By Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
NEW YORK — Jason Spezza scored the decisive goal in the third round of a shootout as the Dallas Stars edged the New York Rangers 2-1 on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
After a wild overtime, Spezza helped Dallas snap its second three-game losing streak of the season when he sped in on Ondrej Pavelec and lifted a backhander into the net.
New York’s Mats Zuccarello scored in the first round of the shootout, but David Desharnais and Kevin Shattenkirk were unable to score for the Rangers (16-11-3).
Alexander Radulov scored in the first round of the shootout for Dallas (17-13-1), getting his goal after he fell down near mid-ice.
Julius Honka scored in the second period for Dallas, which outshot the Rangers by a commanding 45-25 margin.
Rick Nash forced overtime by scoring his eighth goal of the season on a deflection with 3:41 remaining in regulation.
The Stars broke through on their 20th shot with 13:30 remaining in the middle period. After Rangers defenseman Nick Holden turned the puck over to Radek Faksa in the left corner, Jamie Benn gained possession along the boards and passed it to Esa Lindell, who was near the left point. Lindell made a cross-ice pass to Honka, who lifted a slap shot from near the right circle above Pavelec’s right arm and off the right post.
Pavelec kept the Rangers in it by making several nice saves, including a sprawling point-blank stop on Tyler Seguin’s wrist shot during a power play with 5:13 remaining. A few minutes later, Pavelec kept the game at 1-0 with consecutive stops on Benn and Seguin from up close.
New York capitalized on an errant clearing attempt by goaltender Kari Lehtonen and tied the game in the third. Nash jostled for position in the crease with Dallas defenseman Greg Pateryn and deflected Brady Skjei’s wrist shot from the point into the net. Dallas challenged, but after a brief review, officials ruled that Nash did not commit goaltender interference.
Pavelec kept the game tied with a left shoulder save on Spezza with about three minutes remaining. Lehtonen then robbed Jesper Fast with his glove on an attempt from near the crease with 81 seconds left in overtime.
The Rangers nearly won it with about 30 seconds left, but Ryan McDonagh fanned on a shot. Shortly after, Pavelec made a stick save on Seguin, and the game headed for the shootout.
Lehtonen finished with 24 saves. Pavelec stopped 44 shots.