SENATORS (22-21-4) at RANGERS (22-17-7)
Last 10 — Ottawa 4-6-0; New York 5-1-4
Season series — This is the third of four meetings between the teams this season. The Rangers won the first two, 5-2 at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 3 and 2-1 in a shootout at Scotiabank Place on Nov. 14.
— The injury-riddled Sens are reeling, having lost their last five games. The Rangers have just five wins in their last 10 games, but they've earned a point in five of their losses over that span and are coming off an epic 1-0 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
"We're in a slump, a tough spot right now," Ottawa's Chris Kelly
said after Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Thrashers in Atlanta.
Losing streak aside, they are also right in the middle of a five-game road swing. The Sens have been outscored 22-5 during this five-game losing streak and have been without captain Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza during this recent stretch.
"Right now it seems what can go wrong is going wrong," Sens coach Cory Clouston said. "We've just got to suck it up and move forward."
Rangers -— Don't let the heartbreaking loss to the Devils fool you — the Rangers are playing really well right now.
They have eight wins in their last 13 games and have picked up points in 12 of those 13 matches thanks to reaching overtime in four of the five losses. But the Rangers are looking at the glass as half-full in those games.
"I don't have any complaints for how we played," Rangers coach John Tortorella said after the loss to the Devils. "It is frustrating when you come away with one point there."
— When you're playing as poorly as the Sens are lately, it's tough to find anyone with a pulse, never mind hot. No one has more than two points in the team's last five games.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist hasn't allowed more than two goals in his last six games. He has a .953 save percentage over that span.
Injury report — The Senators will be without the services of Alfredsson (shoulder), Spezza (knee), left wing Milan Michalek (upper body) and centre Jesse Winchester (knee). Defenceman Filip Kuba is out for a third straight game with an upper body injury … The Rangers got forward Vaclav Prospal back this week and are as healthy as a team can be at this stage of the season.
Stat pack — Prospal will play in his second game after missing seven games because of arthroscopic knee surgery ... Ottawa (14.0 per cent) has the worst power-play efficiency in the league. The Rangers rank third in penalty-killing at 86.4 per cent ... The Senators are 2-for-49 on the power play in their last 15 games.
Puck drop -- Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire took a shot in the head during this morning's pre-game skate and won't play tonight. Mike Brodeur, called up from the Binghamton Senators (AHL), will start in goal with Brian Elliott fighting the flu bug.
Brodeur pitched a near-shutout in his NHL debut on Dec. 19, stopping 22-of-23 shots he faced in a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
"I thought he played very well for us a month ago against Minnesota and the guys have confidence with him," said Senators head coach Cory Clouston. "It’s not an easy situation, but we have to try to get the two points."