Rangers vs Senators: Join the live conversation

The New York Rangers go for their fourth win in a row and sweep of the four-game road trip in a matinee in Ottawa.  That’s something the Blueshirts haven’t done in over six years.

The last time the Rangers swept a four-game road trip was February 2015.  In 2014-15 they won four games in a single road trip three times with two four-game sweeps and one five-game trip when they won four and lost once in overtime.

The Senators are another team the Rangers haven’t seen in a while. The last time they played them was almost two years ago on November 22, 2019. That was a 4-1 loss and the Blueshirts have dropped two straight to the Senators.

The Rangers will have to do it with Alexandar Georgiev in net.  He hasn’t started since the opening night 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. They need a good performance from the Bulgarian to solidify their goaltending situation.  There’s no doubt that Igor Shesterkin is their number one goalie, but he cannot start every game and they need Georgiev to be their 1A goalie.

Considering that coach Gerard Gallant said that Thursday’s win over Nashville was their best game of the year, it was unlikely that he would change the lineup, but the Rangers’ website indicates that Julien Gauthier will be in the lineup on the third line with Morgan Barron and Ryan Reaves, with Greg McKegg sitting this one out.

About the Senators

Ottawa is 2-2-0 this season, losing their last game to San Jose on Thursday. It was their first home loss in eight games.  Statistically, they are very close to the Rangers.  They are scoring at a rate of two goals per game compared to the Rangers 2.2 goals per game.  On defense, the Rangers are allowing 2.2 goals per game and the Senators are allowing 2.25.

The Rangers have not had a lot of success recently against the Senators, despite their lowly position in the standings.  The Blueshirts have dropped the last four season series, going 4-8 with the last time they had a winning record against the Senators in 2015-16.

Believe it or not, the Rangers have almost a .500 record in Ottawa (22-23-2).  The Rangers have a ton of trouble with the Senators at Madison Square Garden with a 17-29-2 record.

Brady Tkachuk made a return to the Ottawa lineup on Thursday after he started the season holding out as a Restricted Free Agent.  Also making his first start was goalie Matt Murray who had been on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.  Murray gets the start this afternoon after allowing two goals in a 2-1 loss to the Sharks.

Projected starting lineups

Only six Rangers who played in that November 2019 game with the Senators are playing for New York today.  That’s the same number of Senators who were in that 2019 game.  That’s quite a turnover for both teams in less than two years.

NEW YORK RANGERS

10  Panarin  – 93 Zibanejad – 20 Kreider
13 Lafrenière– 72 Chytil –91 Blais
29 Hunt -17 Rooney – 21 Goodrow
12 Gauthier – 47 Barron –  75 Reaves

55 Lindgren – 23 Fox
79 Miller – 8 Trouba
12 Nemeth – 27 Lundkvist

40 Georgiev
31 Shesterkin

OTTAWA SENATORS

7 Brady Tkachuk – 9 Josh Norris – 19 Drake Batherson
18 Tim Stutzle – 21 Nick Paul – 28 Connor Brown
10 Alex Formenton – 71 Chris Tierney – 45 Parker Kelly
13 Zach Sanford – 20 Logan Shaw – 63 Tyler Ennis

72 Thomas Chabot – 2 Artem Zub
5 Nick Holden – 22 Nikita Zaitsev
98 Victor Mete – 3 Josh Brown

30 Matt Murray
31 Anton Forsberg

About the game

Puck drop is 1pm and the telecast will be on MSG Network with ESPN+ streaming the game nationally. The radio call will be on ESPN 98.7 FM.

Blue Line Station will be hosting a live in-game conversation using the comments feature below. The comments have not been refreshing and one workaround is to change how the comments sort from “newest” to “oldest” and back to “newest” again. Sorry about that, we’re working on the problem.

The Rangers won six of nine day games last season so let’s see if they can keep that winning habit going.