New York Rangers look for home and home sweep of Senators

kaapo kakko new york rangers
Apr 9, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) controls the puck against Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom (26) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers ended a three-game skid thanks to backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak’s 34 save performance in Ottawa. Now the focus shifts to sweeping the home and home series against the Senators at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

That was Halak’s first win this season since signing in July as he was 0-5-1 in six previous tries.

“I’m just trying to help the guys gets some points and win some games,” Halak said via the team’s YouTube channel. “It’s a big win for me personally but two points for the team to move up.”

The 37 year-old became the seventh goalie in league history to win at least one game with seven different clubs.

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (11-9-4) vs. Ottawa Senators (8-13-1)
Date/Time: December 2, 2022 at 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
Radio: ESPN 98.7

New York Rangers seek sweep of Sens

new york rangers
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Blushirts will hold a morning skate at 10:30 AM at the MSG Training Center today. That should give some idea of what the lineup will look like. However, considering how Gerard Gallant doesn’t like to change a winning lineup, we could very well see no changes. That may also include Halak getting consecutive starts for the first time this season.

With the Rangers scheduled to play again on Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, a goaltending split is expected. Igor Shesterkin may get another game off before getting back at after two tough losses where he was extremely hard on himself.

“Goalie played [expletive] game again,” Shesterkin said after losing to the Devils on Monday. “I feel so bad and play so bad. I’m ashamed. Every goal is an easy play for me. I have to stop those. If our team wants to win the game, I have to play better.”

Shesterkin, who is 10-4-3 on the season with a GAA of 2.58 and a .913 save percentage, may have been way too hard on himself. That prompted questions to the coach if he was concerned about his star goalie.

“He’s a pro. He wants to win,” Gallant said Wednesday. “So that’s what guys do all the time. When you’re not happy with your performance, you blame yourself, you don’t blame somebody else. Igor’s been the best goalie in the NHL since I’ve been here about 100 games or whatever it is, and I’m really happy to have him, trust me.”

The best news from the last game was the team’s ability to hold a lead and pick up a victory. Now they’ll look to repeat that effort and work their way back up the division standings.

Entering play tonight, the Rangers are fifth in the Metro Division, four points behind the New York Islanders for third and two in back of the fourth place Pittsburgh Penguins. They are also one point behind the Detroit Red Wings (two games in hand) for the last wild card spot.

Rangers Game Notes

  • NYR all time vs Sens 47-48-3-4 (101 PTS)
  • NYR have won four straight against the Sens
  • NYR are 1 of 3 teams to have three or more players with 25 points
  • NYR are 3-1-1 in the first game of a back-to-back this season

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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