Derek Stepan scored twice, Jayson Megna scored his first goal as a Blueshirt, and the team added its first shorthanded goal of the season, as the Rangers beat the Dallas Stars, 6-2, Tuesday night at the Garden.
The six goals matched the team’s high for the season, set November 12th in a win over St. Louis.
Stepan got the offense going early, with a goal just 1:56 into the 1st period to make it 1-0. It was his first goal since returning from injury. John Klingberg tied the game 1-1 at 13:50, but Keith Yandle broke the tie 18 seconds later, scoring at 14:08 with a spinning move from just inside the blue line to make it 2-1. The puck appeared to deflect in off Jyrki Jokipakka.
Derick Brassard got the only goal of the 2nd period, at 17:23, to make it 3-1 New York. His shot was stopped by Niemi, but the puck eventually deflected off Jason Demers and then off Niemi’s skate for the goal.
At 4:55 of the 3rd period, Stepan scored the team’s first shorthanded goal of the season to make it 4-1. Rick Nash forced a turnover in the Rangers’ end, and got the puck to Stepan streaking up the ice. Stepan’s initial shot was stopped but he got his own rebound and scored.
Viktor Stalberg then scored at 7:50 to make it 5-1, picking up a loose puck just outside the crease and putting the puck underneath Niemi.
Later in the 3rd, with the score 5-2, Megna took a great pass from Nash and scored his first goal as a Ranger, at 13:38, to make it 6-2.
Nash played a superb, aggressive game and finished with three assists, and Kevin Klein logged two assists. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves for his 17th win of the season.
The Rangers [now 22-14-4, 48 pts] try to make it two wins in a row for the first time since mid-November when they host the Capitals Saturday afternoon at The Garden.