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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 18th (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (36-29-4) at Ottawa Senators (28-26-13), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The fading Ottawa Senators have a chance to make up some ground in the playoff race on Tuesday night as they play host to the New York Rangers.

The Senators are in the midst of a 2-5-2 skid, dropping them seven points behind the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, a position currently held by the Rangers.

New York is tied for third place in the Metropolitan Division with the Columbus Blue Jackets, as both clubs have 76 points. However, the Blue Jackets have two games in hand to hold the current tiebreaker and push the Blueshirts out of one of the three automatic playoff bids in the division.

The Senators have lost three straight and are coming off a 3-1 setback to the Colorado Avalanche. Ottawa was six seconds away from being shut out before Mika Zibanejad scored on a one-time blast.

Robin Lehner stopped 19 shots in defeat.

"We need wins right now, not moral victories," said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean.

Lehner was making his second straight start in place of the injured Craig Anderson, who suffered an upper-body injury in an overtime loss to the Nashville Predators last Monday.

Anderson remains day-to-day and Lehner is likely to face the Rangers tonight for the second time in his career. He won the first meeting, stopping 33-of-35 shots faced.

New York also is slumping, having lost six of its past nine games. That includes a tough-luck 1-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday that denied goaltender Henrik Lundqvist a piece of team history.

Lundqvist made 28 saves and remains stuck on 301 career victories, tied with Mike Richter for the most in club history.

The Rangers were denied a potential tying goal in the second period. Carl Hagelin forced a shot from a severe angle along the goal line to Antti Niemi's left, and after the San Jose backstop virtually glued himself to the post, the puck was obscured underneath his equipment.

A lengthy replay was not conclusive enough to overturn the original no-goal ruling on the ice.

"I thought defensively we did what we had to do. Offensively, we did everything but finish. We had some very good looks, but we couldn't pull the trigger," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "You've got to believe if we keep playing this way, we'll be alright."

Martin St. Louis played in his sixth game with the Rangers since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning and has yet to score a goal with his new club. He has two assists and is a minus-1.

St. Louis has 15 goals and 43 points in 50 career games versus the Senators, while Lundqvist is 11-14-3 with a 2.08 goals against average versus them.

The Rangers snapped a five-game series losing streak to the Senators with a 4-1 win in Ottawa on Jan. 18. Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, while Cam Talbot came up with 29 saves.

The Blueshirts bested the Sens for only the second time in the last nine meetings and the recent victory snapped a three-game slide in Ottawa.

03/18 10:57:50 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
Final
MIA 100
BOS 84
Final
BRK 110
DET 105
Final
SAC 108
LAL 101
Final
ORL 88
PHI 96
Final
WAS 92
PHO 104
Final
MIN 96
IND 100
Final
OKC 99
NOP 101
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
Final
ALA 60
APP 59
Final
KSU 53
NDST 52
 
Final
WASU 82
SJST 53
2nd
UTEP 51
ALCOR 17
 
1st
SEAT 23
SACST 14
 
Final
DET 1
COL 2
Final
EDM 5
DAL 6
Final
BOS 4
BUF 3
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
Final
CHI 4
TOR 0
2nd
WIN 3
PHI 1
 
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
3rd
ARI 3
SEA 14