The Rangers are in Ottawa tonight for their third and final matchup against a Senators team that gives them trouble every game. The Rangers have gone 0-1-1 against Ottawa this season, and are at least looking to even that out and gain another two points in the standings. The Sens are without pretty much every single star player, but they still find a way to win, which is impressive.
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.
For more on Tortorella’s systems read here.
2012-2013 Records: Senators (18-9-6), Rangers (16-13-3)
NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (12-16-28)
OTT Leading Scorer: Sergei Gonchar (2-20-22)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (28 GP, 2.20 GAA, .922 SV%)
OTT Goaltender: Ben Bishop (11 GP, 2.54 GAA, .923 SV%)
Rangers Lines (unconfirmed):
Chris Kreider-J.T. Miller-Marian Gaborik
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Brian Boyle-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Arron Asham-Kris Newbury-Taylor Pyatt
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Anton Stralman-Roman Hamrlik
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Marc Staal (eye), Matt Gilroy (healthy), Darroll Powe (healthy), Mats Zuccarello (healthy)
Broadcast Info: MSG, 7:30 pm
Torts’ post-game interview from Tuesday: