DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars failed to gain ground in the Central Division when they lost their sixth straight game, 4-2 against the New York Rangers at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.
Roope Hintz scored and Miro Heiskanen had two assists for the Stars (37-24-8), who haven't won in six consecutive games for the first time this season (0-4-2). Ben Bishop made 23 saves.
[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Stars highlights]
Dallas is eight points behind the second-place Colorado Avalanche in the Central Division and four points ahead of the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets.
"I don't know what we're doing day of a game, but we're not preparing ourselves properly," Stars coach Rick Bowness said. "It's as simple as that. There's no urgency if you're not prepared.
"Thirteen games to go, we're still in a playoff spot and we can dig ourselves out of this. But if we don't prepare ourselves properly on the day of a game, it's not going to work."
Video: NYR@DAL: Heiskanen feeds Hintz for power-play goal
Kaapo Kakko scored twice, and Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad each had a goal and an assist for the Rangers (37-28-4), who have won two of their past three games and remained three points shy of a wild card in the Eastern Conference. Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves.
"I thought we really managed the puck well," New York coach David Quinn said. "I thought our puck play was really good, I thought we were on top of them and took away some time and space. We had everybody going. It was a true team effort."
Fox scored with a wrist shot from the low slot 19 seconds into the first period to give New York a 1-0 lead.
"I think an early goal in any game is big," Fox said. "It's tough to play from behind in this league and coming off of the games that we were, it felt good to get one, play in front and not have to chase the game."
Video: NYR@DAL: Fox scores in game's opening minute
Zibanejad's 40th goal of the season made it 2-0 at 10:12.
"He continues to grow day in and day out," Quinn said of Zibanejad, who has 10 goals in his past five games. "I said to him the day after his five-goal game (6-5 overtime win against the Washington Capitals last Thursday), 'I'm really tired of talking about you, but if you keep scoring, I'll talk about you until I'm blue in the face.'"
Kakko scored on a one-timer from the slot at 7:03 of the second period to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. It was his first goal in 14 games.
"It was a big game for us," Kakko said. "To get a couple of goals feels good."
Kakko scored again on a rebound while Bishop was out of the crease to make it 4-0 at 17:18 of the second.
"It's huge for him," Quinn said. "He's a kid that has always gauged himself by points, as most 18-year-olds and guys that get drafted as high as him do. I thought he played a really good game tonight."
Video: NYR@DAL: Kakko shows off hands in tight to score
The Stars scored their first goal in 175:29 when Hintz made it 4-1 with a power-play goal after a wraparound pass from Miro Heiskanen at 1:23 of the third period.
Andrew Cogliano scored on a rebound at 11:52 for the 4-2 final. It was his first goal in 35 games.
"We've done some good things during this losing streak, but it's a results-based business," Stars forward Blake Comeau said. "We've got to start seeing some results here. We battled back pretty well from a slow start to the season to put ourselves in a position where we control our own destiny. That being said, we let some teams back in the chase with us here."
Video: NYR@DAL: Cogliano puts home rebound
They said it
"It was really important. In the last game, we didn't play as good. It was important for us to come out and play the right way, and I think we did. We knew they were going to come hard in the third period, but overall, I think we did really good." -- Rangers forward Jesper Fast
"We're going to have to change something. In the last six games here, it's not working. We've got to prepare better, and I think we're preparing well as a team. Individually, we might have to change things up. You've got to look at how you prepare for a game." -- Stars captain Jamie Benn
Need to know
Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich had an assist on Zibanejad's goal, extending his point streak to six games (one goal, seven assists). … New York forward Filip Chytil left the game with a lower-body injury and is day to day, per Quinn. … Hintz scored his 19th goal of the season and is one behind forward Denis Gurianov for the Stars lead.
Rangers: At the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ALT, MSG+, NHL.TV)
Stars: Host the Florida Panthers on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; SN360, SNE (JIP), SNO (JIP), FS-SW, FS-F, NHL.TV)
Video: Zibanejad, Kakko boost Rangers past Stars