Game 79: Getting a point vs. the Sens will clinch a playoff spot

Photo: Star Ledger

Photo: Star Ledger

The Rangers return from a successful west coast swing to a potential playoff clinching game tonight. The Rangers can clinch a spot with a point tonight against the Ottawa Senators. They can also clinch if the Leafs and Devils lose tonight in any fashion. The team probably doesn’t want to back into the playoffs, so beating an Ottawa team that can’t seem to play defense would be nice.

The Sens forechecking strategy is a bit complex, as they are a hybrid forechecking/lock team. When they are trailing or tied, they’ll send two or three guys after the puck in a 2-1-2 formation. When they are ahead though, they lock it up with a 1-1-3 forecheck, a variation of the 2-3 lock. They are an overload/zone defense team depending on puck location. On special teams, they run a standard umbrella power play, but run a hybrid PK (box, diamond, wedge+1) depending on puck location and opposition formation.

Rangers Lineup:

Offense

Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Brian Boyle-Brad Richards-Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Dan Carcillo-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett

Defense

John Moore-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Raphael Diaz-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Chris Kreider (hand), Ryan McDonagh (shoulder), Ryan Haggerty (healthy), Justin Falk (healthy)

Game time is 7pm on MSG. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

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7 Responses to “Game 79: Getting a point vs. the Sens will clinch a playoff spot”

  1. ranger fan since 1971 says:

    Obviously, we’re in. Beyond that, anything is possible with this group. Nash, MSL, Step, Zucc, Brass, McD comes back, 4th line keeps doing its shtick, Richards delivers, of course it all depends on our goalie!! and, I repeat, anything is possible. i know, I know, Philly, Pittsburgh, Boston, St Louis, BUT, anything is possible for this enigmatic group. Just, someone tell me, why do th,ey have so much trouble at home???

    • Peter Bockman says:

      Home cooking is soooo bad they just get slow, lethargic and lose all will to play.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      For the most part of the season they seemed to try to make a pretty play to get the crowd into the game. When of late they’ve tried to stay with the play like Nash goal off the back of the goalie. Or the shot he threw at the net at Brodeur.
      Of late they have played better at home. Just need the PP.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      Because they were always worried about the home crowd. The home crowd cheers when the team is engaged. Physically. They throw hits and push the pace never giving up on a play. They have been better at home scoring some greasy goals. The light comes on and the crowd wakes up. Pretty or not.
      They’ve been better at home of late. The long road trip is affecting them tonight. They need a big 3rd. Score at least one. If a second chance comes along then you take it. If not get the point and work in OT.

  2. Bloomer says:

    2-0 Ottawa after the first. Ottawa allowed time and space in the Ranger zone. Ottawa is prone to allowing teams back into games. New York needs to come out hard in the second and tighten up in their own end.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      They would have tied up up if not for the Sens 3rd goal which hurts. We just got it back to 2-3 with 3 mins left in 2nd. If the top 2 lines could get some momentum or create time and space for linemates. They could easily tie this game up. 2nd line hasn’t done enough thus far. Move Hagelin & Zucarello. Zuc could add that element they need. Brass & Pouliot can get it done. Moore was better than Boyle on Richies & MSL line. Moore is a better Faceoff guy. He wins possession in O zone for those 2. Boyle is a better 4th line Center around Carcillo & Dorsett.

  3. Bloomer says:

    A game of turnovers by both teams for sure. I still like to see McIlrath in the lineup. The Rangers need to be able to answer the bell when cheap shot artists like Burrows and Neil take liberties on their players.