NEW YORK -- Stephen Johns scored his first goal in nearly two years and the Dallas Stars scored more than three goals in a game for the first time in a month, defeating the New York Rangers 5-3 at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
Johns last scored on Feb. 16, 2018. The defenseman missed the entire 2018-19 season and the first 47 games of this season because of post-traumatic headaches.
"You know what makes it pretty special is my parents were here tonight," Johns said as he fought back tears. "Throughout this whole process it wasn't just me going through [a tough time]. As parents they want to help, and then to be here and see that, I know my dad was for sure crying. I'm pretty excited to go see them and give them both a big hug."
[WATCH: All Stars vs. Rangers highlights]
The Stars (30-18-4) hadn't scored more than three goals since Jan. 3, a span of nine straight games, or more than four in 28 in a row (Nov. 21).
Joe Pavelski scored two power-play goals in 16 seconds in the first period and Anton Khudobin made 33 saves for the Stars, who have won three of their past four games and moved two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central Division.
Video: DAL@NYR: Pavelski needs 16 seconds to score two PPGs
Dallas was 0-for-14 on the power play in its previous five games.
"It's nice to see it go in a couple times," Pavelski said. "It was nice for the power play to get a couple after the way we've been going. … You've got to find different ways to win and tonight we were able to put a few in the net."
Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Alexandar Georgiev (five saves) for the third period. Lundqvist made his second straight start after a 33-save shutout in a 1-0 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday,
"We made some mistakes and unfortunately I wasn't able to clean that up a couple times there," Lundqvist said. "I thought we did a lot of good things, but they just managed to cash in on a couple of mistakes that we made. If we're able to get away with those it's a different game."
Pavel Buchnevich scored on a power play at 2:29 of the first period to put New York ahead 1-0.
Video: DAL@NYR: Buchnevich scores PPG from sharp angle
Pavelski tied it 1-1 at 8:08 with a power-play goal.
The Rangers challenged the goal, claiming the puck went out of play before Pavelski scored on a netfront deflection. Video review confirmed the puck never left the playing area. The Rangers were given a delay of game penalty for an unsuccessful challenge.
Pavelski scored on the ensuing power play to give Dallas a 2-1 lead at 8:24.
"We thought it was a hundred percent out and obviously we had an angle that they probably didn't see or there was a discrepancy," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "We thought for sure it was going to get called back, but we were wrong."
Brett Howden tied it 2-2 at 15:41, when he gloved the puck down and batted it in with his stick. It was initially ruled no goal, but the call was overturned after video review showed Howden propelled the puck into the net with his stick, not his glove.
Video: DAL@NYR: Howden nets PPG from doorstep
Johns scored with a one-timer from the right point at 7:52 of the second to give Dallas a 3-2 lead. Blake Comeau scored with a far-side wrist shot from the left circle off a 2-on-1 rush 4:04 later to make it 4-2. Corey Perry scored off a rebound at 5:22 of the third to make it 5-2.
Brendan Lemieux's power-play goal at 13:17 made it 5-3.
They said it
"We keep saying we have the potential to score, we just have to get some breaks. We got some tonight. We had some great shots and we had some breaks, and you need those to score goals." -- Dallas coach Rick Bowness
"It looked like we just really got deflated after we gave up that third goal. It's one goal. You're still in the game. And then we got sloppy. It really was a tale of two games for us. I really liked what we were doing up until that third goal and then we really got away from all the things we had been doing and need to do if we're going to have a chance." -- Rangers coach David Quinn
Need to know
Pavelski has three goals in the past two games, matching his output in the 21 previous games. … The Rangers were 3-for-3 on the power play, improving to 7-for-13 in the past four games. … Johns was credited with eight hits in 13:53 of ice time. … Forward Chris Kreider (upper body) didn't play for the Rangers (25-22-4). He's day to day.
Stars: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday (Barclays Center, 7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-SW, NHL.TV)
Rangers: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, MSG, NHL.TV)
Video: Pavelski scores twice, Stars defeat Rangers