DALLAS (AP) — Zac Jones was a healthy scratch the previous two games for New York before scoring his first NHL goal.
The Dallas Stars now have to worry about the health of standout goalie Jake Oettinger.
Jones and Julien Gauthier scored 19 seconds apart in the third period after Oettinger exited with an injury, and the Rangers beat the Stars 6-3 on Saturday.
“I didn’t like my game recently,” said the 22-year-old Jones, who added an assist. “I thought I deserved to get scratched. I didn’t think I played very well. I took it as a great learning experience.”
Vincent Trocheck had two goals, including the last in a three-goal third period for New York and fourth against Scott Wedgewood, who replaced Oettinger in the second.
The Stars were already without standout defenseman Miro Heiskanen with an upper-body injury when Oettinger was sidelined by a lower-body injury in a 2-2 game.
Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, and Chris Kreider also scored for the Rangers.
Jason Robertson had a tying goal for Dallas late in the second, but a potential go-ahead tally early the third was overturned when the Rangers challenged that the Stars were offsides.
Mason Marchment scored 69 seconds into the game for Dallas, and Roope Hintz had the first of two tying goals for the Stars.
Jones put the Rangers ahead 4-3 with a shot from the high slot before Gauthier chipped the puck past two defenders near the blue line, then beat Wedgewood to it for a spinning, diving shot into an empty net.
“Pretty sure I had him,” Gauthier said. “I was pretty much like full speed, and it looked like it might be tough timing for him. I had pretty good odds that was going to go in.”
Igor Shesterkin had 30 saves for the Rangers.
Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said he was told Oettinger caught his skate on a post. The 23-year-old who had a breakout performance in the playoffs last season returned to the bench, but not to the game.
“He’s obviously a big part of our team, if not the biggest,” Robertson said. “It’s something where we don’t think about it. We just keep playing hard. Our d-zone kind of got away from us in the third.”
Trocheck’s first goal came on a power play and gave New York a 2-1 lead, but Hintz answered 29 seconds later.
After Zibanejad scored on another power play among the seven penalties assessed to Dallas, Robertson scored unassisted off a faceoff late in the second.
“Didn’t like our attention to detail. Didn’t like our execution,” DeBoer said. “They looked a little quicker, a little hungrier. Having said that, it goes to the third, we still have a chance to get points and we don’t.”
Wyatt Johnston, the 19-year-old Dallas rookie with three goals already, played his last game before the Stars have to decide to keep him in the NHL or send him back to major junior hockey in the OHL.
Johnston isn’t eligible for the Stars’ AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, and keeping him on the Dallas roster essentially means using the first year on his entry level contract.
Nils Lundkvist faced the Rangers for the first time since they traded him to Dallas just before training camp for conditional first- and fourth-round draft picks.
Lundkvist, a 22-year-old who entered the game leading Dallas defensemen with four points (four assists), had asked for a trade because he was buried on New York’s depth chart. He didn’t record a point.
STARS HALL OF FAME
Former captain Derian Hatcher and former general manager Bob Gainey were honored as part of the inaugural class of the Dallas Stars Hall of Fame.
The other charter members were automatic, including the club owners and the four players whose numbers have been retired in Mike Modano (9), Neal Broten (7), Sergei Zubov (56) and Jere Lehtinen (26).
Hatcher was captain and Gainey the architect of Dallas’ only Stanley Cup-winning team in 1999. Modano, Zubov and Lehtinen also were on that team.
Rangers: A three-game trip wraps up with a back-to-back in Arizona on Sunday.
Stars: A three-game homestand ends Monday against the LA Kings.