The New York Rangers were stopped cold by the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Following a heck of an effort to beat the Capitals, 6-5, two days before, the Devils fell way short against the Devils. The momentum that they hoped to get from that win didn’t happen, and the Rangers went on to lose their fourth game in five outings.
The Rangers can’t be having that right now, but even if they don’t get into the playoffs, give them credit for not giving up and making this interesting in the Eastern Conference. This wasn’t supposed to be a playoff year for the Rangers, so the fact they’re only 3 points behind a wildcard is encouraging.
The Rangers head into Tuesday with a record of 36-28-4 and 76 points. Despite losing four of their last five games, that puts them only 3 points behind the Hurricanes for the final wildcard in the Eastern Conference. In other words, this isn’t the time to just give in and call it a season. The Rangers are still very well alive in the playoff race, as difficult as it’s going to be to find a way in.
Before jumping over the Hurricanes, the Rangers will have to maneuver past the Panthers and Islanders. This might not be their year, but I’d keep an eye on the Rangers in the next year or two. They appear to be on the cusp of having a competitive playoff team, even if that means they’re not playing in the playoffs this spring.
They will be on the road for three straight games, and then they’ll head home to play two at home against the Flames and Penguins. After the Penguins game, it’s likely going to get tricky for the Rangers, as they will play five of their next six games on the road. Having said that, the Rangers have been a better team on the road compared to Madison Square Garden, especially in the second-half. They head into Dallas with a record of 18-12-2 on the road.
The Stars need to find some wins soon, as their losing streak continued against the Predators on Saturday. They couldn’t buy a goal in that one and fell by a score of 1-0. It’s the second straight game that the Stars were held off the score sheet, and both were against the Predators. They’ll have to frustrate Igor Shesterkin on Tuesday night or it could be another long night. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Stars pick.
N.Y. Rangers vs. Dallas Stars Betting Odds:
Rangers vs. Stars Prediction:
Shesterkin made his return between the pipes on Saturday after fracturing a rib in a car accident. He looked quite rusty, as he was beat for 5 goals on 23 shots. After the fifth goal, Shesterkin was pulled and Henrik Lundqvist took his place. It was his first game since February 22, so the off time might had something to do with it. He’s way better than advertised against the Devils. That was the worst start of his career, which came after Shesterkin gave up 2 or fewer goals in four out of five outings.
Despite the poor showing by Shesterkin, he is the future in the crease for the Rangers. Expect to see a lot of him over the next several years at Madison Square Garden. He has a 2.56 GAA and 0.931 save percentage in 11 games. That’s more than enough for a rookie getting his first taste of the NHL. Shesterkin should benefit from playing the Stars tonight. Their offence has been dreadful and have been relying on Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin to stay in games.
In the Stars’ last ten games, they’ve managed to score only 2 goals per game and only 1 goal in their previous three contests. Overall on the season, the Stars 26th in the league with 2.59 goals scored per game. They’ve done a complete 180 from about seven or so years ago. The defence was atrocious, but the offence was one of the best in the league. That approach didn’t get them into the playoffs, so this version of the Stars is more effective, though. While the offence hasn’t been able to score on a paper bag, the blueline and goaltenders have been shining.
The Stars are 2nd in the NHL with 2.5 goals against per game. At home that number drops all the way down to 2.18 goals against. Bishop has been excellent at home, with a 2.15 GAA and 0.931 save percentage. The same goes for Khudobin, who has a 1.44 GAA and 0.943 save percentage. They’re the best goaltending tandem in the league, and Khudobin could easily be a full-time starter somewhere else. In their previous five meetings against the Rangers, there has been an average of 3.6 goals scored in total. The UNDER went 4-1 in that stretch, and is 7-3 in their last ten. This looks like a 3-2 or 3-1 game on Tuesday night in Texas.