Game Fifty-One, the Dallas Stars at the New York Rangers
The Rangers will get their skates back on the Garden ice early tonight after losing a one goal game to the Predators just over 24 hours ago in Nashville. There were some good signs from the Rangers yesterday afternoon, including a wonderful Ryan McDonagh goal and a rare Rick Nash power play goal, but the Rangers were simply unable to beat the Predators. In case you missed yesterday's game here is a LINK to Bryan's recap of the Rangers' losing effort. Each coming game, especially those games that are one goal decisions, will feel a little bit more desperate and important with Henrik Lundqvist out of the picture for almost a month. If nothing else it will remind us all, once again, just how important to the team Hank is.
The last time the Rangers played the Stars it was a noteworthy game because Dallas was the team that finally managed to halt the Rangers unbelievable unbeaten streak. The Stars, thanks largely to Tyler Seguin, have plenty of offense and ways to get the puck into the net, but they continue to be irredeemably bad at keeping goals out of their own net. Dallas remains among the very worst teams in the league in regards to the goals they allow per game which has seriously hindered their efforts to be involved in the playoff hunt despite several splashy moves in the offseason and at the trade deadline last season. If the Rangers want to pick up two points in their last home game until February 19th they are going to have to beat the Stars at even strength and try to find some offense that doesn't directly come from the herculean efforts of Rick Nash. The Seguin line will have to be shut down and the Rangers will have to do their best to rely on their bottom six to take pressure off of what must be a very tired group considering the travel the team just had to make.
The New York Rangers' February Schedule
2/2 Panthers at the Rangers, 7:00 PM(win.) 2/4 Bruins at the Rangers, 8:00 PM(win.) 2/7 Rangers at the Predators, 3:00 PM(loss.)
2/8 Stars at the Rangers, 5:00 PM
2/10 Rangers at the Leafs, 7:00 PM
2/12 Rangers at Avalanche, 9:00 PM
2/14 Rangers at Coyotes, 8:00 PM
2/16 Rangers at Islanders, 7:00 PM
2/19 Canucks at Rangers, 7:00 PM
2/20 Rangers at Sabres, 7:00 PM
2/22 Blue Jackets at Rangers, 7:30 PM
2/24 Flames at Rangers, 7:00 PM
2/26 Coyotes at Rangers, 7:00 PM
2/28 Rangers at Flyers, 8:00 PM
Mike's Player to Watch: Chris Kreider
Let's go Rangers! Drop the puck.