Senators ride rare run of success into meeting with Rangers
Posted on: 27 Jan, 2024 at 12:24 PM
Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
The Ottawa Senators will try for their longest point streak in nearly three years when they host the struggling New York Rangers on Saturday night.
The Senators are 3-0-2 in their past five games following a 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Boston Bruins on Thursday.
The Rangers, meanwhile, are 1-3-1 in their past five games after losing 5-2 to the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, extending the defending Stanley Cup champions' point streak to six games.
The last time Ottawa earned points in six straight games was a 5-0-1 stretch from April 26-May 8, 2021.
Vladimir Tarasenko helped keep the latest point streak alive when he scored a power-play goal with 3:18 left in the third period to pull the Senators level with the Bruins 3-3.
It was a hard-earned point for Ottawa, as Boston is tied for the highest point total in the NHL (69).
"When you leave the rink (Thursday), you know you gave them a battle," Tarasenko said. "This is one of the best teams in the league and there's still room to improve, but I thought we had a good effort."
Despite losing four of their past five, the Rangers remain one of the most dangerous teams in the East.
New York coach Peter Laviolette said the Rangers are struggling to finish scoring chances while the opposition keeps seizing theirs.
"We're in that spot right now so, at the end of the day, we're losing games," Laviolette said. "We've got to dig in somehow and be better in all areas. Better defensively, more determined offensively and find a way to win hockey games."
The Senators weren't intimidated by the Rangers the last time the teams met, matching their season-high goal total during a 6-2 victory in Ottawa on Dec. 5.
Tarasenko and Brady Tkachuk each scored twice in the win.
New York came into that matchup with an 18-4-1 record, having gone 16-2-1 in the previous 19 games, but lost its third straight game against Ottawa.
Igor Shesterkin started in goal for the Rangers in that contest, but Jonathan Quick will likely get the call on Saturday after Shesterkin made 15 saves in the loss to Vegas.
In his NHL career against Ottawa, Quick owns a 6-5-1 record with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.
Quick is 0-4-1 in his past five starts this season, posting his last win on Dec. 15 against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Rangers have made plenty of news lately regarding players who won't be available against the Senators.
Filip Chytil experienced a major setback on Friday in his attempted return from an unspecified health issue.
Chytil, who had 22 goals and 23 assists in 74 games with New York last season, needed to be helped off the ice during the optional morning skate prior to the loss against Vegas.
He had just returned to practice in a non-contact jersey on Thursday, as he reportedly was dealing with concussion symptoms. Chytil last played for the Rangers on Nov. 2, and he has no goals and six assists in 10 games this season.
On Thursday, New York placed Nick Bonino on waivers. The 35-year-old forward cleared waivers on Friday and was assigned to Hartford of the AHL.
The Rangers also lost defenseman Ryan Lindgren to an unspecified injury when he was checked by Vegas forward Keegan Kolesar with 11:54 left in the second period. Lindgren did not return to the game.
--Field Level Media