New York Rangers host Stars without Chris Kreider

When the New York Rangers take on the Dallas Stars at home on Thursday, they will do so without one of their top players.

Chris Kreider was injured in the third period of their 4-3 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild on a hit by Marcus Foligno. He’s already been ruled out for this game and hopefully not too much more.

“Positive (news) for me,” Gallant said of Kreider’s injury. “It’s not going to be longterm, it’s a short term thing.”

Kreider, 31, has 19 goals on the season and 30 points in 42 games to date.

The Rangers have collected points in their last six games (4-0-2) and hope to continue that tonight.

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (23-12-7) vs. Dallas Stars (25-11-6)
Date/Time: January 12, 2023 at 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG
Radio: ESPN 98.7

New York Rangers look to extend streak

kaapo kakko new york rangers
Oct 14, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) looks to pass behind Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (35) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As the Blueshirts look to extend their points streak to seven straight games, they’ve been on quite a roll in their last 16 matches (12-2-2). At home, the Blueshirts have won six of their last seven (6-1-0) after rallying past the Wild on Tuesday.

“It’s pretty important (to comeback) for a team like ours, especially if we make the playoffs,” said Artemi Panarin, who scored the decisive shootout goal. “It doesn’t matter how things are going, we can do the same thing.”

With Kreider out, Alexis Lafreniere will be given a chance on the top line despite struggling with only one assist in his last six games. His head coach Gerard Gallant also gave the first overall pick from 2020 some cover from the media after practice on Wednesday.

“I keep saying he’s 21 years old,” Gallant said. “I’m not concerned about the kid. A lot of people are but I think he’s going to be a good player. He’s got the tools and talent. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that he doesn’t get the same opportunities as other kids get as a first overall pick. You can blame that on me or [David Quinn] but we’ve got star players ahead of him.”

Lafreniere has 18 points in 41 games this season and this temporary move to play with Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko could provide him with an offensive spark.

Igor Shesterkin is expected to get the start for the Blueshirts. In his career against the Stars he’s 3-0-1 with a 2.99 GAA and a .904 save percentage.

Stars first in the Central

The Dallas Stars are having a fine season as they sit atop the Central Division standings by 3 points over the Winnipeg Jets.

On Tuesday, they defeated the New York Islanders in a shootout for their second straight win. They’re also 7-3-0 in their past 10 matches and playing very solid hockey.

Jason Robertson leads the team in scoring with 29 goals and 58 points in 42 games this season. He’s also coming in hot with 6 points (5G -1A) in his last five matches.

The Blueshirts get a little break with Dallas’ second leading scorer Roope Hintz (44 points) not on the road trip dealing with an upper-body injury

Expected to start for the Stars is Jake Oettinger. His record on the season is an outstanding 19-6-3, with a GAA of 2.29 and a .923 save percentage.

This will also be former Rangers first round pick Nils Lundkvist’s first trip back to Madison Square Garden after the trade to start the season.

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