The Rangers successfully avoided their first trap game this game, by downing the Florida Panthers 1-0 at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.
New York will face a similar test tonight when it takes on the lowly Ottawa Senators at MSG.
The Rangers, winners of five consecutive games, have significantly improved their playoff stock with some fantastic play of late. Currently the Rangers are a comfortable six points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes (who are in ninth place) and three points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres (who are in eighth place). Both of those teams have a game in hand.
But the Rangers are no longer in a situation where they need to focus on the teams behind them, they can finally look ahead to the teams in front of them. The Montreal Canadiens are only three points ahead of the Rangers, with both teams having played the same amount of games.
But, as usual, that's not an excuse for the Rangers to not focus on tonight's matchup. The Senators, who are one of the league's worst teams, will still pose a threat to New York if they underestimate them.
Henrik Lundqvist, who recorded his league-leading 10th shutout against the Panthers, is expected to get the nod tonight.
More when we have it.