Hemsky’s OT strike powers Stars past Rangers

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Ales Hemsky scored the game-winning goal
1:02 into overtime to lift the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory over the New York
Rangers on Sunday.

Jason Spezza tallied a goal and an assist and Erik Cole also lit the lamp for
the Stars, who bounced back from a 3-2 loss to Buffalo on Saturday and ended a
three-game skid. Kari Lehtonen made 34 saves in the win.

“If you want to make the playoffs, you need every point,” said Hemsky. “We got
a win so hopefully we can keep going.”

Chris Kreider forced overtime with a late marker, Carl Hagelin also provided
a goal and Cam Talbot stopped 23 shots in the Rangers’ second straight loss.

Leading 2-1, Lehtonen was sharp early in the third as he made 11 saves by the
midway point of the stanza, including a deft stop on Rick Nash’s deflection in

The Rangers, however, clawed back and tied the game with 1:20 left in
regulation. On the power play and with Talbot pulled, Mats Zuccarello gathered
Lehtonen’s failed clear and sent a shot on net. Lehtonen made the stop, but
Kreider wristed home the rebound to send the game into overtime.

Hemsky ended it quickly in the extra session as he skated across the slot and
wristed a shot over the shoulder of a screened Talbot to give the Stars the

“I didn’t see it go in,” Talbot said of the deciding goal. “I looked around
and saw the release, but after that I lost it.”

After a scoreless first, Dallas lit the lamp 2:53 into the second period on a
5-on-3 power play. Tyler Seguin held the puck at the left circle and hit
Spezza, who drifted through the slot and finished off the play by tapping the
puck past Talbot.

Kevin Hayes emerged with the puck off the right-wing off a strong Rangers
forecheck and Hagelin wristed Hayes’ cross-ice feed into an open net for a
tied game with 4:33 left in the middle stanza.

The Stars didn’t wait long to regain the lead as Cole’s shot from the top of
the slot trickled through the pads of Talbot for a 2-1 lead with 1:55 to play
before the final intermission.

Game Notes

Lehtonen tied Gilles Meloche for fourth on the franchise’s all-time wins list
with his 141st victory … John Klingberg assisted on Spezza’s goal and has 10
points in his past six games … Rangers forward Derek Stepan returned to the
lineup after missing Saturday’s game with flu-like symptoms … Dallas also
defeated New York 3-2 on Dec. 29 … The last six games between the two teams
have all been decided by just one goal.