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Odds Taken from DraftKings Sportsbook
New York Rangers
10-9-4 (5th in Metropolitan Division)
8-12-1 (8th in Atlantic Division)
Artemi Panarin, Adam Fox (25)
Brady Tkachuk (25)
Mika Zibanejad (11)
Brady Tkachuk (9)
Artemi Panarin (19)
Brady Tkachuk (16)
Adam Fox, Chris Kreider (5)
Mathieu Joseph (4)
Mika Zibanejad (4.22)
Shots (Per Game)
Brady Tkachuk (4.53)
The New York Rangers will make the short trek to Ottawa to face the Senators. The Rangers are having a mediocre season and sitting outside the Playoff picture. However, with a win tonight, they can take control of one of the Wild Card spots. On the other side, the Senators are struggling and have the fifth-worst record in the league. With that being said, Ottawa won their previous two games against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.
The Rangers have the potential to be a top-five team in the league. They have a handful of scorers, a solid goaltender, and one of the best defensemen in the NHL in Adam Fox. However, they have not been firing on all cylinders this year and have been slow on both sides of the puck.
The Rangers still have time to turn this season around, but if they do, they will have to depend on Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Adam Fox. Artemi Panarin has six goals and 19 assists but also has a +/- of -9. Mika Zibanejad is more of a goal-scorer and leads the Rangers with 11. Chris Kreider also knows how to score the puck and has ten goals. Kreider is often set up by Adam Fox. I mentioned Fox in the previous paragraph, but now I will explain his impact. Fox is impressive on both sides of the puck. He slows down opposing teams’ wingers and centers and sets up his teammates on offense. The Long Island native has 19 assists.
Igor Shesterkin usually gets the nod in net for the Rangers. Shesterkin is not elite but is formidable. The 26-year-old has ten wins and only 2.58 goals per game.
The Senators have a slightly better offense than the Rangers, but their defense and goaltending leave much to be desired. Ottawa needs to clean up its act and not let in so many goals.
The Senators lack quality defensemen but have some impressive wingers. Brady Tkachuk is the most the best winger (and player) Ottawa has to offer. Tkachuk leads Ottawa in goals (9), assists (16), and points (25). Tim Stutzle is also quite impressive. Stutzle plays over 20 minutes a game and has eight goals and 14 assists. Veteran Claude Giroux is the final player on this list. Giroux plays a little less than Tkachuk and Stutlze but has nine goals and 11 assists.
Anton Forsberg is the #1 netminder in Ottawa, but that may change soon. Forsberg allows 3.43 goals per game, while his backup, Cam Talbot, allows 2.51. Ottawa may need to make Talbot the #1 if they want to save their season.
Ottawa may have won their previous two games, but they will not win today because of the Rangers’ roster. New York has more talent, which should be enough for them tonight.
The Rangers are the favorites but will only emerge victorious if they score a power play goal and slow down Brady Tkachuk.
The Rangers have only scored eight goals in their last three games. Their offense has had trouble scoring and needs to change that by scoring a power-play goal. The Rangers have a mediocre power play unit but need to find a way to score with the man advantage today.
Brady Tkachuk is often the focal point of the Senators’ offense. Tkachuk is a dangerous scorer and can do it all with the puck. Since Tkachuk is always a threat with the puck, the Rangers’ defensemen need to make him priority #1.
The Senators have a tough matchup on their hands but can turn the tables by scoring first and playing team defense.
The Senators must score first in this game. If they do, momentum will shift in their direction, and their home crowd will get louder and help them win.
The Senators are not known for defense, but they must change the narrative today. Ottawa has to play tough defense and have everyone contribute on the defensive side of the puck.
Artemi Panarin is an electric hockey player but does not always make the right decisions. Panarin may have 25 points, but his +/- of -9 is troubling.
Panarin needs to make smarter decisions today, while still looking to score and set up his teammates.
Claude Giroux plays less than 18 minutes a game but makes the most of his time on the ice. Giroux averages almost one point a game and has a +/- of two. In addition, the 34-year-old provides a lot of leadership and was named an alternate captain in his first year in Ottawa.
Giroux must continue being the veteran presence that can score and pass. His leadership and offensive ability can help the Senators to victory.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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