The Rangers scored twice within a span of 37 seconds on goals from Chris Kreider and defenseman John Moore to snap a 1-1 draw in the third period and knock off the Stars in Dallas 3-2 Thursday, the first of a five-game road trip for the Blueshirts. Thursday's match was a terrific goaltending duel between Henrik Lundqvist and Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen, but the Rangers halted a two-game skid to get back to .500 with an 11-11-0 record. Lundqvist, who was pristine particularly in the first period, finished the game with 41 saves.
Held in by Hank: The Rangers were lucky to escape a lopsided first with a 1-0 lead as Lundqvist was pelted with the puck repeatedly throughout the period. A porous Rangers defense forced Lundqvist to make 23 saves in the first 20 minutes of play; according to Elias Sports Bureau that is the career high for the former Vezina Trophy winner for number of saves during a single period.
Big game for Nash: In his second game back from a concussion that sidelined him for almost six weeks, winger Rick Nash didn't seem like someone returning from a lengthy absence as he notched his first goal of the season to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period. Nash made a slick move to notch one on the power play -- a critical man-up marker as the Rangers were under siege for much of the opening frame. Nash also played well in his first game back, registering five shots on goal in the team's 2-1 loss to the Bruins Tuesday night, though he was held off the score sheet. The Rangers hope Nash's size and skill will pay dividends for them as they struggle to execute on offense. Heading into Thursday's game, the Rangers had managed only four goals in their past four games.
Shortly after Alex Chiasson pulled the Stars within a goal, Nash had a prime opportunity to notch his second of the night when he was awarded a penalty shot midway through the third period, but he was denied by Lehtonen, who kept the Stars within striking distance at 3-2.
Opportunitists on offense: After Tuesday's loss to the Bruins, one in which the Rangers had only one goal to show after lobbing 40 shots on goal against Tuukka Rask, coach Alain Vigneault talked about the need to play a more opportunistic brand of hockey. Thursday, the Rangers made the Stars pay for mistakes as both Kreider's and Moore's third-period goals came after a Dallas turnover.