Martin Hanzal returned from injured reserve and scored the game-winning goal in the Dallas Stars' 2-1 victory over the slumping New York Rangers on Monday night.
On the power play, Hanzal skated across the goalmouth and tipped in Julius Honka's shot from the right point to break a 1-all tie 4:05 into the third period. Hanzal missed the previous five games because of a strained muscle in his lower body.
The Stars' third straight win moved them within one point of St. Louis for third place in the Central Division. The Rangers, who have lost six of seven, are last in the rugged Metropolitan Division and three points out of a postseason spot in a crowded Eastern Conference playoff race.
New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist lost his fifth game in a row despite making 39 saves.
Ben Bishop had 31 saves for Dallas.
David Desharnais scored in the first period for the Rangers. Tyler Seguin tied it in the second with his 26th goal.
In the first 20 minutes, the Stars tied their season high for shots in a period with 21, but Desharnais scored the only goal at 17:55. Bishop stopped a snap shot from Desharnais, but he continued skating and put the rebound in the net.
Lundqvist stopped Dallas' first 31 shots before Seguin scored at 14:44 of the second. Jason Spezza's pass from low in the right faceoff circle deflected off the stick of the Rangers forward Jesper Fast to Seguin at the top of the left circle. His slap shot went in off the left post.
The Stars had a chance to go ahead with two minutes left in the second, but John Klingberg's shot from the left point bounced off the crossbar.
NOTES: Bishop was inactive for the previous game after being hit in the face by a puck on Thursday at Arizona. . Rangers LW Jimmy Vesey was out after being hit on the head by Nashville's Filip Forsberg on Saturday. Rookie Vinni Lettieri, up from Hartford of the AHL, replaced Vesey and assisted on New York's goal. . Seguin has seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last six games. ... Alexander Radulov, who assisted on Seguin's goal, took over the team lead with 51 points. . The Stars have killed off all 11 of their penalties in the last three games, including three against the Rangers. . The Stars won both games in the season series. New York had won four of its previous five games in Dallas.
Rangers: Begin a two-game homestand Wednesday against Boston.
Stars: Go on the road for one game Thursday at Chicago.