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Stars-Rangers Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, February 27

3:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (38-18-6) lost 6-3 to Winnipeg Thursday at American Airlines Center. The Stars have lost three of their past four games and have allowed 19 goals in the three losses, six in two of the games and seven in the other.

“I think we had a tough night in a couple of areas. I thought our defense had a tough night with some breakdowns. I thought our goaltending had a tough night. We looked like a slow team,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I’ve got to get this team in a different place. We won’t win games, obviously, with that many goals-against going in.”

Thursday’s game was the ninth time this season the Stars have allowed six goals or more in a game and the third time and the third time in eight days.

The Stars have lost three of their past four games at home.

Saturday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: LW Travis Moen (lower body) is day to day. RW Patrick Eaves (illness) is out.

The Rangers (35-20-6) won 2-1 at St. Louis Thursday. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 of 36 shots, and Chris Kreider scored early in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie and lift the Rangers to their third win in the past four games.

"We really needed these two points, so it was a good win," Lundqvist told the Rangers official site. "I just think the pressure is building. (The playoffs) are coming, it's tight in the standings, and we need to make the most of every game here. That's why I'm trying to prepare like it's the playoffs right now. I'm trying to do everything to make me on top of my game right now."

The Rangers, who are 8-2-1 in their past eleven games, maintained a three-point lead over the New York Islanders in the race for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh returned Thursday after missing two games with a jaw/neck injury.

Saturday’s game wraps up a stretch of three straight road games for the Rangers.

Injuries: LW Rick Nash (bone bruise) is week to week.

*This is the second and final meeting between the Stars and Rangers this season.

*The Rangers won the first meeting, 6-2, in New York on Jan. 5.

*The Stars are 7-4-1 since the All-Star break.

*The Rangers are 8-3-1 since the break.

*The Stars are 16-8-1 vs. the Eastern Conference including 9-3-1 vs. the Metropolitan Division.

*The Rangers are 14-8-2 vs. the Western Conference including 7-6-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars have scored three goals or more in 10 of their past 12 games.

*The Rangers have allowed two goal or fewer in 8 of their past 12 games.

*The Stars are 9-32 (28.1 percent) on the power play over the past nine games.

*The Rangers are 19-26 (73.1 percent) on the penalty kill over the past seven games.

*The Rangers have outscored the opposition 123-87 during five-on-five play and rank second in the league with a 1.41 five-on-five goals for/against ratio.

*The Stars have outscored the opposition 126-119 during five-on-five play and rank eleventh in the league with a 1.06 five-on-five goals for/against ratio.

*Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin both have 32 goals and are tied for second in the league.

*Benn ranks second in the league with 70 points. Seguin ranks third with 67.

*Derick Brassard leads the Rangers with 22 goals and Mats Zuccarello leads the team with 46 points.

*The Rangers have eight players with 10 goals or more.

*The Stars have seven players with 10 goals or more.

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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