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The Dallas Stars have won six of their last eight games.
The New York Rangers have won four of their last five games.
The Rangers beat the Stars 6-3 in their first meeting this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
New York Rangers
25-11-6 (1st in Central Division)
23-12-7 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)
Jason Robertson (58)
Artemi Panarin (45)
Jason Robertson (29)
Mika Zibanejad (19)
Jason Robertson (29)
Artemi Panarin (34)
Joe Pavelski (28)
Ryan Lindgren (16)
Jason Robertson (4.1)
Shots (Per Game)
Mika Zibanejad (3.62)
The Dallas Stars will stay in New York and battle the Rangers after going up against the Islanders. The Rangers crushed Dallas in their first meeting 6-3. The game was tied at three entering the final period, but New York rattled in three goals in the final 20 minutes and ran away with it.
The Stars are tied for the most points in the Western Conference with 56. However, the Winnipeg Jets are not far behind with 53 points, so a win today would help them greatly. The Rangers are fighting to keep their third-place spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Washington Capitals are one point behind them and could take their position with a Rangers loss tonight.
The Stars have a surprisingly well-rounded team. Jason Robertson is the main piece on offense, but Dallas also has a solid defense and a top-five goaltender in Jake Oettinger. They have become a tough team to beat and have the necessary resources to make a Stanley Cup run.
The Stars’ top player is Jason Robertson, but they have other talents in Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski, and Jamie Benn. Hintz, Pavelski, and Benn are not close to the level of Robertson, but they all have at least 22 assists and 37 points.
Jake Oettinger has been a force in the net for the Stars. Oettinger is only 24 years old, but he may be a future star in this league. His 19 wins and 2.29 goals allowed average are the third-best in the NHL. When Oettinger is in the net, Dallas stands a chance.
The Rangers are also a solid team but not quite as well-rounded as Dallas. New York’s offense is a little bit slower, and their goaltending is not quite on the level of Dallas’. With that being said, the Rangers can wreak havoc on any team they face and can make a deep Playoff run.
The Rangers do not have any stars like Jason Robertson, but they do have Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Adam Fox. These three have at least 42 points and 25 assists.
To no one’s surprise, Igor Shesterkin has maintained his #1 goaltending spot in New York. He is not dominating this season, but he is still really consistent in the net and does not make many mistakes.
The Stars do not have the home-ice advantage (and are not expected to win), but they will win this matchup. Their roster is impressive, and they are facing a Rangers squad without goal-scorer Chris Kreider. Bet on Dallas.
The Stars are the underdogs but will win if they play team hockey and draw penalties.
The Stars’ offense is set up around Jason Robertson, but Dallas has other players that can score. These players (Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, Wyatt Johnston) also need to get looks, and that can only happen if the Stars play team hockey and pass the puck.
The Stars have an electric power play and convert over 27.3% of their opportunities. That is good enough to be the fifth-highest in the NHL. This unit is quite impressive, but they can only score if they get on the ice. Dallas must draw penalties to give this unit a chance.
The Rangers are the favorites but will only leave victorious if they make up for Chris Kreider’s absence and have strong goaltending.
Chris Kreider will miss this game with an upper-body injury. This is a huge loss for New York and one they can only make up for by having other players pick up his slack. Below, I will highlight Mika Zibanejad as one of those players, but Vincent Trockek, Filip Chytil, and Artemi Panarin also need to play their part.
The Rangers have a talented goaltender in Igor Shesterkin. However, Shesterkin, like all goalies, has his off nights. Tonight cannot be an off night for him. Shesterkin has to bring his A-game against this Stars’ squad.
I could not choose anyone but Jason Robertson. Robertson is in the running for the Hart Trophy and having a tremendous season. His 58 points and 29 goals are tied for the fourth-most in the NHL. In addition, the winger has had five goals in his previous five games.
Robertson does not need to do anything but continue to provide offense for the Stars. He commands so much attention on the ice and can always set up his teammates if he is not getting the right looks.
Mika Zibanejad may be the most well-rounded player on the Rangers. However, his role will be even larger today since Chris Kreider will be out.
Zibanejad needs to excel in his role and take over part of Kreider’s. He may even see a slight increase in playing time. Regardless, the center has to do a little more than is usually asked of him.
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What: Dallas Stars vs New York Rangers
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
When: Thursday, January 12, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch: NHLPP, ESPN+
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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