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Preview: Stars close out quick homestand vs. Rangers

Bishop in goal, Hanzal a game-time decision as the Stars look for their third straight win

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge
New York Rangers at Dallas Stars

Monday, February 5
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

 

About the Stars

The Stars (30-19-4) are coming off a 6-1 win over Central Division foe Minnesota, 6-1, Saturday night at American Airlines Center. After a scoreless first period, the Stars blew the game open with four unanswered goals in a 5:08 span of the second period.

"Every game is big. But these that are against the same division teams, I think they were one point behind us before tonight, it doesn't get any bigger than that at this point in the year," said Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 30 shots. "It was a good test for us, and we passed that one. It was good."

The Stars, who their last two games, held firm in the first-wild card spot in the West and moved three points ahead of Minnesota, which is the second wild-card team. Dallas also pulled four points ahead of the ninth-place spot in the conference.

G Ben Bishop will start Monday after missing Saturday's game with a facial injury.

C Martin Hanzal, who has missed five games with a muscle strain, practiced Sunday and is a game-time decision for Monday.

G Landon Bow was assigned to Texas (AHL) on Sunday.

Monday's game wraps up a two-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: C Martin Hanzal (muscle strain) is questionable. D Marc Methot (knee) is out.

 

About the Rangers

The Rangers (25-22-5) are coming off a 5-2 loss at Nashville Saturday. After a scoreless first period, the Predators scored twice in the second - once early and once late - to take a 2-0 lead into the final period. The Rangers lost for the fifth time in the last six games (1-5-0).

"Every time they had a look, they were able to get a real good look, and they scored," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We tried battling back, but we weren't able to do it."

The Rangers, who are 3-8-0 in their last 11 games, are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, two points out of the final playoff spot.

Monday's game concludes a two-game road trip for the Rangers, who are 1-6-0 in their last seven games away from home.

Injuries: F Pavel Buchnevich (upper body), F Chris Kreider (rib surgery), and D Kevin Shattenkirk (knee surgery) are out.

 

Season Series
  • This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Rangers.

  • The Stars won the first meeting, 2-1, in a shootout Dec. 11 at Madison Square Garden.

  • The Rangers are 4-1-0 in their last five games in Dallas.

 

Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 18-8-1 at home.

  • The Rangers are 8-13-2 on the road.

  • The Stars are 12-5-4 vs. the Eastern Conference, including 5-3-3 against the Metropolitan Division.

  • The Rangers are 9-10-1 vs. the Western Conference, including 1-6-1 against the Central Division.

  • The Stars rank sixth in the NHL in goals against at 2.58 per game and ninth in goal scoring at 3.06 per game.

  • The Rangers rank 14th in scoring at 2.92 per game and are tied for 22nd in goals against at 3.00 per game.

  • The Stars are 8-30 (26.7 percent) on the power play over the last eight games.

  • The Rangers are 7-21 (33.3 percent) on the power play over the last eight games.

  • Forward Alexander Radulov (21 goals, 29 assists) and defenseman John Klingberg (6 goals, 44 assists) co-lead the Stars with 50 points.

  • Forward Mats Zuccarello leads the Rangers in scoring with 38 points (8 goals, 30 assists).

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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