Dec
13

Game 28: Rangers vs. Stars

December 13, 2011, by

Standings: Stars (16-11-1), Rangers (17-6-4)

Leading Scorer: Jamie Benn (7-17-24)

Goaltender: Andrew Raycroft (3.53 GAA, .900 SV%)

Rangers Lines:

Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-John Mitchell
Brandon Dubinsky-Erik Christensen-Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Jeff Woywitka-Anton Stralman

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start tonight.

Scratches/Injuries: Marc Staal (concussion symptoms), Mike Rupp (knee), Wojtek Wolski (groin), Mike Sauer (concussion), Sean Avery (healthy)

Preview: The Dallas Stars are the real surprise in the Western Conference at the moment. Although no player is really lighting the lamp, they are getting consistent scoring from the usual suspects (Jamie Benn, Mike Ribiero, Loui Eriksson), but they also are getting significant contributions from Eric Nystrom, who they acquired off waivers from Minnesota. It’s funny with Nystrom because they only claimed him on waivers because they were under the salary cap floor when the Rangers waived Sean Avery. Guess the Rangers helped them out twice with Avery.

The biggest reason why Dallas has been so good is because of their goaltending. Kari Lehtonen has been playing like the player he is supposed to be, and it’s earning the Stars wins. The Stars have a negative goal differential (-5) and are middle of the road in GF (73) and GA (78). Their powerplay is atrocious (15.4%), but their penalty kill isn’t too terrible (83.3%), but that’s attributable to goaltending. The numbers don’t agree with the Stars, but Lehtonen is carrying them to wins. Luckily for the Rangers, Lehtonen is out with a groin injury.

What the Stars lack in offense they more than make up for in physical play. They have two guys (Steve Ott, Marc Fistric) with over 80 hits, and another eight guys with over 50 hits. They wear you down with physical play, something the Rangers like to do themselves.

Crazy Thought: Dubinsky shows up.

Opponent’s Blog: Blackout Dallas

Game time tonight is 7pm on MSG, AM1050 and XM214.

Categories : Game Thread

6 comments

  1. bob says:

    Very surprised Dallas is in 1st with a negative 5 goal differential.I guess when they lose they lose big time,and when they win its by a goal at most.Would think Torts would want Aves in this one,guess not.Hope we can keep this streak going.Let’s go Rangers.

    • Dave says:

      It’s the same way the Rangers won in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. They won despite themselves.

      • bob says:

        Very true.That goaltending interference is a perfect example why I don’t like the goalie not being fair game.I believe they should be protected in certain areas but not when they come out like that.Goalies can take advantage.Not saying Bachman did but it was definitely unfair to Hagelin and the Rangers.

        • Dave says:

          There’s a difference between fair game and contact being legal. They shouldn’t be the target of a Phaneuf-esque hit, but contact is contact.

  2. bob says:

    But Bachman could purposely charge out like he did and cause a penalty.My opinion is there should not have been any penalty but if someone gets a penalty the goalie should get it for interference.The way they are calling it now,leaves the goalie at an advantage to purposely cause a penalty for the opposition.Just don’t like it,cause Hagelin did nothing wrong.

    • ranger17 says:

      If the NHL wants to protect the goalie then widen the blue and make the goalie stay with in it . They don’t even call the goalie for playing the puck outside the trapazoid.