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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, November 21st (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (10-11-0) at Dallas Stars (11-7-2), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers' offense was able to generate plenty of shots in Rick Nash's return to the lineup on Tuesday, but were unable to break out of their goal-scoring funk.

Nash and the Rangers hope for better luck on Thursday night when they begin a five-game road trip with a battle against the Dallas Stars.

After missing 17 straight games with a concussion, Nash made his long-awaited return in Tuesday's 2-1 home setback to the Boston Bruins. He had five of New York's 44 shots, but the Blueshirts still lost for the third time in four games.

They have been shut out once and held to four goals over that span.

"Yeah, I definitely felt better (in the second period)," said Nash. "Just the speed in the first period, first couple shifts, it was tough. But (I) found it and thought I created some chances and some offense."

Derick Brassard had New York's lone goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves, shouldering some of the blame afterwards.

"We're not scoring and you have to come up with the big saves and I didn't," said Lundqvist. "All of us are just not getting the job done."

That included forward Chris Kreider, who was unable to convert a penalty shot just over six minutes into the game.

After getting Nash back on Tuesday, head coach Alain Vigneault is expected to reinsert defenseman Michael Del Zotto back into the lineup tonight. The blueliner had been a healthy scratch each of the previous three games and has a goal and four points in 16 games this season with a minus-4 rating.

While New York is hitting the road, Dallas is set to play four of its next five games on home ice. The Stars will look to snap a three-game slide as the host and win at home for the first time since Oct. 24.

The Stars have posted a pair of perfect three-game road trips around a home loss to Chicago on Nov. 9, completing their most recent swing with a 2-1 decision over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

Kari Lehtonen was strong with 42 saves in his club's sixth straight road win and also caught a break when a potential game-tying goal by Vancouver's Henrik Lundqvist was waved off due to incidental contact with the goaltender.

"On given nights your goaltender has to be big for you. (Lehtonen) was real big for us tonight," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said.

Rookie Valeri Nichushkin and Erik Cole both scored for the Stars.

Forward Ray Whitney is expected to be a game-time decision tonight after missing the last three games with a groin injury. There could already be a roster spot open for him as fellow forward Alex Chiasson left Wednesday's practice early after getting hit in the face by a puck.

Chiasson is third on the club with 12 points off five goals and seven assists, while Whitney has tallied a goal and seven helpers in 17 games.

The Stars have won four of their past six versus the Rangers, snapping a two- game series slide with a 1-0 win at New York in the most recent meeting on Dec. 13, 2011.

Lehtonen is 5-3-1 with a 2.54 goals against average in 11 career starts against the Blueshirts, while Lundqvist has split six career starts versus the Stars despite a 1.99 GAA.

11/21 10:50:05 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
Final
PHI 9
ATL 2
Final
MIN 4
BOS 4
Final
HOU 3
DET 2
Final
NYY 0
TAM 3
Final
BOS 7
TOR 9
Final
MIA 8
WAS 0
Final
NYM 4
STL 5
Final
OAK 4
ANA 1
Final
KAN 4
LOS 4
Final
CIN 0
ARI 3
Final
SEA 4
CWS 12
Final
SFG 5
CLE 2
Final
CHC 11
MIL 7
Final
CWS 2
SDP 8
Final
COL 10
TEX 4
Final
BAL 3
PIT 3
12:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
DET
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
TAM
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
MIL
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
CWS
 
6:05pm Tonight
ATL
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
CCH
HOU
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
LOS
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
OAK
 
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
Final
WAS 106
PHI 93
Final
ORL 91
SAN 103
Final
NYK 98
BRK 100
Final
BOS 100
IND 87
Final
MIL 95
CHI 91
Final
OKC 131
DAL 135
Final
HOU 115
SAC 111
Final
MIN 99
TOR 113
Final
UTA 98
DEN 84
4th
POR 119
LAC 124
 
4th
LAL 84
NOP 103
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
MIA
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
HOU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
PHO
 
Final
LAMON 62
LOYC 63
7:00pm Tonight
EVAN
NARZ
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
STAN
 
Final
BUF 4
TOR 3
Final
PIT 1
PHI 4
3rd
ANA 5
EDM 1
 
2nd Intermission
SJS 1
COL 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NYI
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
NYR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
VAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
EDM