Senators (20-27-9) are wallowing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, though they staved off the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in overtime at Canadian Tire Center, also on Thursday. Ex-Ranger Marian Gaborik scored in his first game since a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, while another former Ranger put in the tying goal with 31 seconds remaining in regulation. Mike Hoffman scored the winner in overtime for the win.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 16, 2018
This will be the third and final meeting between last season’s Eastern Conference semifinalists, each team defending their home ice. The Rangers’ victory was a 3-0 final at Madison Square Garden, as Lundqvist needed to make just 20 stops to earn the 63rd shutout of his career. Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner and ex-Senator Mika Zibanejad had the Ranger goals, while Mats Zuccarello helped out on two of them.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490