Tonight the Rangers are without Rick Nash as they head to Ottawa, who is without Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza. The Sens, like the Rangers, also had a lot of roster turnover, losing Filip Kuba, Matt Carkner, Zenon Kenopka, and Bobby Butler. All that while adding Nick Foligno, Marc Methot, Mike Lundin, and Guillaume Latendresse.
The Sens gave the Rangers fits last season with their style of play, and will likely do so again this year. The Sens forechecking strategy is a bit complex, as they are a hybrid aggressive forechecking/lock team. When they are trailing or tied, they’ll send two-three guys after the puck in a 2-1-2 forecheck. When they are ahead though, they lock it up with a 1-1-3 forecheck, a variation of the 2-3 LW lock. A 1-1-3 is how you would expect, with one guy deep, one guy high to pounce on a turnover, and three guys back at the blueline to protect against odd man rushes.
In the defensive zone, the Sens rely on an overload to outnumber their opponents along the wall. This is designed to create turnovers along the wall and stifle the opposition’s ability to cycle the puck. Accurate passes to the weak side defenseman result in good scoring chances, as do defensive miscues. Depending on puck location, the Sens will also drop to a low zone collapse –like the Rangers– to clog the high-priced real estate.
On special teams, the Sens run an umbrella powerplay and a diamond penalty kill. The umbrella you should be familiar with, as it’s what the Rangers run. As for the diamond PK, it is generally run as a way to clog the middle while keeping pressure on the powerplay quarterback. This style can also be used as an aggressive PK, with the high forward pressuring the puck.
2012-2013 Records: Senators (9-6-1), Rangers (8-6-1)
NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (3-9-12)
OTT Leading Scorer: Kyle Turris (4-8-12)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (13 GP, 2.32 GAA, .915 SV%)
OTT Goaltender: Craig Anderson (14 GP, 1.57 GAA, .950 SV%)
Rangers Lines (unconfirmed):
Chris Kreider-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
JT Miller-Brian Boyle-Taylor Pyatt
Arron Asham-Jeff Halpern-Brandon Mashinter
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto-Matt Gilroy
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Darroll Powe (concussion), Rick Nash (sick), Stu Bickel (healthy)
Opposition Blog: The 6th Sens
Broadcast Info: 7:30 pm, MSG
Torts Post Practice Interview from Wednesday: