New York Rangers Gameday Preview: Ottawa Senators – 12/2/22

Tonight’s contest between the New York Rangers (11-9-4) and Ottawa Senators (8-13-1) is the second of a home-and-home between the clubs. The Rangers were victorious, 3-1, in their first game on Nov. 30. Backup goalie Jaroslav Halak earned his first win of the season in his seventh star, stopping 34 of 35 shots and finishing with a .971 save percentage (SV%).

Ryan Lindgren New York Rangers
Ryan Lindgren, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Beginning tonight, they will play three games over the next four nights, so the veteran goalie will likely draw another start, potentially on Dec. 3 versus the Chicago Blackhawks. Here’s our gameday preview.

New York Rangers Projected Lines

Forwards

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Jimmy Vesey

Artemi Panarin – Filip Chytil – Vitali Kravtsov

Alexis Lafreniere – Vincent Trocheck – Kaapo Kakko

Sammy Blais – Barclay Goodrow – Julien Gauthier

Defense

Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox

K’Andre Miller – Braden Schneider

Libor Hajek – Jacob Trouba

Goaltenders

Igor Shesterkin – Halak

Depth Player Performances Allow Rangers to Snap 3-Game Losing Streak

In addition to Halak’s best start of the season, Lindgren also had a good game, with three assists against the Senators. Kreider, who is one of the Rangers’ core players, considers the blueliner one of their most significant members on the roster: “We always tell him before the game that he’s the straw that stirs the drink. He is. He does so many little things for this team. There’s a reason he’s the biggest unsung hero on this team. The way he blocks shots, the physical way he plays every single night. He’s so committed to winning. To see him do the things that we’ve all been talking about from an offensive standpoint, just getting pucks through to the net when you’ve got a lane. I mean, right from the get-go, he’s moving, he’s jumping up into the play,” (from ‘Ryan Lindgren has been ‘unsung hero’ for Rangers,’ New York Post, 12/2/22).

Related: Rangers’ Ryan Lindgren: From Undervalued Prospect to Top Defenseman


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Goodrow and Vesey each contributed a goal in their most recent contest, while Blais added an assist. To get back to winning consistently, the Rangers need offensive contributions from their depth players regularly.

Ottawa Senators Projected Lines

Forwards

Brady Tkachuk – Tim Stutzle – Claude Giroux

Alex DeBrincat – Shane Pinto – Drake Batherson

Tyler Motte – Derick Brassard – Mathieu Joseph

Parker Kelly – Mark Kastelic – Austin Watson

Defense

Thomas Chabot – Artem Zub

Jake Sanderson – Travis Hamonic

Erik Brannstrom – Nick Holden

Goaltenders

Cam Talbot – Anton Forsberg

Senators Unable to Finish on Scoring Chances versus Rangers

Head coach D.J. Smith emphasized the significance of the Senators’ lack of execution in the loss to the Rangers. “We had some chances to shoot where we didn’t shoot,” said Smith. “We were maybe too cute, and in a 2-1 game, and you’re passing up some Grade ‘A’ looks, and then it’s 3-1, and you’re squeezing it. I just don’t think we got to the net enough,” (from ‘GARRIOCH: Just when things were starting to look up, Senators drop one to Rangers at home,’ Ottawa Sun, 11/30/22). 

Pinto, the lone goal-scorer for the Senators against the Rangers, commented on the offensive struggles in their latest game: “I just didn’t think we were hard enough in our zone. There were a couple of soft goals in front of (Talbot), and we kind of left him out to dry there. We’ve just got to turn the page and get ready for (Friday).” Halak was able to withstand multiple shots on goal (SOG) from their top players, such as DeBrincat and Stutzle (three each), Batherson (six), and Tkachuk (four), and they will likely face Shesterkin in tonight’s contest. The reigning Vezina Trophy-winning goalie is eager to put his recent struggles behind him with a good start this evening.

Players To Watch

New York Rangers – Igor Shesterkin

Shesterkin is coming off of two difficult games – during the third period on Nov. 26 versus the Edmonton Oilers and against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 28. He will be looking to re-establish his dominant play tonight versus the Senators. He has solid numbers this season, with a 2.58 goals-against-average (GAA), a .913 save percentage (SV%), and a 10-4-3 record.

Ottawa Senators – Tim Stutzle

Stutzle, the Senators’ 20-year-old forward, has two goals and three assists in his last five contests and represents one of their core players, especially on the power play, with eight power-play points (PPP) this season. The organization is hoping he will be one of the players who is instrumental in turning them into a contender within the next few years.

Tonight’s game has a 7 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on MSG.

*Rangers lines from @vzmercogliano on Twitter. Senators lines from @SunGarrioch on Twitter.



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