Game Preview: Rangers vs. Senators

BY DAVID KOLB

OTTAWA SENATORS (20-11-3) @ NEW YORK RANGERS (23-12-1)
Live game coverage begins at 6:30 PM on MSG

LOOKING TO REVERSE COURSE

Tonight the Rangers faceoff against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden, hoping to rebound from their 7-4 loss vs. the Minnesota Wild Friday. The Blueshirts have displayed a strong ability to bounce back as they have recorded a 10-1-1 record in games following a loss in 2016-17. The Senators meanwhile come to Broadway hoping to extend their four-game winning streak after Thursday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks.

FIVE HAVE TEN

The Rangers are the only NHL team that sports five players who have scored at least 10 goals this season (Michael Grabner, Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider and Jimmy Vesey). This is the first time the Blueshirts have accomplished this fete through 36 games since the 2001-02 season.

KREIDER ROLLING

Chris Kreider scored twice, added an assist and registered a plus-3 rating in Friday’s 7-4 loss to the Wild. Kreider begins the night with seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 12 games in December and now has 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in 30 games this season.

KARLSSON

Erik Karlsson is turning in another Norris-caliber season, as he leads the Sens in scoring with seven goals and 24 points in 34 games. Karlsson must be watched closely tonight, as he is finishing out the 2016 calendar year in a strong way, picking up three goals with nine assists for 12 points in 11 games in December.

STEP-ING UP

Derek Stepan tallied a goal with two assists in Friday’s loss to Minnesota, giving him three goals and nine assists in a dozen games in December. Stepan carries a three-game scoring streak into tonight’s contest, as he has two goals and three assists during that span.