BY: DAVID KOLB
DALLAS STARS (18-19-8) @ NEW YORK RANGERS (28-15-1)
HOSTING THE STARS
Tonight the Rangers host the Dallas Stars at Madison Square Garden for the second of two meetings between the clubs this season. The Rangers defeated the Stars 2-0, on Dec. 15 in Dallas, as Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta combined for the first shutout shared by Rangers’ goaltenders in franchise history. Tonight we should expect the return of Rangers’ center, Mika Zibanejad, marking the first time in months that the Blueshirts will skate with their full arsenal of forwards. The Blueshirts take the ice tonight looking to rebound from their 5-4 loss in Montreal Saturday, while the Stars also look to bounce-back, as they were dominated in Buffalo Monday, falling 4-1 to the Sabres.
MILLER’S STREAK AT 7
J.T. Miller scored a shorthanded goal Saturday, and now enters tonight’s tilt with a career-high seven-game point streak (five goals, five assists). He now leads the NHL in shorthanded goals (three) and has 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in 44 games, leaving him just 11 points short of his career-high (43) set last season.
Rangers’ forward, Pavel Buchnevich picked up an assist Saturday vs. Montreal giving him two assists in each of the first two games he’s played since returning to the lineup. Buchnevich missed two months of action, however his offense will help boost the Blueshirts’ offensive production in the second half of the season. The 21-year-old forward now has four goals with six assists for 10 points in only 12 games of his initial NHL season.
Dallas leading scorer, Tyler Seguin must be watched carefully tonight after being held off the board yesterday afternoon vs. Buffalo. He scored a goal while picking up an assist Saturday and now enters tonight’s tilt with 16 goals and 27 assists for 43 points, including seven goals and nine assists for 16 points with the man-advantage.
NASH NETS 14TH
Rangers’ left wing, Rick Nash scored his first goal since Dec. 17 on Saturday, giving him 14 goals and seven assists for 21 points in 32 games played. In 39 career games played vs. Dallas, he’s accumulated 21 goals with 12 assists for 33 points and has tallied four points (one goal, three assists) in his last two games against the Stars.