Dallas Stars @ New York Rangers: Preview


The Dallas Stars made the short jaunt last night from Buffalo, NY to New York, NY and will pay a visit to the New York Rangers on Sunday evening. The Rangers are the reigning Eastern Conference champs, and tonight’s game will conclude the season series amongst the two clubs. The Stars won the first matchup in Dallas by a score of 3-2, and a win at Madison Square Garden would constitute a season sweep. The puck drops at 4 p.m. CST, and the game can be seen locally on Fox Sports SouthWest.

Records and Scores

The Dallas Stars (23-21-8) are looking to stay relevant in the Western Conference, as their playoff hopes have been dashed of late by three consecutive losses. After blowing a two-goal lead against Colorado last Thursday and losing in the shootout, the Stars fell at home against Tampa Bay on Thursday, and then suffered a tough defeat at the hands of the lowly Sabres last night in Buffalo. The Stars currently sit seven points outside of the final Wild Card spot, although they’ll need to jump at least four other teams in the process if they want to see the postseason.

The New York Rangers (27-14-4) currently sit in sole possession of the top Wild Card spot in the East, and have gone 3-3-0 since the all-star break. They dropped one against the Central-leading Predators last night, but won three of four during the preceding homestand. Hockey experts have the Rangers trending downward, however, as a neck injury to world-class netminder Henrik Lundqvist has sidelined him for the next 4-6 weeks.

Tonight’s game will feature two Art Ross and Maurice Richard Trophy contenders, as both NHL points leader Tyler Seguin and NHL goals leader Rick Nash will suit up.


Stars Still Grinding

Sometimes a loss can be attributed to poor play and effort, other times the breaks just don’t go your way and a loss is the result of a great effort. The Stars’ 3-2 loss last night against the league-worst Buffalo Sabres is definitely a case of the latter. Goalie Anders Lindback put in a solid effort, even though he was faced with some highly unfortunate odd-man rushes. These mistakes are characteristic of the 2014-15 Dallas Stars, but they counter with high shot volume and last night they outshot the Sabres, 40-24. Sometimes, you just don’t get the breaks, and last night the Stars found yet another hot goaltender.

The Stars are a team that will fight until there is nothing left to fight for. It’s just that as the losses pile up, it seems more and more unlikely that they might string together enough wins to dig themselves out of the hole.

Rangers without King Henrik

All teams deal with a multitude of injuries throughout the season, and some are more detrimental than others. The longterm vascular issue that has sidelined the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist is perhaps the most detrimental injury a team might face: that of the franchise cornerstone, and that of a player who can win games by himself when the team underperforms. It is no secret that elite goaltending is a must if one intends to make a deep playoff run, and the Rangers have it in spades with Lundqvist. He took a puck to the throat against Carolina on Saturday night, and although he finished that game and played the next (both wins), he reported headaches and the Rangers have since shut him down.

Although the Rangers insist that having Cam Talbot in net won’t change their strategy, there’s no denying how much Lundqvist’s absence hurts them. Being an elite goalie means making saves that shouldn’t be made, and doing it regularly. There is perhaps no goaltender in the league that stands on his head like Ludqvist. The question is whether or not the Dallas Stars can capitalize on his absence.

Injury Report

For the Stars, Travis Moen (lower body), Valeri Nichushkin (hip), Patrik Nemeth (arm), Rich Peverley (chest) are all listed as out for tonight’s contest.

For the Rangers, Jesper Fast (knee) is listed as questionable, while Derek Stepan (illness) is listed as doubtful, and Henrik Lundqvist (vascular) is out.

Projected Line Combinations

Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Eaves

Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky

Antoine Roussell – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt

Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg

Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley

Jordie Benn – Jason Demers

Kari Lehtonen

Anders Lindback

New York Rangers

Rick Nash – Kevin Hayes – Martin St. Louis

Chris Kreider – Derick Brassard – Mats Zuccarello

Carl Hagelin – Dominic Moore – Jesper Fast

Tanner Glass – J.T. Miller – Lee Stempniak

Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi

Marc Staal – Kevin Klein

John Moore – Dan Boyle

Cam Talbot

Mackenzie Skapski


The Dallas Stars desperately need a big win to neutralize the effects of last night’s loss, and the Rangers without their top goalie are a prime suspect. Stars light the lamp five times, and hold off the Ranger 5-3.

Check back to Blackout Dallas for more news and postgame coverage!