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game recap

Stars end three-game losing streak, defeat Rangers

Spezza scores shootout winner; Pavelec makes 44 saves for New York

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The Dallas Stars defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden on Monday to end a three-game losing streak.

Jason Spezza and Alexander Radulov scored in the tiebreaker for Dallas (17-13-1), which outshot the Rangers 45-25, including 17-5 in the second period, in the first of a four-game road trip.

"It was a dig-deep game for us," Spezza said. "It's no secret we got challenged after that week we had. Coming into a tough building against a team that's been playing really well, hopefully that's something we can build off of. We would have liked to have won it in regulation, but you take two points and move on."

 

[WATCH: All Stars vs. Rangers highlights]

 

The Stars were outscored 13-5 during their losing streak.

Mats Zuccarello scored in the first round of the shootout for New York, but Kari Lehtonen stopped shots from David Desharnais and Kevin Shattenkirk.

Ondrej Pavelec made 44 saves and Rick Nash scored his eighth goal for the Rangers (16-11-3), who had won seven of their past nine games (7-2-0) and 10 of their past 11 at home (10-1-0).

"We lost the game so right now it's kind of disappointing," Pavelec said. "The good thing is we were able to come out with one point from this game. We got a little better in the third period. We are going to move on. Tomorrow is a new day and we have big games coming up. Tough loss for sure."

Video: DAL@NYR: Radulov stumbles, goes five-hole for SO goal

Julius Honka scored at 6:30 of the second period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Honka, who was a healthy scratch for the past six games, scored his first point in 10 games. The Stars drew four Rangers defenders to the boards, which left Honka alone at the point. His slap shot beat Pavelec high and to his right.

"For me it's all about learning process," Honka said. "When you get a chance, you have to show it. It feels good to be back. It's what I enjoy, playing my game and being a fresh guy out there. It felt really good to get a goal and just keep going."

Lehtonen made 24 saves. His best came at 8:46 of the second period when he denied J.T. Miller on a breakaway off Zuccarello's stretch pass.

"Right now, quite frankly, he's given us a chance to win every time he plays," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Pavelec made 16 saves in the first period, including three in three seconds on shots from Honka from the point, and pad stops up close on Remi Elie and Devin Shore at 16:16. It was Pavelec's first start at Madison Square Garden since Oct. 26, when he made 27 saves in a 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes.

"I don't think anyone in our dressing room doesn't know that other than Ondrej Pavelec, we didn't play real well tonight," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "There are two positives, [Pavelec] played unreal and because of his performance we were able to get a point. Other than that, we weren't good."

Video: DAL@NYR: Nash deflects Skjei's wrister to tie game

 

Goal of the game

Spezza's goal in the third round of the shootout.

Video: DAL@NYR: Spezza beats Pavelec to seal shootout win

 
Save of the game

Lehtonen against Jesper Fast at 3:39 of overtime.

Video: DAL@NYR: Lehtonen snags Fast's rising shot in close

 

Highlight of the game

Pavelec's save against Tyler Seguin at 3:25 of the third.

Video: DAL@NYR: Pavelec shuts his pads to deny Seguin

 
They said it

"We're starting to really play strong 5-on-5 hockey right now. We're getting a lot of scoring chances and not giving up a lot, which is a good sign. If we can continue to keep our 5-on-5 play, and start to clean up our power play and penalty kill a little bit, we'll be in good shape." -- Stars coach Ken Hitchcock

 

"I think everyone in here knows that was embarrassing for two periods. They smacked us around and we didn't win one battle, we didn't win a puck battle in front of the net. We weren't first on the pucks. It's not acceptable for the team that we are supposed to be. I think everyone in here knows that. Getting something out of this game is all [Pavelec]. We have no business getting anything out of this game. I think everyone understands that." -- Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello

 
Need to know

Rangers center Mika Zibanejad participated in the morning skate for the first time since being diagnosed with a concussion on Nov. 28. Zibanejad, who has missed six games, hasn't been cleared for contact and would need at least one full practice before returning to the lineup, Vigneault said. … Lehtonen tied former Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff for most games played by a Finnish-born goalie in NHL history (623). … The Stars were 0-for-3 on the power play, including a 5-on-3 chance. They're 1-for-34 with the man-advantage in their past 11 games and 2-for-45 in their past 14. … Marc Staal played in his 719th game, tying Andy Bathgate for 11th place on the Rangers' all-time list.

 
What's next

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

Rangers: At the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, MSG, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lehtonen, Spezza propel Stars to 2-1 shootout victory

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