After facing a tough stretch against three straight rivals (four if you consider the Carolina Hurricanes and their irrelevancy a rival), the Rangers (16-11-2) will need to avoid a trap game against the Dallas Stars (16-13-1) tonight who have lost three straight.
Ondrej Pavelec will be getting the start in net for the Rangers who look to keep their strong home-presence in tact as they’ve lost just one game in their 11 home games.
Pavelec was as solid as a goaltender could be in his last appearance against the Pittsburgh Penguins in which the pipes behind him rang five times with no buzzer sounding. He stopped 41 shots and helped the team hold on to their one-goal advantage.
The team will need to take advantage of the weak Dallas defense that has allowed 18 goals in the last three games. Dallas will be inserting rookie D-man Julius Honka into the lineup to shake things up defensively.
Player to Watch
Jesper Fast is now playing on the second line and after his strong performance last game there should be no reason to expect him to slow down now that he is accompanying Rick Nash and Kevin Hayes on the second line.
He’s found a knack for getting to the right places at the right times and with Nash and Hayes serving as big bodies occupying defenders he’ll have opportunity to find the soft spots in offensive zone.
Chris Kreider — David Desharnais — Pavel Buchnevich
Rick Nash — Kevin Hayes — Jesper Fast
Michael Grabner — J.T. Miller — Mats Zuccarello
Paul Carey — Boo Nieves — Jimmy Vesey
Ryan McDonagh — Nick Holden
Brady Skjei — Kevin Shattenkirk
Marc Staal — Brendan Smith