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Stars try to snap slump as they visit Rangers

by Mike Battaglino

STARS (20-16-7) at RANGERS (22-20-3)


Last 10: Dallas 4-4-2; New York 6-3-1

Season series: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves in the first period and 41 overall in a 3-2 road win against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 21. Chris Kreider and John Moore scored 37 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the third period to give New York a 3-1 lead.

Big story: The turn of the calendar to 2014 has not been kind to the Stars, who have yet to win in four games this year and have been outscored 19-8. After a 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, Dallas will attempt to avoid a winless three-game New York metro road trip.

"I think right now we're wanting to win but we're not hating to lose," forward Tyler Seguin told Fox Sports Southwest. "And I think that's a big thing we need to fix."

With 47 points, Dallas is 11 points out of third place in the Central Division. With 47 points, New York is tied for third in the Metropolitan, among five teams within five points of each other.

Team Scope:

Stars: Dallas went 5-0-2 to close December, including two wins against the Los Angeles Kings, one each against the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks, and a point against the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues.

"We just need to keep working," Lehtonen said. "When we jump on the ice, every shift, you have to have a plan what we want to do then go execute. During a long season, there are tough times and really good times. Our job is to cut this as short as possible and start playing well again."

After allowing all the goals in a 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday, Lehtonen stopped 33 of 34 shots Thursday.

"1-0 games are games that goalies want," Lehtonen said. "I wish we would have been the one with the one goal at the end."

Rangers: Lundqvist is 3-1-1 after a 1-4-2 stretch. He made 35 saves in a 3-2 road win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

"It's great for [Henrik]," forward Carl Hagelin told NHL Network. "He plays at his best when his confidence is high, like any other goalie."

The Rangers have a point in three straight games (2-0-1) starting with a blowout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

"A lot of guys gained confidence from that game, a lot of guys got on the score sheet," Hagelin said. "That always helps, just putting the puck in is always going to give guys confidence. Winning 7-1 and having a good forecheck throughout the whole game carried on to last game (a 4-3 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets) and [against Chicago] as well."

The Rangers did not practice Thursday.

Who's hot: Stars forward Rich Peverley had a five-point, four-game streak snapped. … Rangers forward Brad Richards has four points in a three-game streak. Forward Ryan Callahan and defenseman Michael Del Zotto have one assist in each of the past three games.

Injury report: Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (lower body) could play after Cameron Gaunce was sent back to the American Hockey League. Defenseman Stephane Robidas (leg) is out. … Rangers forward Derek Dorsett (broken leg) is out.

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