In a game that evolved from ugly to benchings to dominant to disappointing for the Rangers, they got what they deserved Sunday night: a single point.
Ales Hemsky scored on a shot just under the crossbar at 1:02 of overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, sending the Blueshirts -- who had rallied to tie the score late in the third period -- to their second defeat of the weekend.
"It was good to get the point," said Rick Nash, whose 33 goals give him a share of the NHL lead but who was benched and played less than four minutes in the second period. "But we have to play a complete game, especially at this point of the season where points are hard to come by."
The Rangers (30-16-5) had 20 shots in the third period and tied the score at 2-2 with 1:20 left in regulation on Chris Kreider's power-play rebound of Mats Zuccarello's shot. But the Rangers showed little of that desperation earlier.
For the first 33 or 34 minutes, a miffed Alain Vigneault said, "we had no puck possession. We were spending almost the total time in our end. We had a couple guys, obviously, that were not putting their A-game on the ice . . . Rick hasn't had many games this year where he's been off."
Derek Stepan, who missed Saturday's game with the flu, returned but was ineffective. He also was benched in the second period, playing only 4:17 in the period. Martin St. Louis played only 3:09 in the second.
"The first period was ugly," Marc Staal said. "We were a half-foot off on our passes, a little sloppy in our end.''
With Staal in the box, Dan Boyle was called for slashing Patrick Eaves at 2:29 of the second period, creating a five-on-three, and the Stars needed only 24 seconds to score. Jason Spezza deflected Tyler Seguin's pass past Cam Talbot for a 1-0 lead.
The Rangers tied the score at 15:27 of the second when J.T. Miller caused a turnover and Kevin Hayes found Carl Hagelin at the left post for his 11th goal.
But Hayes then had an awful turnover in midice, triggering an odd-man rush. It appeared that Talbot had squeezed Erik Cole's wrister between his pads, but the puck slid behind him at 18:05 and the Stars regained the lead.
"Any time you pick up a big point at the end of a game is huge," said Talbot (22 saves), who played his third game in five nights with Henrik Lundqvist sidelined with a sprained blood vessel. "We left one on the table tonight."
The Rangers, who leave Monday for a three-game trip to Toronto, Denver and Phoenix, are 13-9-1 away from home.
"We're going to play some good teams. If we can't put it together for 60 minutes, we're not going to give ourselves a chance to win," Derick Brassard said. "We're going to face some adversity and we have to fight back."
Notes & quotes: Right wing Jesper Fast, who suffered a first-degree sprain of the right knee in a collision with Nashville defenseman Anton Volchenkov, will miss two to three weeks.