Stars-Rangers Preview

Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 12:05 AM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Rangers Preview
Previewing Thursday night\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers.

New York Rangers at Dallas Stars
Thursday, November 21
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (11-7-2) ran their road winning streak to six games with a 2-1 win at Vancouver on Sunday. Kari Lehtonen stopped 42 of 43 shots, and Valeri Nichushkin and Erik Cole scored for the Stars, who improved to 8-2-2 in their last 12 games overall.

After playing eight of their last ten games on the road, the Stars will play four of the next five at American Airlines Center. The Stars are 3-2-2 at home this season, and are 0-1-2 in their last three at the AAC.

“It’s huge,” Stars defenseman Jordie Benn said of the upcoming home games. “You want to play a lot better at home, you want to get your fans into it. We’ve got a good fan base here, we want to play good at home. The next four here are huge. We’re just going to try to do the same things we do on the road, nothing fancy. Shoot the puck and get some wins.”

Right wing Alex Chiasson was hit in the face with a puck in Wednesday’s practice. He is questionable for Thursday’s game. Ray Whitney, who has missed the last three games with a groin injury, practiced Tuesday and Wednesday. He’ll be a game day decision.

The Stars recalled defenseman Kevin Connauton from a conditioning assignment in the AHL on Wednesday. The Stars placed forward Lane MacDermid on waivers Wednesday.

Injuries: RW Alex Chiasson (face) and LW Ray Whitney (groin) are questionable.

About the Rangers

The Rangers (10-11-0) are coming off a 2-1 loss to Boston at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. The Rangers outshot the Bruins 44-22, but Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 43 shots. The Rangers have scored just two goals in the last three games, and both of those have come on the power play.

“We haven’t scored a five-on-five goal in three games. We’re doing everything we’re supposed to do to get them. As a player you have to believe in yourself, keep working hard and get back to work tomorrow,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. “All the games we’ve lost lately have been one-goal games. We are doing a lot of the right things, but one thing we have to start doing is make the opposition pay for their mistakes.”

Rangers forward Rick Nash was back in the lineup Tuesday after missing 17 games with a concussion.

Thursday’s game kicks off a stretch of five straight on the road for the Rangers.

“These are a huge five games,” said Nash. “These are the games in March and April that you look back at these type of road trips and see how you did. It’s tough to win on the road. We’ve got to make sure that we’re ready and come back with a lot of points.”

Injuries: LW Taylor Pyatt (concussion) is out.

Series Notes

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

*The two teams did not play last season.

*The Stars and Rangers last met December 13, 2011 in Madison Square Garden, with the Stars winning 1-0.

*The Stars are 39-68-23 all-time against the Rangers.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 3-2-2 at home this season.

*The Rangers are 6-6-0 on the road.

*The Stars are 5-2-0 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*The Rangers are 1-6-0 vs. the Western Conference.

*The Rangers, who have been shut out four times this season, rank 27th in the league in goal scoring at 2.05 per game

*The Stars rank 14th in the goal scoring at 2.75 per game.

*The Rangers power play is 9-37 (24.3 percent) on the road, and ranks fourth in the NHL.

*The Stars are 0-24 on the power play at home, and are 2-30 (6.7 percent) in their last nine games overall.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals with 12.

*Seguin and Jamie Benn co-lead the Stars in points with 23.

*Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan co-lead the Rangers in goals with 6.

*Richards leads the Rangers in points with 16.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 8-2-2 with a 2.10 goals against average and .930 save percentage since returning from a lower body injury on Oct. 24.

*Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is 4-5-0 with a 1.68 goals against average and .938 save percentage since returning from injury on Oct. 27.

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 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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