DALLAS — The Rangers needed a pick-me-up, and they got it in the form of a solid win to end an otherwise disconcerting road trip.
Erasing an early two-goal deficit to complete another comeback victory, the Rangers, behind a five-point night by Artemi Panarin, rallied to a 7-4 win Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at American Airlines Center. They beat a Stars team that is in the midst of playing some of its best hockey of the season.
The Rangers, who had lost two straight, have not lost three in a row since November, and have yet to lose three straight in regulation this season.
They had been outscored 11-4 in the last two games, and it seemed as though they picked up right where they left off, with their sluggish play from losses at Minnesota and St. Louis pouring into this game. Struggling to get through the neutral zone, the Rangers were sloppy for the first five minutes and fell into a 2-0 hole.
Somehow, someway, they woke up and unleashed four straight goals in the span of just over five minutes from Greg McKegg, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox and Panarin, who also had four assists.
After storming back, the Rangers got into some trouble with penalties again early on in the second. Ryan Lindgren took his third penalty in the last two games before Jonny Brodzinski was called for tripping to give the Stars the five-on-three advantage.
Dallas’ top-line winger, Jason Robertson, made the Rangers pay with a one-timer from the left circle to make it a one-goal score at 7:10 of the middle frame. The Rangers managed to stay in it, with defenseman Patrik Nemeth’s wraparound goal extending their lead to 5-3 toward the end of the period.
The Stars did not go quietly and kept the game competitive until the very end. Joe Pavelski pulled Dallas within one at 8:09 of the third period, but Barclay Goodrow gave the Rangers some breathing room with a score off the rush.
Ryan Strome scored an empty-net goal to secure the victory, which ignited some “Let’s Go Rangers” chants from the traveling fans.
Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, who finished with 30 saves, gave up one he should’ve stopped 49 seconds into the game, when Stars defenseman Elas Lindell flung a backhander off the rush that beat him short side. The Rangers didn’t have much of a response. K’Andre Miller failed to gain control of the puck and turned it over soon after, allowing the Stars to waltz right in before Tyler Seguin tipped in a Joel Kiviranta shot for the 2-0 lead at 4:53.
Miller made up for his flub, wristing the puck from the top of the zone to set up McKegg for the tip-in to cut the Rangers’ deficit 2-1 at 9:45. The goal wouldn’t have been possible without the hustle play from Julien Gauthier, who won the puck battle behind Dallas’ net.
The ice tilted in the Rangers favor as soon as they got on the power play. A Zibanejad slapshot seven seconds into the man-advantage knotted the game 2-2 at 12:59. The Rangers started making plays without the puck, and Fox crashed the net to get in perfect position to tip in a shot from Jacob Trouba to give his team their first lead of the night.
To cap the scoring surge, Panarin finessed one of his flashy moves — which he hasn’t done in a while — to beat Stars goalie Jake Oettinger at 14:50.