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Rangers' win streak ends at eight in Dallas

The Dallas Stars' Shawn Horcoff, Colton Sceviour and

The Dallas Stars' Shawn Horcoff, Colton Sceviour and Erik Cole celebrate after scoring against the New York Rangers in the first period at American Airlines Center on Dec. 29, 2014 in Dallas. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Tom Pennington

DALLAS - The Rangers' eight-game winning streak is over, washed away in a muddy, frantic and chaotic 3-2 loss in Texas on Monday night.

In a game that was devoid of any consistent defense, filled with poor passes and firewagon hockey -- totally uncharacteristic of the Rangers in their string of victories -- goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Kari Lehtonen pitched shutouts after the 4:12 mark of the second.

The pace continued, even when Lundqvist was pulled with 1:28 left, and Mats Zuccarello blocked a long shot that was headed for the empty net.

"What probably made the difference was our inability to get through the neutral zone," coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had quite a few turnovers that led us to to spending too much time in our end."

The Rangers (19-11-4) had won four straight on the road. The Stars, who were 10-1-2 when leading after the second, hung on to win only their seventh game in 19 tries at American Airlines Center.

To be sure, there were close calls and strange bounces from the opening faceoff.

Trailing 3-2, the Rangers had 40 seconds left on a power play to start the third period, but Lehtonen stopped Dan Boyle from the point. On an ensuing Stars power play early in the third, Lundqvist stacked his pads to deny Alex Goligoski's close-in shot and then gloved a quick snapshot by Tyler Seguin.

On the Rangers' 27th shot, Lehtonen robbed Boyle at the goal line with a little more than eight minutes to play.

"Usually we like to be strong in our own end and limit their chances and create ours," Ryan McDonagh said. "But we got into a little bit of a run and gun."

Marc Staal said: "They were clogging the middle and jamming us up. And it snowballed."

Just 54 seconds into the second period, Ryan Garbutt's wide shot caromed off the backboard to the right of the net, where Antoine Roussel had an easy, open backhander for the goal to make it 3-2.

At 4:12, Lundqvist stopped a breakaway by Colton Sceviour and his rebound, and at the other end, Dan Girardi's slapper from the right point was deflected and just slid past the far post. In a scramble at 5:09, Chris Kreider poked the puck toward the goal line but Jyrki Jokipakka reached around Lehtonen to keep it out.

With Glass in the box again, this time for interference at 9:22, Rick Nash missed wide on a shorthanded breakaway. With a little more than seven minutes left, Lehtonen was saved by a post.

Seguin went off for holding at 18:40, and with six seconds left in the period, Stepan slid a puck behind Lehtonen from the left side but completely through the crease.

As the second period ended, Kreider (roughing) and Jason Demers (unsportsmanlike conduct) were issued penalties as the game grew testier.

The teams traded power-play goals in the first. J.T. Miller, inserted on the second power-play unit after being a healthy scratch Saturday, was sprung for a down-the-middle breakaway by Mats Zuccarello and his wrister beat Lehtonen at 5:57. It was Miller's fifth goal in 11 games since his recall from Hartford.

With Glass off for tripping, after he iced the puck to bring the faceoff back into the Rangers' zone, John Klingberg had plenty of time to wrist a low shot through a screen past Lundqvist's stick at 9:02.

Ales Hemsky's harmless-looking backhand flip from behind the net that was tipped in by Staal's stick between Lundqvist and the post made it 2-1 at 15:46.

But exactly a minute later, Staal's point shot was deflected in front by a falling Kevin Hayes for a 2-2 tie.

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