DALLAS — Things unraveled — and they unraveled quickly — for the Rangers.
An intimidating start turned into a timid finish as the Rangers wasted a two-goal lead to fall 6-3 to the Stars on Monday night at American Airlines Center, in a battle between the first-place teams in the Metropolitan and Central divisions.
It was the first time the Rangers lost in regulation in over a month, with the last one coming Oct. 19 against the Predators.
As a result, the Blueshirts’ point streak ended at 11 games.
After a strong all-around performance in the first period, in which they more than doubled the Stars shots on goal (16-7) and emerged with a 1-0 lead, the Blueshirts continued to frustrate the Stars in transition, hold the offensive zone for stretches and break out of the defensive zone cleanly.
Kaapo Kakko then snapped a 10-game scoreless streak on a funky play in front of the net, where the puck went off Dallas defenseman Ryan Suter’s stick and in.
Less than a minute and a half later, however, the Stars found the momentum that had been evading them all game.
Jumping out on a three-on-one rush, Dallas captain Jamie Benn snapped his own eight-game scoreless streak and capitalized for the 2-1 score heading into the second intermission.
Promptly at the start of the third period, Joe Pavelski buried a long rebound off the pad of Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin to knot the game at two-all.
The Stars grabbed their first lead of the night at the 7:06 mark of the final frame, when Mason Marchment jammed the puck in after Shesterkin made the initial save on Wyatt Johnson.
Marchment celebrated, but the refs ruled no goal on the play.
Dallas ultimately challenged for the 3-2 lead and a quick review showed there was no goalie interference.
Tyler Seguin later crashed the net and put the game out of reach during a scramble in front of the Rangers’ net.
The Rangers challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld to give the Stars a two-goal cushion with 11:36 left in regulation.
The Rangers have found ways to pull out wins in all different situations this season, but not even two late power plays could wrestle the momentum back.
In fact, Dallas scored two empty-net goals with Shesterkin pulled to pile it on.
Vincent Trocheck has quietly — but not really — built a six-game point streak for himself.
It may only seem that way because it’s been slightly overshadowed by linemate Artemi Panarin, whose franchise record 15-game point streak to start a season ended Monday night.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first period off of Trocheck’s wraparound goal on the power play.
Ever since Filip Chytil landed on injured reserve this month, Trocheck has more than adequately filled the middle of the second line.
The 30-year-old has collected four goals and seven assists since joining forces with Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere, with three of those points coming on the power play.