Opening Faceoff – Rangers vs Stars 12/11/17
The New York Rangers welcome the Dallas Stars to Madison Square Garden tonight at 7 PM. The Rangers are fresh off a stellar win versus the New Jersey Devils and are winners of three out of their last four. Dallas is coming off a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights and is currently on a four-game losing streak. The Rangers are 7-3-1 in their last 11 meetings versus the Stars.
Keys To The Game
Calling On Top Players – Outside of Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers will need more from their top players, specifically Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. Kreider is goal-less in his last four games, only putting up one assist in the win versus Pittsburgh. Buchnevich has only one goal in his last four games, which also came in the win over the Penguins. If the Rangers want to increase their chances of winning, their top players need to step it up.
Scoring First – Strong starts always set you up for success. This was evident on Saturday when Jimmy Vesey scored for the Rangers at 6:14 into the first period against New Jersey. The Rangers were strong on the puck and were able to jump out to a lead first, differing from previous games where they were always playing catch up. A similar start will certainly be something the Rangers will want to do going into this matchup versus Dallas.
Players To Watch
New York Rangers
Mats Zuccarello – A fantastic two-goal performance on Saturday night, including a sweet steal and a partial breakaway to beat Kinkaid in the 5-2 win versus New Jersey. Night in and night out, Zuccarello is showcasing his talent and effort by putting in strong game after strong game. Look for him to be a benefactor in tonight’s matchup again versus Dallas.
Kevin Hayes – Many Rangers fans doubted Kevin Hayes coming into this season, even to where many wanted him included in a trade. Proving us all wrong, Hayes has made his mark, even making a believer out of one of our own writers as the Rangers No 1 center. After a strong performance Saturday night against New Jersey, tallying a goal and anchoring the line of himself, Jesper Fast and Rick Nash, look out for Hayes to make an impact tonight.
Rick Nash – Netting two assists against New Jersey and becoming a solid two-way player playing alongside Jesper Fast and Kevin Hayes, Rick Nash has proven to be a noticeable presence on the ice night in and night out. Although he is not the same Rick Nash of yesteryear, his strong two-way play has been a catalyst in the recent Rangers resurgence.
Tyler Seguin – Leading the Stars in goals with 14, Seguin is the go-to guy for Dallas. Netting five points in his last five games, the Stars will look to their first line forward to ignite the struggling Stars team back into the win column against the Rangers.
Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!!