Zibanejad Makes His Return As Rangers Visit Ottawa

Hello from the capital of Canada, Ottawa, where the Rangers take on the Senators this afternoon.

It’s the third and final regular season meeting between the two teams. Each team has a win with both games having been played at The Garden.

The Senators, who are coming off a 2-1 shootout win in Boston that clinched a postseason berth, have an opportunity to secure home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs with a win.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are playing out the string having secured an opening round playoff matchup against the Canadians. The Blueshirts will play without Derek Stepan, who joins a long list of regulars who will be rested today.

For Mika Zibanejad, the game marks his first return to the city that was home for the first four years of his career. Speaking from experience, that first trip back is pretty nostalgic. There are places in the building, like the visitors’ locker room that you never knew existed. The rink has a different perspective from the bench where you now sit for three periods. It’s nice to see that security guard who was always there when you entered the building.

And finally, the fans that you took for granted who passionately supported your game on the good and not so good nights will politely acknowledge your return. And then life in the NHL finally moves on. Those little memories of your maiden voyage in the league last forever. And that is nice.

3 KEYS TO RANGERS-SENATORS

1. Simple

Despite the absence of six regulars in Washington on Wednesday, the game was played with a very simple structure. While there was not a lot created, there was not a lot given up either. The same should go for today.

2. Pucks To The Net

If the opposition goaltender is the star of the story you have done all you can do. Make the netminder work for his keep.

3. Move The Puck

The puck will always move more quickly than any player can skate. The Rangers game all season long has been predicated on efficient puck movement regardless of who is in the lineup.

COVERAGE

Rangers-Senators today at on MSG Network (TV) and 98.7 FM ESPN (Radio). Pregame at noon, puck drop a little after 12:30.

Check it out!