The Dallas Stars continue their road trip with a stop in NYC for a Monday night date with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. They were able to barely edge out the Devils on Saturday night in Newark with a 3-2 win. It was a fairly even game with the Stars being on the fortunate side of a bonus point. The game could have easily gone to the Devils, but Ben Bishop was able to outduel Louis Domingue of the Devils. Winning close games like that have become a staple of the Stars.
They rely entirely on their defence and goaltending to grind out close wins like we saw on Saturday night in Newark. A strong defensive game is needed to find success in the playoffs, but in this era of the NHL with goal scoring up, it’s likely going to take more this spring. The Stars have to address their ability to score goals if they are going to avoid an early exit in the playoffs. That could come at the trade deadline, where the Stars are likely going to be potential suitors for a playmaker or two. They can leave the blueline alone, but will have to address the offence to make gains.
The Stars enter Monday with a record of 29-18-4 and 62 points in the Central Division. They’re in a tie with the Avalanche and eight points behind the Blues for first. That puts them in a tight spot for the No. 3 seed in the Central or a wildcard, and it could turn into a wildcard if the Blackhawks can turn it on hard late. The Stars don’t have to worry right now, as they have an eight-point advantage on the Blackhawks. It’s the NHL, though, and the landscape can change in a hurry.
Dallas are winners in just three of their previous seven contests. They’ve looked terrific in areas, like against the Lightning in a 3-2 win, and then brutal elsewhere in a 7-0 loss against the Minnesota Wild. The Stars are at MSG tonight to play a Rangers team who are coming off a sweep in a home and home against the Detroit Red Wings. That’s not impressive at all considering who the opponent was, but the Rangers are at a point where they have to beat bad teams.
They don’t want to be associated with them any longer, and are continuing to get over the hump for a possible playoff run next season. They’ve been decent enough with a record of 25-21-4 and 54 points. Like the Canucks did this season, they may be in line for a big boost in the next year or two. Before we get there, though, we’ll see how the Rangers handle the Stars on Monday night at home. Head below for our free Stars vs. Rangers pick.
Dallas Stars vs. N.Y. Rangers Betting Odds:
Stars vs. Rangers Prediction:
Henrik Lundqvist may be nearing the end of the road soon, but the Rangers should be in good hands with Igor Shesterkin between the pipes. Shesterkin has taken over as the starting netminder for the Rangers, with Lundqvist playing the backup role and Alexander Georgiev reportedly on the trade block.
Lundqivst has a no-trade clause and doesn’t want to go anywhere. No one would want that contract either, so Georgiev is the odd man out for the Rangers. Lundqvist is coming off a terrific performance with a shutout of the Red Wings on Saturday night. It was his first shutout since 2017 as he was able to turn back the clocks. One goal was all it took to get the win at Little Caesars Arena.
The defensive effort has been much improved recently. For a team that was getting beaten continually earlier in the season in their own zone, it’s a tremendous sign to see this area of their game getting better. And with Shesterkin up and coming in the organization, the Rangers should continue to see continued improvement in this department. Not that it means much this season, but some positive signs to build on going into next year is important.
Yes, their previous two games were against the Red Wings, but they also played well containing the Canucks, Islanders, Avalanche, and Blue Jackets recently. The Rangers have yielded 2.5 goals per game in their last ten contests, and should look good again tonight against a Stars team struggling to score the puck. For the success they’ve had this season, Dallas are only 27th in the league offensively, with 2.59 goals per game. In their last ten showings, the Stars have recorded just 2.3 goals a game.
The Stars’ defence certainly can’t be blamed if they don’t have reach the playoffs and have a strong showing in the spring. They’re 2nd in the league, trailing only the Bruins with 2.49 goals against per contest. Ben Bishop has been solid with a 2.31 GAA and 0.925 save percentage, while backup Anton has done his par with a 2.30 GAA and 0.927 save percentage.
The Stars have done an excellent job stopping the Rangers in recent meetings, with only 1 goal against per game. Likewise, the Rangers have been able to nearly match that with 1.25 goals allowed in the last four tilts against the Stars. This looks like a 3-2 game with the UNDER a solid option on Monday in the NHL.