The Rangers will get a chance to follow up Monday's home win with another on Wednesday as they face off against the Dallas Stars in the Garden at 7 p.m. (MSG Network).
Where We Are: It may not seem like it but the Blueshirts are actually 6-1-2 in their last nine games. Sure Monday was only the second win in their last 10 games in the Garden, but we have to be heartened by the overall record. The Rangers sit in seventh, tied with eighth place Montreal but with two games in hand over the Habs. It will be three after they face Washington in DC tonight. Sixth place Ottawa is three points up and plays Boston.
Where They Are: Dallas is playing New Jersey tonight at the Rock with a chance to go over .500 on the road (7-7-6). They sit in 10th in the West despite having two more points in one less game than the Rangers. After being Chicago and Anaheim to end 2009, the Stars opened 2010 with a 3-1 loss to Vancouver on Saturday.
Who To Watch For: Hank's future teammate on the Three Crowns, Loui Eriksson, has been red hot of late with five goals in his last three games and 17 points in his last 12 games. Brad Richards may have been snubbed by team Canada but he has been on fire as well. Rookie Jamie Benn got off to an outstanding October before cooling down but super sophomore James Neal is nearly averaging a point per game.
What To Watch For: Brendan Morrow is the Dallas captain for a reason - he is the typical hockey warrior. Morrow battles all over the ice, he can fight, he can hit, he can pass and he can score. He should be very active while Dallas' young but solid defensive corps does their best to shut down the already anemic Ranger attack; Karlis Skrastins vs Marian Gaborik should be fun to watch, especially with guys like Slayer fan Jere Lehtinen supporting. Marty Turco is starting tonight against Fatso, so perhaps we will get a look at Alex Auld, which isn't necessarily a good thing as he went 2-0-1 against us last year while with Ottawa. EDIT: Auld started against the Devils and got lit up, guess we will be stuck with Turco swinging his stick at Sean.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: Anything except for a repeat of the last time these two teams met, the 10-2 loss in Dallas that was one of the final nails in Tom Renney's coffin. Sean Avery shoving it in his former teammates' faces and being better and more effective than Steve Ott. Chris Higgins to turn a slumb-breaking goal into a streak. Chris Drury to be better than the guy he got picked over for Team USA, Mike Modano. Krys Barch to beat down Brashear.
Also Check Out: Defending Big D is one of the best SBN blogs (after Japers), Andrew's Dallas Stars and NHL Blog is pretty good and there are two MSM blogs, Star Telegram and Dallas Morning News.