NEW YORK -- Building off a strong performance in Chicago on Wednesday, Rick Nash tallied the game winner Friday night for the Rangers as they knocked off the visiting Dallas Stars 3-2 at Madison Square Garden.
Nash snapped a 2-2 draw with 1 minute, 58 seconds remaining in the third period, scoring on an off-balance shot that he fought for while toppling to the ice to give the Rangers their second straight victory.
The Stars, meanwhile, dropped their fifth consecutive game.
Dangerous trio: The Stars’ second line of Antoine Roussel, Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt brought some major spark with the game’s first two goals. The trio combined for five points Friday night, showing some much-needed grit and energy for a Stars team that entered the matchup winless in 2014. The line also drew a crucial power play with 8:30 remaining in regulation, though the Stars’ 29th-ranked man-advantage unit couldn’t cash in on the prime opportunity. Eakin has four points in two games against the Rangers this season.
All tied up: The Rangers tied the game again in the second with Derick Brassard’s skilled redirection of Mats Zuccarello’s shot at 8:22. The power-play marker snapped a 10-game goalless drought for Brassard and gave the Rangers their fourth consecutive game with a man-up goal. With a helper on the play, Zuccarello is one point behind alternate captain Brad Richards for the team lead in scoring.
Tied after 20: A couple of hustle plays from both the Stars and Rangers left the game knotted at 1 after the opening period. The Stars struck first as Garbutt chased down a puck and set up Eakin just 4:06 in. Rangers captain Ryan Callahan tied the game midway through the frame, burying a shot on the rush before crashing into the end boards at 11:20. Both Callahan and Richards, who assisted on the goal, extended their respective points streaks to four games apiece.
Up next: With another extended stay at home, the Rangers will host Metropolitan Division foes the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night. The Rangers play six of their next seven games at MSG.