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Mika Zibanejad back in the lineup as the Rangers host the Stars; Hellberg to serve as backup

Bobby Bevilacqua


Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers (28-15-1) are back at Madison Square Garden tonight, looking to rebound when they battle the Dallas Stars (18-19-8) and snap their two game losing streak.

The Rangers lost both games of their back-to-back over the weekend, coming out flat against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and succumbing to a meltdown against the Canadiens on Saturday. After Antti Raanta left the game with an injury, Henrik Lundqvist came in and surrendered five goals on 22 shots, as well as three in a span of just over a minute.

The Stars have also lost two straight, including three out of the last four and five losses in their last seven games. It’s been a tough season for them, dealing with a lot of injuries and poor goaltending that has put them near the bottom of the Western Conference. Read the rest of this entry

Stepan and Brassard are good, but do the Rangers need a superstar center?

Bobby Bevilacqua

derick brassard and derek stepan 5-13

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

When it comes to forward depth, especially at center, the Rangers are pretty good in that respect. Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, JT Miller, Jesper Fast, Viktor Stalberg, Kevin Hayes and Oscar Lindberg doubling as wingers.

More recently, the Rangers have seen a lot of improvement when it comes to the talent and depth of their centers. Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan have gotten better and better with each passing season, cementing themselves in the top six. Hayes has shown that he can be a playmaker down the middle, and Dom Moore and Oscar Lindberg are strong two-way forwards best suited for a bottom six role, or a fourth line player.

When the Rangers acquired Rick Nash, they were looking to add a superstar to their roster. Marian Gaborik wasn’t enough, and outside of last regular season, Nash hasn’t been a “superstar” per say. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers take on the Stars with trade connections looming

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs stars 2 2-8

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a resilient win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, the Rangers (35-20-6) will close out their three game road trip against the number one team in the west, the Dallas Stars (38-18-6) with trade rumors linking the two teams ahead of the Monday trade deadline.

Tanner Glass and Chris Kreider each scored a goal and Henrik Lundqvist was phenomenal, making 35 save and picking up his 30th win of the season, making that 10 seasons with at least 30 wins. The Rangers didn’t play all that well, but timely goal scoring and Henrik Lundqvist stole a win away from St. Louis.

The Rangers have now won 11 games in a row following a loss, and they haven’t dropped back-to-back games since December 20th when they lost 7-3 to the Washington Capitals to close out a 3-9-2 stretch. But in the last 11 games, the Rangers are 8-2-1 and as strong as any team lately. Read the rest of this entry

Megna, Second line help guide Rangers to dominating win over Dallas Stars

Bobby Bevilacqua

jayson megna goal celebration 1-5

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

In arguably the team’s most complete win in months, the Rangers (22-14-4) wound up dominating the Dallas Stars (28-10-4) at Madison Square Garden, coming away with an impressive 6-2 win and handing Dallas their third straight loss.

For a team that had 39 shots on goal and was shutout against the Florida Panthers, this was exactly the type of win that they needed. The Rangers will take on the Washington Capitals on Saturday, and taking down the Dallas Stars in such convincing fashion like this is a great confidence booster.

The Rangers had as good of a start to a game as you could ask for. They really limited what Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were doing, allowed very few chances against, and wound up leading after the first 20 minutes. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers face big test against Stars; Kreider doubtful, AV challenges Hank

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs stars 12-29

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

This is the matchup that every Rangers fan was dreading.

With just five wins in the last 8 games (5-11-2), the Rangers (21-14-4) are back at Madison Square Garden to take on the Western Conference’s top team, the Dallas Stars (28-9-4). Dallas has lost their last two games, but still managed to secure 60 points in 41 games.

After being shut out by the hottest team in the NHL, the Florida Panthers, and closing out a three game road trip with just one win, the Rangers don’t just face one of the best teams in the league. They will take on the team that leads the NHL in goals scored by a wide margin. The Rangers have a tendency to play up to their opponents at times, so they better bring their “A” game tonight. Read the rest of this entry