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game recap

Stars score seven on Henrik Lundqvist, hang on

Kari Lehtonen comes in to save game against Rangers

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist allowed seven goals, and a New York Rangers comeback fell short in a 7-6 loss to the Dallas Stars at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Lundqvist was replaced by rookie Magnus Hellberg to start the third period after allowing seven goals on 27 shots. Lundqvist has allowed 12 goals on 49 shots in his past four periods and 20 goals on 113 shots in his past four games.

"I feel like it's embarrassing and frustrating and disappointing at the same time," Lundqvist said.

 

WATCH: All Stars vs. Rangers highlights

 

Dallas led 7-3 in the second period, enough to withstand New York's third-period push. Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad scored in the first 7:26, but the Rangers couldn't tie the game against Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, who replaced Antti Niemi.

The Rangers (28-16-1) have lost three in a row. Dallas (19-19-8) ended a two-game losing streak.

Patrick Sharp scored twice, and Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves each scored a goal and had two assists. Antoine Roussel, Adam Cracknell and Cody Eakin scored, and Radek Faksa and Lauri Korpikoski each had two assists.

"When I look at it, I still felt we deserved to win tonight," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "When you look at the schedule and the number of games, there is some goofy stuff going on, and we'll take the two points."

Most of Dallas' goals came from breakdowns in front of Lundqvist with the Rangers either blowing a read or missing an assignment altogether. They are a reason for his .841 save percentage in six games this month (26 goals on 164 shots).

Video: DAL@NYR: Benn buries a backhander from the slot

"You're giving up 2-on-1s and breakaways, one, two, three chances right in front in a row; he's a tremendous goalie and it's going to be tough to stop those consistently," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "We've put him in a bad spot, no question about it, and that's not fair."

Stepan and Zibanejad, who was playing his first game since Nov. 20, when he broke his left fibula, each scored twice. Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich also scored, Buchnevich had two assists, and Mats Zuccarello had three assists.

Lehtonen made 12 saves in relief of Niemi, who allowed six goals on 28 shots and was pulled with 12:34 remaining, after Zibanejad scored to make it 7-6. Lehtonen made three saves in the final five seconds.

"We did what we had to do," Benn said. "We hunkered down to the end and found a way to get two points."

Eaves, Sharp and Benn scored 5:20 apart in the first period to build a 3-1 lead at 17:54 after Stepan made it 1-0 27 seconds into the game.

Roussel made it 4-1 at 4:32 of the second. The Rangers got goals from Zibanejad and Buchnevich 2:10 apart to make it 4-3 at 12:06, but Sharp scored on a wraparound 48 seconds later. Cracknell and Eakin followed in the next 4:46 to extend the lead to 7-3.

"It's my job to give the group confidence and let them play the game, and when I'm not coming up with the saves, we start running around a little bit and make it even tougher for ourselves and me," Lundqvist said. "But it starts with me coming up with the saves."

Video: DAL@NYR: Zibanejad scores second off redirect

 

Goal of the game

Cracknell kept the puck on a 2-on-1 and beat Lundqvist with a short side wrist shot from 25 feet out to give the Stars a 6-3 lead at 15:53 of the second period.

Video: DAL@NYR: Cracknell breaks into zone, goes top shelf

 
Saves of the game

Lehtonen's three-save sequence with the play in front of him in the final five seconds preserved the win. He stopped a one-timer from Brandon Pirri and followed with saves on Zuccarello and Zibanejad off rebounds.

Video: DAL@NYR: Lehtonen withstands pressure to seal game

 

Highlight of the game

Nothing better illustrates Lundqvist's struggles more than Sharp's wraparound goal. The Rangers lost races to the puck, they didn't pick up Sharp behind the net, Lundqvist covered the wrong post, and defenseman Adam Clendening was facing the wrong direction.

Video: DAL@NYR: Sharp notches his second goal on wraparound

 

Unsung performance of the game

Faksa had an assist on each of Sharp's goals and won a game-high 16 faceoffs.

Video: DAL@NYR: Sharp slots home a feed from Faksa

 
They said it

"It's frustrating that we need to score seven goals to win the game, but right now we'll take a win whatever way we can." -- Stars forward Patrick Sharp

 

"[Lundqvist is] going to play the next game. He's going to try real hard and we're going to try to play better in front of him. This is a team and we're going to stick with one another and do what we can here to get out of this three-game [losing streak]." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault

 

Need to know

The Stars scored a season high; they scored six goals three times. … Jason Spezza was the only Stars forward who didn't have a point. … The Rangers top line of Stepan, Kreider and Zuccarello combined for eight points, giving it 38 points in the past 10 games.

 

What's next

Stars: At the New York Islanders on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Rangers: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN4, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Sharp scores twice to lead Stars past Rangers, 7-6

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