The Rangers are set to play tonight in their second of back-to-backs, third game in four nights, and their fourth of five games in eight days. That’s a whole lotta hockey for the Rangers, who are in the middle of a four game winning streak, including last night’s come from behind OT win against the Islanders. The Sens on the other hand, have lost four in a row. The last time these two teams met the Rangers lost in a shootout, but the Sens lost goaltender Craig Anderson (who hasn’t played since). These shorthanded Sens are still without Anderson, Karlsson, and Jason Spezza.
As we discussed in the last game thread with the Sens, they are a bit of a different mold than the Rangers are used to. 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 or 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 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 middle.
You can read more on Torts’ systems here.
2012-2013 Records: Senators (12-8-4), Rangers (12-8-2)
NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (8-12-20)
OTT Leading Scorer: Kyle Turris (4-9-13)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (19 GP, 2.20 GAA, .921 SV%)
OTT Goaltender: Robin Lehner (2 GP, 1.87 GAA, .951 SV%)
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Rick Nash
Marian Gaborik-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Taylor Pyatt-JT Miller-Darroll Powe
Stu Bickel-Jeff Halpern-Micheal Haley
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Anton Stralman
Roman Hamrlik-Steve Eminger
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Marc Staal (eye), Arron Asham (back), Matt Gilroy (healthy), Brian Boyle (healthy)
Broadcast Info: MSG Network 7:00p
Torts post-game interview from Thursday: