Game Thread

Game 51: Rebound against Dallas

The New York Rangers played very well yesterday afternoon against one of the best teams in the entire league, but came away with a loss. Today, they will take on a Dallas Stars team that was the offseason winner, but it hasn’t translated on the ice. Poor goaltending has done them in, as they’ve allowed a whopping 170 goals this season, mostly due to Kari Lehtonen’s .904 SV% this year, which is horrible. The Rangers, by contrast, have allowed just 120 (in two fewer games). That’s a 50 (!!) goal difference.

What they lack in defense they more than make up for in offense though. They have the league leader in points (Tyler Seguin – 59) and another player (Jamie Benn) in the top-20. They have two defensemen that are putting up ridiculous goal totals, as John Klingberg has 10 goals and Trevor Daley has 13 goals. That said, they are a bit top-heavy, as the point totals drop significantly after Seguin and Benn.  This is not a team to be trifled with, if you let your guard down, they will make you pay. This is the same team that ended the Rangers eleventy-billion game winning streak.

What have they done lately?

The Stars are 4-5-1 in their last ten, and have been a solid puck possession team through this stretch. In fact, they’ve been a solid possession team throughout the season, but it’s that darn goaltending that’s killing them. That’s what makes the Stars scary for next season, because if they fix their goaltending, they will be a solid team. Their possession numbers are significantly better than the Rangers, rolling ten game average below.


But as expected, their PDO –of which SV% is the major contributor– is far below league average.


Lehtonen has been killing them, but he’s still capable of putting in a great performance here and there. After all, he stopped 26 of 28 the last time these two met. But if the Rangers want to ensure they don’t lose the season series against a last place team, they will need to pepper Lehtonen with shots from all over.

Stars Systems

Lindy Ruff has the Stars playing an overload 1-2-2 forecheck which can be deployed aggressively or conservatively depending on the game situation (e.g., time left in period, score, etc.). In the defensive zone, Dallas tends to overload when the puck is along the boards, but they’ll switch to a zone defense when the puck is at the points. The Stars also run a variation of a 1-3-1 power play and diamond/box hybrid penalty kill. These are familiar styles of play that the Rangers should be used to at this point.

Stars Lines

Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Patrick Eaves
Erik Cole-Jason Spezza-Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel-Cody Eakin-Ryan Garbutt
Shawn Horcoff-Vernon Fiddler-Colton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski-John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka-Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn-Jason Demers

PP1: Eaves-Spezza-Seguin-Jamie Benn-Klingberg
PP2: Seguin-Horcoff-Spezza-Cole-Klingberg

PK: Roussel, Fiddler, Garbutt, Eakin, Benn2, Daley, Goligoski, Demers

Kari Lehtonen gets the start.

Rangers Lines (unconfirmed)

Rick Nash-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis
Chris KreiderDerick BrassardMats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-Lee Stempniak

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalKevin Klein
John MooreDan Boyle

PP1: MSL-Brassard-Stepan-Nash-Boyle
PP2: Stempniak-Kreider-Zucc-Girardi-McDonagh

PK: Stepan, Nash, Girardi, Staal, Moore, Fast, Hunwick, Boyle, Hagelin, Klein, McDonagh, MSL

Cam Talbot is in net.

Scratches/Injuries: Henrik Lundqvist (throat), Jesper Fast (leg)), Matt Hunwick(healthy)

Be sure to check out our ticket link if you’re looking for tickets to the game. Game time is 3pm on MSG.

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  • I love how Staal doesn’t even make an attempt to clear out the crease on the game winner. Look, this is how its gonna’ be until Hank comes back. Just get as many points as you can and tread water. But still, losing to Dallas, at home, no matter who is in goal, is A BAD LOSS!!

    • Honestly, they played like crap all game. It has nothing to do with Hank being out. They got a point when they shouldn’t have.

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