Rangers try to rebound against Senators

The New York Rangers will try to rebound from a rare game road trip with tonight's battle against the Ottawa Senators.

The Rangers dropped a 4-1 decision Tuesday in New Jersey, dropping the Eastern Conference leaders to 13-4-3 over the last 20 games.

Despite the setback, the Rangers enter tonight with a six-point lead over Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division and a 10-point cushion over Boston for the top seed in the East. With 91 points, the Blueshirts are also tied with St. Louis for the most points in the NHL.

Ottawa's playoff standing is a little less certain, but the Sens are seeded seventh in the East and are six points ahead of eighth-seeded Winnipeg.

The Senators ended a two-game slide with a 7-3 win Tuesday in Tampa. Milan Michalek recorded his second career hat trick and added an assist as Ottawa used two empty-net tallies to record the lopsided win over the Lightning.

"I thought we had a real good start to the game and they responded well," said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean. "But we responded to their surge and I thought that showed some of the character we have on this team."

Colin Greening had a goal and an assist while Ben Bishop made 25 saves for the Senators, who are also three points behind Boston for the top spot in the Northeast Division.

Bishop made his debut for the Senators after coming over from St. Louis in a trade. Bishop and Alex Auld are expected to handle Ottawa's goaltending duties while No. 1 starter Craig Anderson recovers from a lacerated finger.

Beginning with tonight's tilt, Ottawa is playing two straight and five of its next six as the host. The Senators are 17-13-3 at Scotiabank Place this season.

The Rangers fell to 20-9-5 on the road this year after Tuesday's loss to the Devils. David Clarkson scored the game-winner early in the third period in the 4-1 triumph for New Jersey.

Derek Stepan scored New York's only goal, while Henrik Lundqvist gave up three goals on 28 shots in the loss. It was the Rangers' first regulation setback since a 2-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Feb. 21.

"We had way too many mistakes out there," said Lundqvist. "I think we kind of beat ourselves a little bit. But we just have to work through this and stick together. They made some good plays when we had some breakdowns."

New York also lost forward Brandon Dubinsky on Tuesday to what was originally believed to be a hand injury, but the Rangers have since called it a sinus issue. Dubinsky did travel with the team to Ottawa and is questionable for tonight.

Ottawa has taken two of three from the Rangers this year and with another win tonight, the Sens will claim this season series for the first time since 2007-08. However, New York has won six straight and seven of its last eight games in Canada's capital city.