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game recap

Klein's goal lifts Rangers past Stars

Defenseman scores with less than four minutes remaining

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

Klein's go-ahead goal

NYR@DAL: Klein gives Rangers the lead late in the 3rd

2/26/16: Kevin Klein snipes in the go-ahead goal late in the 3rd period to put the Rangers ahead, 3-2

  • 00:53 •

DALLAS -- Defenseman Kevin Klein scored the tie-breaking goal with 2:53 remaining in the third period, Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves and New York Rangers defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 at American Airlines Center on Saturday.

Klein broke a 2-2 tie when he scored his sixth goal of the season, a wrist shot from the slot that went past the catching glove of Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Chris Kreider and Ryan McDonagh also scored for New York (36-20-6), which won for the fourth time in five games overall and the fifth time in six road games.

"I think we played a pretty solid game," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. "We played a pretty solid game against really one of the best teams in the West. I was real happy with getting both these games [at St. Louis and Dallas] on this road trip here."

Klein's goal came 1:08 after Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin scored to tie the game. Colton Sceviour, who assisted on Nichushkin's goal, scored in the second period for Central Division-leading Dallas (38-19-6), which has lost back-to-back games at home.

Video: NYR@DAL: Yandle's shot deflects off Kreider for PPG

"I thought we had a couple tough turnovers at different times, but I thought our compete [level] and our battle [level], our chances of not giving up the rush plays, were good," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Our tracking back and our backchecking were probably the best they've been in a long time. It was a game we could have easily won."

Kreider gave the Rangers the lead when he redirected Keith Yandle's power-play wrist shot past Lehtonen 4:38 into the second period. Derick Brassard won the faceoff after Stars defenseman Jason Demers was called for delay of game and got the puck back to Yandle. Kreider got his stick on Yandle's shot from near the blue line and deflected it into the net for his 13th goal of the season.

Dallas tied it at 9:08 when Sceviour scored his seventh of the season. Lundqvist got his pad on Tyler Seguin's one-timer from the right circle but kicked the rebound into the slot; Sceviour picked it up, stepped to his right and put a low shot into the open right side.

"There's going to be times where your top guys aren't going to score," Sceviour said. "It's impossible for them to score 82 games a year. So you need to find scoring up and down the lineup."

McDonagh put the Rangers back in front at 8:26 of the third period when he flipped a backhand from near the goal line off Lehtonen's left elbow and into the net after Lehtonen stopped Oscar Lindberg's initial shot.

Video: NYR@DAK: Lundqvist comes up with huge save in 3rd

"I made a save and wasn't sure where the puck went. I saw it in the corner and I needed to get back to the net, but he [McDonagh] was smarter than me," Lehtonen said. "He knew that's what I'm going to do and he banked it off of me. Frustrating goal for sure."

Dallas thought it had tied the game again at 9:30, but the officials ruled that Jason Spezza's shot did not completely cross the goal line. The no-goal ruling was upheld after a video review.

"I thought it was a goal. I guess if there's no call on the ice, they say it's inconclusive," Spezza said.

Dallas did tie it at 15:59 when Nichushkin scored his eighth of the season, a slap shot from the left circle that deflected off Girardi's stick and went past Lundqvist.

"I thought [he] started a little slow, but last half of the game, like everybody else, was a lot better," Ruff said of Nichushkin. "He skated pretty well. He could have had two or three breakaways, scored a big goal for us. It's important for him and important for us too."

Video: NYR@DAL: Nichuskin ties it up with a late goal

Stars captain Jamie Benn nearly put Dallas ahead with 3:37 remaining when his shot from the left circle hit Lundqvist in the chest before glancing off the far post.

"I love the way we've been playing the last two games, the way we've been competing. It really gets me going too," Lundqvist said. "I get excited when I see the guys play that hard for the group, and it shows a lot of good things for his group moving forward."

Lehtonen made 26 saves.

Ruff reconfigured his top line, putting Spezza with Benn and Seguin. But other than Seguin's assist on Sceviour's goal, that group had a quiet game.

"You're not going to stop those guys. They're going to get some looks, they're going to get some chances," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We tried obviously to have two lines and four [defensemen] because we knew they'd play a lot, a lot of minutes and a lot of big minutes. I thought we did as good of a job as you can against such elite players."

Video: NYR@DAL: McDonagh's shot gives Rangers lead in 3rd

 Stars forward Ales Hemsky left the ice late in the first period because of illness and did not return.

"He left with some stomach pain," Ruff said. "Right now we don't know what it is. It was nothing that happened during the game. He was getting some pain that had him doubled over."

The Rangers return home to play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, the same night the Stars host the Detroit Red Wings.

Video: Klein's late goal lifts Rangers over Stars

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