Rangers at Senators
The New York Rangers will be short-handed when they travel to Canada's capital city. Top-line forward Rick Nash didn't make the trip north of the border and will miss his second straight game on Thursday as the Rangers visit the Ottawa Senators. Nash was also a spectator in Tuesday's 3-1 decision setback to Montreal, although he has yet to be ruled out of Saturday's return contest with his undisclosed injury.
Ottawa doesn't want to hear any talk of injuries, considering it will play the remainder of the season without reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson (torn Achilles). The Senators have forged ahead with a pair of victories, including a 3-1 triumph over the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Craig Anderson turned aside 37 shots versus the Islanders - and nearly lifted the Senators to a first-round upset of the Rangers in last season's playoffs.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), RSNE (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE RANGERS (8-6-1): Carl Hagelin saw his goal-scoring streak end at four, but extended his point streak to five games with an assist on defenseman Anton Stralman's goal on Tuesday. Hagelin has collected five goals and three assists during the streak. New York has enjoyed favorable results when traveling to Ottawa, winning eight of its last 10 visits. Ottawa has played tough at home, posting a 6-1-2 mark in 2013.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (9-6-2): Finding an offensive spark is going to be the season-long challenge for coach Paul MacLean. Andre Benoit and David Dziurzynski stepped up in that regard on Tuesday by registering their first career NHL goals and rookie defenseman Eric Gryba added an assist for his first point. MacLean will look for more of the same - especially against a New York team that has injuries of its own. "It's a great opportunity to play against a team that put us out of the playoffs and we expect it to be a great game," MacLean said. "They still have (Marian) Gaborik, they still have Lundqvist; they're going to be a handful."
1. Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist has yielded just eight goals en route to posting a 4-1-0 mark in his last five starts.
2. Anderson is 7-3-1 with a 1.87 goals-against average in 11 career regular-season tilts versus New York.
3. Ryan Callahan has just six points in 20 career regular-season contests versus the Senators. The Rangers captain collected two goals and as many assists in the first-round matchup.
Rangers 2, Senators 1