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The New York Rangers have benefited from a solid stretch to move their way up the congested Metropolitan Division. The Rangers, who are one point out of third place in the division, look to improve to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games when they host the Dallas Stars on Friday. Carl Hagelin collected his team-high fourth game-winning goal on Wednesday when he scored with 5:57 remaining in the third period of New York's 3-2 victory at Chicago.
The Swede's 11th tally moved him into a four-way tie with Brad Richards, Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider for the team lead. Dallas suffered its season-high fourth straight loss on Thursday as it was shut out for the first time this season in a 1-0 setback to New Jersey. "I think right now we're wanting to win, but we're not hating to lose," forward Tyler Seguin said. "And I think that's a big thing we need to fix."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest Plus (Dallas), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE STARS (20-16-7): Kari Lehtonen rebounded from a brutal performance in a 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday to stop 33 shots against the Devils. Should the Finn receive a breather, Dan Ellis will vie for his first win since Dec. 17. Dallas could use a jolt from its power play, which failed to score on a four-minute stretch with the man advantage late in the second period and is 1-for-14 in the last three games.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (22-20-3): Pardon the pun, but Henrik Lundqvist was the star of the show in the teams' first meeting - a 3-2 victory over Dallas on Nov. 21. The Swede made 23 of his 41 saves in the first period and Kreider tallied early in the third to put New York ahead. A former Star, Richards has collected two goals and two assists during his three-game point streak.
1. New York captain Ryan Callahan had an assist in the teams' previous meeting and has set up a goal in each of the last three contests.
2. Seguin, who leads Dallas with 21 goals, has tallied just once in 12 career contests versus the Rangers.
3. Former New York D Wade Redden, 36, announced his retirement after 14 seasons in the league.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Stars 2