Sports

Rangers host sliding Stars

(SportsNetwork.com) - The sliding Dallas Stars hope to rebound from a loss to the NHL's last place team when they visit the New York Rangers for Sunday's battle at Madison Square Garden.

Dallas has lost three straight and is coming off Saturday's 3-2 regulation defeat in Buffalo. The Sabres, of course, are at the bottom of the NHL standings, but they were able to beat the Stars for their first home win since Dec. 27 against the New York Islanders.

The setback also marked the fifth loss in seven games for the Stars, who have fallen seven points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Buffalo jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Saturday before holding on for the rare home win. Jhonas Enroth frustrated the visiting Stars with a 38-save performance.

Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin each lit the lamp for Dallas and John Klingberg supplied two assists. Anders Lindback made 21 saves as the Stars fell to 0-2-1 over their last three outings.

"This is a game we needed to win." said Seguin. "It's an embarrassing one to lose."

Kari Lehtonen, who has struggled to a 2-3-1 mark over his last six games, will likely start Sunday for the Stars. The veteran goaltender is 6-5-1 with a 2.58 goals against average in his career versus the Rangers.

New York, meanwhile, had a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday after dropping a road test against the Nashville Predators. The Blueshirts, who are holding onto the first of two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference, lost 3-2 in regulation.

Ryan McDonagh tied the game at 2-2 for the Rangers early in the third period, but Mike Ribeiro delivered the game-winner for the Preds with 7:14 remaining in regulation.

The Rangers are having to deal with the absence of their No. 1 goaltender. The club announced Friday that Henrik Lundqvist will be out at least three weeks with a vascular injury.

Backup Cam Talbot stopped 20 shots on Saturday and Rick Nash netted his league-leading 33rd goal of the season. Nash has scored five times during a four-game goal streak.

"I really liked the way we played on the road today," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. "Didn't give them too many opportunities. A couple of those goals against, the puck had eyes and just found holes."

New York could roll with Talbot again on Sunday rather than throw Mackenzie Skapski into his first NHL game. The 20-year-old Skapski was recalled from the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday.

Talbot, who fell to 5-5-1 on the season with Saturday's loss, has never faced the Stars.

New York center Derek Stepan missed Saturday's game due to flu-like symptoms and is questionable for today's game.

The Rangers have won four of the past six meetings against Dallas, but the Stars recorded a 3-2 home win over the Blueshirts on Dec. 29. New York has claimed two of the last three encounters at MSG.

Following Sunday's home test, New York will begin a four-game road trip Tuesday in Toronto.

Dallas is scheduled to complete a three-game swing Tuesday in Boston.