Preview: NY Rangers at Ottawa

When: 3:00 PM  ET, Saturday, April 29, 2017
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
Matchup Edge
NYR Edge in: OTT
Offense
Defense
Power Play
Penalty Kill
Face Offs
Discipline
Goaltending


Coach Guy Boucher has been trumpeting his team in the role of underdog in advance of its postseason series against the New York Rangers, but the play of the Ottawa Senators may force him to adopt a different tactic. The Senators look to hold serve at home and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series in Saturday's Game 2 against New York.

Star defenseman Erik Karlsson's goal from a near-impossible angle was the difference in Ottawa's 2-1 victory in the series opener -- the Senators' seventh one-goal decision in as many playoff games. "The players didn’t want to get swept in four,” Boucher said while rattling off a checklist of the ominous challenges presented by New York. “We expect them to bounce back with a game that’s even better, so we know how tough it’s going to be.” The possibility of falling into a 2-0 series deficit is not weighing too heavily on the Rangers, who owned the league's best road record with 27 wins and roared back to take the final three games in the first round. “I think we just have to forget about this,” ex-Ottawa center Mika Zibanejad said. “We were down in the Montreal series, as well, 2-1. It’s 1-0. A lot of hockey left to play.”

TV: 3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVAS

ABOUT THE RANGERS: New York needs to focus on a better start in Game 2 after Ottawa forced netminder Henrik Lundqvist to make 21 of his 43 saves in the first 20 minutes -- his highest save total ever for one period in the postseason. “Obviously we want to play fast, but we can’t rush it up with one guy trying to break through, give it away and have them come back and shove it up our (butt),” forward Mats Zuccarello told the New York Post. “It’s important for us to be patient with the puck against their trap." Leading goal scorer Chris Kreider remains stuck on one assist through seven playoff games.

ABOUT THE SENATORS: Karlsson missed five games down the stretch because of a pair of stress fractures in his heel, but he once again delivered with his first goal of this postseason to go along with his six assists, leaving Boucher grasping for superlatives. "I think our fans have to appreciate what we have here," Boucher marveled. "It's more than a star right now. That's what I think is unbelievable. He's a skilled player that became a star and now he's a winner." That also applies to goaltender Craig Anderson, who has won his last four against New York with a staggering .984 save percentage.

OVERTIME

1. Ex-Ranger F Derick Brassard had a five-game point streak halted Thursday but tied Karlsson with a game-high five shots on goal.

2. Kreider's seven-game goal drought is the longest of his career in one postseason. He has 20 goals in 72 playoff contests.

3. Senators F Tom Pyatt (upper body), out the past three games, is ready to return but Boucher said he likely will stick with the same lineup.

PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Senators 1

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
NY Rangers 52-30-3-4 W1 23-17-0-4 29-13-3-0 6-2-0-0 46-28-3-4 15-13-1-1
Ottawa 49-29-7-4 L1 24-12-7-2 25-17-0-2 5-4-2-0 44-25-5-4 18-13-3-2

Last Meeting

NY Rangers Ottawa
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/27/17 NYR 1 OTT 2 35 41 1-4 43 34 1-4

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
NYR P. Buchnevich 1
OTT A. Burrows 1
Goals Player  
NYR R. McDonagh 1
OTT R. Dzingel 1
Assists Player  
NYR P. Buchnevich 1
OTT A. Burrows 1
Saves Player  
NYR H. Lundqvist 41
OTT C. Anderson 34
Season
Total Points Player  
NYR M. Zuccarello 59
OTT E. Karlsson 71
Goals Player  
NYR C. Kreider 28
OTT K. Turris 27
Assists Player  
NYR M. Zuccarello 44
OTT E. Karlsson 54
Saves Player  
NYR H. Lundqvist 1502
OTT C. Anderson 1155

Quickchart Matchup

NY Rangers Off vs  Ottawa Def
3.01 GF
2.52 GA
29.8 Shots
30 Shots
49 PP
54 PK
Ottawa Off vs  NY Rangers Def
2.51 GF
2.57 GA
30.3 Shots
30.5 Shots
49 PP
49 PK

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

NY Rangers Overall Ottawa
52-30-3-4 W/L 49-29-7-4
43-46 ATS 52-37
41-41 O/U 34-50
3.01 Goals For 2.51
2.57 Goals Agnst 2.52
NY Rangers A/H Ottawa
29-13-3-0 W/L 24-12-7-2
30-15 ATS 23-22
21-21 O/U 13-30
2.98 Goals For 2.42
2.33 Goals Agnst 2.31
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