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Stars-Rangers Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

New York Rangers at Dallas Stars

Monday December 29, 2014
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (15-14-5) are coming off a 4-3 win in St. Louis on Saturday. It was the fourth straight road win for the Stars, who are 5-1-0 in their past six games overall and 6-2-0 in the past eight. Saturday’s win was their first within the Central Division.

“Anytime you get to play a team like St. Louis, it’s a measuring stick for us,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “We see where we are at, and we are trying to get back in this. We dug ourselves a hole; we are trying to get out of it and beat teams like St. Louis. It’s obviously a great feeling.”

Monday’s game kicks off a three-game homestand for the Stars. It will be their first look at the New York Rangers, the hottest team in the NHL with eight wins in a row.

“It’s a good test for us. They haven’t been giving up a lot. They’ve been playing good hockey,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “And they are on a good run. Our job is to knock them off that run and stay on ours.”

The Stars assigned D Cameron Gaunce to Texas (AHL) on Sunday.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Rangers

The Rangers (19-10-4) won their eighth straight game, defeating New Jersey, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden Saturday. Derek Stepan scored all three goals for the Rangers, who are on the club’s longest winning streak since 1974-75.

“I think we believe in each other a lot right now, we believe in the system and the way we are playing,” Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. “We've gained a lot of confidence because the way we are playing and because we are winning. You relax a little bit more, let the game come to you, and you just have a lot of fun. It's a lot of good things, but we have to continue to push ourselves to improve our game.”

The Rangers are 10-2-0 over their past 12 games and 12-3-0 over their past 15.

Monday’s game kicks off a two-game road trip for the Rangers.

Injuries: None.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Rangers this season.

*The Stars were 0-2-0 (0 points) vs. New York last season.

*The Rangers were 2-0-0 (4 points) vs. Dallas last season.

*The Stars are 39-70-23 all-time vs. the Rangers.

Statistical tidbits

*The Rangers are on an 8-0-0 run.

*The Stars are 6-2-0 in their past eight games.

*The Rangers have allowed 11 goals in their past eight games. They’ve allowed two goals or fewer in each of the past seven.

*The Stars have scored four goals or more in four of their past eight games.

*The Stars are 3-12 (25.0 percent) on the power play over the past three games.

*The Rangers have allowed two power play goals over the past nine games and are 23-25 (92.0 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*The Stars are 6-7-5 at home.

*The Rangers are 7-5-1 on the road.

*The Stars are 5-5-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*The Rangers are 6-1-3 vs. the Western Conference, including 2-0-3 vs. the Central Division.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin leads the NHL with 25 goals.

*Rangers forward Rich Nash ranks second in the NHL with 23 goals.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on 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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