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Stars Take On Rangers in First of Back-to-Back Set in NYC

The town: the Big Apple. The venue: Madison Square Garden. The matchup: Rangers versus Stars.

Dallas Stars v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Dallas Stars continue their three game road trip through the greater New York City area with a matchup versus the New York Rangers. They kicked off the trip with a 3-2 overtime win versus the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

New York Rangers

While the Stars were taking care of business a train ride away against the New Jersey Devils, the Rangers were blanking the Detroit Red Wings. Though the Rangers are struggling this season, there’s still plenty of intrigue for the Blueshirts when it comes to the long-term planning of their roster.

For one, the team will have to make a decision coming up at the trade deadline as to whether they will try to move Chris Kreider for a king’s ransom. He’d instantly be one of the hottest commodities at the deadline, with 18 goals and 35 points in 50 games played this season. The 28 year old left winger is slated to hit unrestricted free agency this summer, and is coming off a deal that paid him an average annual value of $4.625 million.

Kreider was involved in this collision Saturday night with teammate Mika Zibanejad, and it’s unclear if this will cause him to miss any significant time — head injuries can be tricky:

He’s considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and the Rangers recalled forward Phillip Di Giuseppe yesterday. That could likely indicate that Kreider will at least miss the game tonight when Dallas comes to town, though head coach David Quinn indicated that he’ll be a game-time decision tonight.

The other spot of intrigue with the Rangers is their goaltender situation. They’ve been carrying three for a while — future Hall of Famer Henrik Lundqvist and two intriguing young netminders in Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin. It is possible that the team is in the process of evaluating the two and determining whether there is a trade market for one in order to help their rebuild along, whether at the trade deadline or this summer. Lundqvist has only had three starts since January 3rd as a result, though he is fresh off a shutout of the Red Wings.

The Rangers have won two in a row, and currently sit nine points out of a wild card spot with two games in hand compared to the Carolina Hurricanes, which reside in the second wild card spot today.

Expected Lineup

Assuming Kreider plays, the Rangers will roll the same lineup they used in their win against Detroit. Otherwise, Brendan Lemieux will slot into Kreider’s spot and Phil Di Guiseppe will see time on the fourth line.

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Pavel Buchnevich
Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Jesper Fast
Brett Howden - Filip Chytil - Kaapo Kakko
Brendan Lemieux - Greg McKegg - Brendan Smith

Ryan Lindgren - Jacob Trouba
Brady Skjei - Adam Fox
Marc Staal - Anthony DeAngelo

Henrik Lundqvist in net.

Dallas Stars

The Stars will get Roope Hintz back from injury today. Justin Dowling is injured and did not travel with the team. With the forward group that is on the road healthy again, someone had to come out of the lineup today. Kiviranta scored in his last game but is the healthy scratch tonight. He’s likely to come back into the lineup tomorrow night in the back half of the back-to-back if the coaching staff wants some fresh legs when they take on the New York Islanders. The eight defensemen that are healthy will likely see a similar rotation as well, with Roman Polak and Taylor Fedun the scratches tonight.

Expected Lineup

Jamie Benn - Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin
Mattias Janmark - Joe Pavelski - Alexander Radulov
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Denis Gurianov - Jason Dickinson - Corey Perry

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera - Stephen Johns

Anton Khudobin in net.