It’s a homecoming of sorts for Sean Avery, albeit one that Dallas Stars fans probably aren’t feeling overly zealous about. Avery’s time in Dallas was short-lived (23 games and a suspension), but it is “the story” as these two teams prepare to meet for the only time this season.

New York Rangers vs. Dallas Stars (8:30 PM ET)

The return of Sean Avery to Dallas is a story because Avery’s antics during the 2008-09 season make it so. Underneath the surface and old sloppy seconds jokes, there’s actually a marquee matchup on tap here. Both the Rangers and Stars have picked up six wins in their last ten contests. Neither club was viewed as a serious playoff contender coming into this season, but both clubs have played their way into situations where they’re considered good bets to make a serious playoff run.

Brad Richards remains the Dallas Stars leading scorer, but continues to have his name attached to the New York Rangers via trade and impending unrestricted free agency rumours. Brandon Dubinsky has been the hottest Rangers player of late with 7-points in his last six games, and leads the team with 34-points.

All About Avery: The Incident

It happened, it was two years ago and Avery has toned down his antics to some degree. Let’s forget about it.

Then Again, Sean Avery Said A Lot of Things

Battle Lines

  • Rozsival out, McDonagh to make NHL debut [Blueshirts Blog]
  • What the Langenbrunner means for the Dallas Stars [Defending Big D]
  • The difference a year makes [via SNYRangersBlog]
  • Are there “incentives” at work with the Devils/Stars and teams in similar situations of disparity? [mc79hockey]
  • Budget concerns not an issue as Stars push towards playoffs [Dallas Morning News]

Our Prediction: The Stars take this one, but Avery leaves his mark with a goal. We’re not betting men, but if we were we’d bank on some extracurricular activity from the NHL’s most notorious pest.