NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Stepan broke out of a long slump with two goals and an assist, and the New York Rangers caught the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks atop the NHL standings with a 7-2 rout Sunday night.
Stepan, who had no points in his previous 12 games, scored a goal in each of the first two periods as the Rangers found their missing offense while playing the second of back-to-back games. They snapped the Ducks’ four-game winning streak as Anaheim (46-21-7) began a five-game trip.
The Rangers 46-18-7), Ducks, and Montreal Canadiens all have 99 points, but New York has played fewer games than both.
New York jumped on starter Frederik Andersen with three goals in the first period and chased him in favor of John Gibson 10:16 in. Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin also scored in the opening frame, and J.T. Miller and Stepan tallied against Gibson in the second.