The New York Rangers recently had their home opener spoiled with a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at a renovated Madison Square Garden and will turn their attention to the visiting Ottawa Senators this afternoon.
The Rangers went 3-2-2 on their longest road trip to begin a season and were welcomed back to the Big Apple with open arms from the team's friendly faithful in a sold-out MSG. New York failed to send its fans home happy, dropping a 4-2 decision.
Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto scored for the Rangers, who came into the game with a record seven-game point streak in home openers dating back to the 2003-04 season. New York was also coming off a 2-1 win at Winnipeg.
"It's definitely disappointing. You want to come in here, especially at the start of a fresh season, and get a win in your home building," said Rangers forward Ryan Callahan. "The crowd was great, and they got us going there in the first (period). We had a good first period, but didn't follow it up with a good second or third."
Henrik Lundqvist made 32 save in the crease in defeat. The Rangers are also slated to host the Sharks, Ducks, Canadiens and Jets before hitting the road to Ottawa on Nov. 9. Rangers defenseman Michael Sauer returned to the lineup after missing the last five games with a shoulder injury.
Ottawa streaks into this matchup with the Rangers riding a four-game winning streak after a 1-5 start and posted a 4-3 victory Thursday versus the Florida Panthers at ScotiaBank Place. Nick Foligno kept the winning streak alive after he netted the game-winning goal with just 2.5 seconds left in regulation.
"We're fresh, we've been skating a lot since training camp," Foligno said of his team's energy level late in games. "We just play to the last whistle and it's a big reason why we're winning these games."
Senators head coach Paul MacLean announced that center Peter Regin will miss six to eight weeks with a shoulder injury. Regin has one goal and two assists in five games this season.
The last time the Senators won five in a row was during a six-game run from March 22-April 1, 2010.
Ottawa and New York split four matchups a season ago, but the Rangers have won six of the previous 10 meetings between the teams. Ottawa has won three straight and 13 of its last 17 contests at the Rangers.