NHL Hockey

Rangers, Senators try to build toward offseason

With little to play for in the final week of the season, both the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators hope to finish strong.

Each club looks to bounce back from a loss Wednesday night when they meet in New York City. Both New York and Ottawa will miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

The Rangers (31-35-13) had won two in a row before falling 4-2 at New Jersey on Monday night. Rookies Brett Howden and Filip Chytil each scored, and Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves in losing his fifth straight start while still one win shy of 450 for his career.

Though New York lost for the eighth time in 11 games, it showed some spirit by battling back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game before the Devils scored twice in the third period.

"The fight-back was huge," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk told the Rangers' official website. "We want to win these games, and we're not going to let anyone push us around."

Howden has a goal and five points over a four-game point streak for the Rangers, who have a chance to take the season series from Ottawa (28-45-6).

Lundqvist posted a 2.50 goals-against average while New York split the previous two games with the Senators. However, Alexandar Georgiev could be in net trying for a third consecutive win after making 29 saves in a 3-0 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday.

Ottawa concluded a 2-2-0 homestand with a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday. The Senators were actually tied at 1 with the NHL's top team after the first period, but the Lightning broke things open with two goals in the second. A Max Veronneau power-play got Ottawa within one early in the third, but Tampa Bay followed with two more goals to regain control.

One positive that came out of the defeat for Ottawa was that 19-year-old Brady Tkachuk scored his 21st goal of the season, the most by a teenager in Senators history.

"Honestly, I didn't really look at what number I need to hit," Tkachuk told the Senators' official website. "I just want to get better every day and help my teammates, and just keep learning, keep applying and moving forward."

Tkachuk has four goals with six points over the last five games. He had two assists in Ottawa's 4-2 loss at New York on Nov. 26.

Teammate Craig Anderson made 29 saves in that game against the Rangers, then stopped 27 shots during a 3-0 home victory over them three nights later for his first of two shutouts this season. Anderson had a 1.65 goals-against average during a three-game winning streak that ended versus Tampa Bay on Monday.

Senators backup Anders Nilsson has allowed nine goals while losing his last two starts.

It's uncertain if New York forward Pavel Buchnevich will be available after missing Monday's game with an apparent concussion. He has four goals with four assists during a seven-game point streak.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 2, 2019

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