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Stars-Rangers Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tuesday, January 5

6:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (28-9-4) lost their second straight game, falling 6-5 to the New York Islanders in Brooklyn Sunday. It was the first time this season the Stars have lost consecutive games. The Stars spent ten minutes killing penalties and surrendered two power play goals.

“When we spend the amount of time we did killing penalties, there is a lot of bad stuff that is going to happen,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff, whose team was playing its sixth game in nine days. “When you are playing a lot of games in a few days your discipline and attention to detail isn’t good. We have gotten away from some of the mental parts of the game that we have been so good at.”

The Stars lost for the sixth time in their past seven road games (1-3-3).

Tuesday’s game wraps up a three-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: F Ales Hemsky (lower body) is on injured reserve.

The Rangers (21-14-4) lost 3-0 at Florida Saturday. The Rangers had a 40-20 shots advantage in the game, but the Panthers made the most of their opportunities, and the Rangers couldn’t crack Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo.

"As good as some parts of our game were, when you look at it from a statistical standpoint, we've got to be able to capitalize, you've got to be able to make the other team play. We didn't tonight, and they did,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “There's no doubt that Luongo had a good night tonight, but you've got to find a way to make it harder on him. Better screens, more people at the net. Yes, he did have a good night, but at the end of the day, we had some looks, and we didn't capitalize.”

The Rangers have lost five of their past seven games (2-5-0).

Rangers forward Chris Kreider suffered a cut on his hand in Saturday’s game. He did not skate Monday and is doubtful for Tuesday.

Tuesday’s game kicks off a three-game homestand for the Rangers.

Injuries: F Chris Kreider (hand) is doubtful.

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

*The Stars were 2-0-0 vs. the Rangers last season.

*The Stars have won four of their past six games at Madison Square Garden (4-2-0).

*This will be Dallas’ seventh game in the 11 days since the NHL’s holiday break.

*This will be New York’s fourth game since the holiday break.

*The Stars are 15-6-1 vs. the Eastern Conference, including 8-2-1 vs. the Metropolitan Division.

*The Rangers are 10-7-1 vs. the Western Conference, including 4-5-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars rank first in the NHL in goal scoring at 3.49 per game.

*The Rangers rank fifth in goal scoring at 2.85 per game.

*The Stars have scored five goals or more in five of their past eleven games.

*The Rangers have allowed five goals or more in six of their past ten games.

*The Rangers have allowed ten power-play goals in their past eight games and are 20-30 (66.7 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*Stars forward Patrick Sharp is on a nine-game points streak (six goals, six assists).

*Jamie Benn leads the league in goals (24) and ranks second in points (52).

*Mats Zuccarello leads the Rangers in goals (16) and points (31).

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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