Preview: Senators at Rangers
The Ottawa Senators are in full-fledged rebuilding mode after unloading their top offensive forwards at the trade deadline, but they were playing fairly well until running into the league's best team. Owning the worst record in the NHL, the Senators hit the road for the final time this season when they visit the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
Ottawa had won five of eight but was unable to keep up with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-2 loss on Monday night in the finale of a four-game homestand. The Senators have won three of their last four meetings against New York, but they enter the final three games of the season with the worst road record in the league. The Rangers, who also are in the midst of a rebuild that started prior to the 2018 trade deadline, were denied a third straight victory in Monday's 4-2 loss to the rival New Jersey Devils. “The thing that surprised me was how intense the game was for two teams out of the playoffs," New York coach David Quinn said of the matchup between the two worst teams in the Metropolitan Division.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, Sportsnet1 (Ottawa), MSG-Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (28-45-6): Rookie Brady Tkachuk, the No. 4 overall pick in last year's draft, has scored five times in the past seven games to boost his season total to 21 goals. Tkachuk eclipsed Alexandre Daigle for the most tallies by a teenager in franchise history. "He came in really wanting to prove that he was capable of playing in the league," interim coach Marc Crawford said. "Everything we give him, he takes and just tries to implement his own identity on to the areas that we gave him. What I like most about him is he doesn't waste any shifts."
ABOUT THE RANGERS (31-35-13): Rookie Filip Chytil, selected in the first round in 2017, has not enjoyed the same success as Tkachuk but the 19-year-old finally put an end to a 22-game goal drought with his 11th tally. Fellow forward Pavel Buchnevich was riding a career-long eight-game point streak and had scored in back-to-back contests before he was forced to sit out against New Jersey after going into the concussion protocol Sunday. “We kept him out for precautionary reasons, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see him Wednesday," Quinn said.
1. Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist has lost five straight starts to remain two wins shy of 20 for the season.
2. Ottawa signed G Joey Daccord to a two-year contract and could give him a start in one of the final games.
3. Rangers rookie C Brett Howden has one goal and four assists during a four-game point streak.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Senators 3