With Derek Stepan returning to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game with the flu, the New York Rangers were hoping for a revitalized lineup and some offensive creativity against the Dallas Stars.
The first period lulled by, as the teams seemed to be feeling each other out, and with both sides coming off a game the night before, there wasn’t much action.
After two penalties taken by Marc Staal and Dan Boyle, the Stars were able to cash in on their five-on-three chance in the second period. Tyler Seguin threw a nifty little pass to a streaking Jason Spezza who tucked it past Cam Talbot for the game’s opening goal. The Stars were able to carry the momentum for much of the period, but some good pressure by the Rangers allowed Kevin Hayes to find Carl Hagelin for the equalizer.
Hayes then did the same again, this time giving the puck away to Dallas, allowing Erik Cole to pot one to give the Stars a one-goal lead heading into the third.
The final period of regulation was all Rangers. They outshot the Stars 20-2, and basically controlled the puck for the entirety of the 20 minutes. A botched delay of game call gave the Rangers the man advantage with about three minutes left. After Kari Lethonen misplayed the puck, Chris Kreider was able to take advantage of a loose puck and send the game into overtime.
The extra hockey didn’t last long, as Ales Hemsky sniped Talbot high blocker side to win the game for Dallas.
Other than the second Stars’ goal, Talbot played a really strong game, making several key saves to keep his team in the hunt.
Although disappointing, the loss isn’t all bad. With Washington falling to Philadelphia, the Rangers are now just one point out of third place with three games in hand on the Caps. They remain three back of the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins, and four back of the first-place New York Islanders, who are very capable of being caught up to, as they have not been playing their best hockey as of late.
In the tail end of a back to back, the Rangers dug deep and found a way to scrape a point out of this one, which is the most important. One point is better than no points.
Here’s your game summary courtesy of NHL.com:
Talbot said he never saw the game-winner.
— Seth Rothman (@RothmanHockey) February 9, 2015
Hagelin: “I don’t think there was one player on this team that was happy with the way they played in the first period.” #NYR
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) February 9, 2015