Rick Nash scored an unassisted goal short-handed in the third period and two New York Rangers goalies combined to shut out the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Thursday night.
Nash broke up a pass by Jamie Benn near the Rangers’ blue line, skated down the ice and put a snap shot past Dallas goalie Antti Niemi at 7:08.
It was Nash’s first game back after missing four because of a groin injury.
Mats Zuccarello added an empty-net goal.
Henrik Lundqvist started in the New York net for the first time in six games, but left for 5:31 of the first period after Dallas’ Cody Eakin hit him behind the net.
Eakin received a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.
Lundqvist finished with 27 saves. His brief replacement, Antti Raanta, had none.
Niemi made 28 saves for Dallas.
The Rangers have won four of five. The Stars missed a chance to match their longest winning streak this season at two games.
Niemi made five saves during a first-period power play that lasted 6:09. His best stop was a sprawling save on a snap shot by Brandon Pirri at 10:32.
The first 51 seconds of that power play were 5-on-3 after Eakin’s penalties. Dallas has escaped three 5-on-3s without a goal in the last two games, though Anaheim scored 5-on-4 just 5 seconds after the first penalty expired Tuesday night.
Dallas entered this one ranked 28th in the NHL on the penalty kill.
New York outshot Dallas 11-6 in the first period.
Each team had good scoring chances in the second, when the Stars outshot the Rangers 19-9.
Just 5 minutes in, Rangers forward Chris Kreider had a breakaway but sent a backhand wide right. About 6 minutes later, the Stars’ Jason Spezza hit the right post on a power play.
During Dallas’ second power play of the period, Lundqvist stopped wrist shots by Devin Shore and Esa Lindell. Seconds later, Stars defenseman John Klingberg broke up New York’s short-handed 2-on-1.
▪ Nash scored the 15th short-handed goal of his career and first since Feb. 2, 2015, vs. Florida.
▪ Nash took a run at Eakin after his penalties, but no penalty was called on Nash.
▪ Dallas C Tyler Seguin left the ice briefly in the third period after being hit in the back of the head by a shot.
▪ The Rangers are the only team that has held Benn without a point, in 10 career games. Even his brother, defenseman Jordie Benn, despite 411 fewer career points, has one assist in seven games vs. New York.
Rangers: Complete a two-game trip at Nashville on Saturday.
Stars: Host Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon in the third game of a five-game homestand. The Flyers will arrive with a 10-game winning streak and two days’ rest.
First Period—None. Penalties—Mcdonagh, NYR, (high sticking), 5:56; Spezza, DAL, (kneeing), 8:10; Eakin, DAL, served by Hudler, Major (charging), 9:19; Eakin, DAL, Misconduct (misconduct), 9:19; Holden, NYR, (roughing), 19:04; Faksa, DAL, (roughing), 19:04.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Lindberg, NYR, (tripping), 10:03; N.Y. Rangers bench, served by Kreider (too many men on the ice), 16:14; Mcdonagh, NYR, (delay of game), 19:54.
Third Period—1, N.Y. Rangers, Nash 12, 7:08 (sh). 2, N.Y. Rangers, Zuccarello 8 (Grabner, Hayes), 18:56. Penalties—Fast, NYR, (interference), 6:22; Spezza, DAL, (hooking), 11:21.
Shots on Goal—N.Y. Rangers 11-9-10—30. Dallas 6-18-3—27. Power-play opportunities—N.Y. Rangers 0 of 3; Dallas 0 of 5. Goalies—N.Y. Rangers, Raanta 8-2-0 (0 shots-0 saves), Lundqvist 13-8-1 (27-27). Dallas, Niemi 6-4-3 (29-28). A—18,212 (18,532). T—2:34.