An impressive day for the Dallas Stars, as they blew out the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon. They stay in the area with a short trip to Madison Square Garden for a Monday night meeting with the Rangers. The Stars put together a strong 2nd period with 4 goals to finish get a 6-2 win. Alexander Radulov and Esa Lindell buried 2 goals to lead the way for Dallas. Tyler Seguin also chipped in with a goal and 2 assists to help out.
Robin Lehner was pulled after he allowed 3 goals and Thomas Griess proceeded to allow 3 himself. The Stars have been hit and miss to start the season, and I wouldn’t expect much to change as the season moves forward. The Stars went 42-32-8 last season with 92 points to put them 3 points out of the playoffs. The Avalanche was the last team in with 95 points in the Western Conference.
It’s probably going to be a similar season for the Stars. The difference would be Ben Bishop playing like a Vezina candidate. Bishop has been playing well with a 2.37 GAA and put forth another solid performance yesterday. If he can get that number down in the 2.10 to 2.20 range the Stars might be in business.
Dallas are aided by a serviceable backup as well. There are some teams out there who don’t have either a quality starter or backup, but the Stars are set in that respect. For the Rangers, it’s all Henrik Lundqvist’s cage, as he had to share it with Cam Talbot and Raanta in previous years. I don’t think the Rangers are thrilled about that, but Lundqvist has made it quite clear that he doesn’t want to leave or play second fiddle. He foiled the Panthers with 39 saves in his last outing on Saturday. His team went on for a 4-2 victory after Lundqvist shut the door in the 2nd and 3rd. The Islanders will be seeking a New York sweep tonight, with two wins in two days. Head below for our free Stars vs. Rangers pick.
Dallas Stars vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
The Rangers have won seven of their last nine games and are playing pretty good hockey in what is supposed to be a year that the Rangers blow things up. Despite playing good hockey, all it likely means is that the Rangers are going to have some more selling power at the deadline. There is some talent that playoff contenders are going to want on their roster.
Again, Lundqvist has said he doesn’t want to go and play for another team in his career. But a guy like Mats Zuccarello, who is an impeding free agent and a 31-year-old, is going to have his name floated around. As it is now, though, the Rangers have been playing well with an average of 3.3 goals scored per game in their previous ten games. With a record of 10-8-2, this season has gone decently all things considered. It still doesn’t take away the fact that they should trade for the future.
The Rangers have been hot at home lately, with five wins in a row by a margin of 2 goals per game. They are 7-3-0 on the season at home overall. Conversely, the Stars notched their fourth road win to advance to 4-4-1. The Rangers have been playing better hockey than advertised lately and the Stars are so streaky that it’s tough to trust them on a back-to-back in New York.
If they go out Monday night and lay an egg after the performance they had Sunday, it’d be business as usual for them. They’ve played two back-to-back games this season and both resulted in flops. They lost to the Devils, 3-0, and then the Blue Jackets, 4-1. They were outshot in both games by a combined 68-52 and only had 1 goal to show for it. I’d look at the Rangers to get a win at MSG to get the week started.