Thursday, December 9, 2010

Preview: Rangers visit Ottawa

The Rangers look to pay back the Senators when they visit Ottawa later. The Sens beat them at MSG 3-1 thanks to a Chris Kelly hat trick, including the winner late in regulation when Erik Christensen failed to take Kelly.

It feels like forever since they last played. While the Rangers actually had a few days off, the Sens lost to Canadian rival Montreal the other night 4-1 as Carey Price continued his strong season. The Blueshirts really need this one because it won't get easier. Losing twice to Ottawa would be brutal. The top line featuring Marian Gaborik must deliver. Figure Sean Avery to be more involved. He's now in the top 20 in All-Star voting. Imagine if he somehow makes it.

The Blueshirts could use something from Artem Anisimov, who started so well and now is stuck on the fourth line with Alex Frolov. It'll be interesting to see how John Tortorella uses the latter following the disenchanted ex-King's ice-time complaint. It would be nice to see a motivated Frolov.

Mike Del Zotto has seen his power play time diminish with Tort going to rookie Derek Stepan on the point. While they did give up a shorthanded goal (2nd of season), it wasn't the 20 year-old's fault. Gaborik forced a pass that handcuffed him, leading to Kelly's shortie. To his credit, D-Step looked good, making some solid reads. We'll see if our coach sticks with it.

There's no reason for Henrik Lundqvist not to start. Figure him to be in. I'd be shocked if Pascal Leclaire didn't get another outing after how he stoned us Sunday. Shoot high.

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