Klein’s late goal lifts Rangers over Central-leading Stars

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DALLAS (AP) Kevin Klein scored with 2:53 left to lift the New York Rangers over the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night.

Ryan McDonagh gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with a goal 8:26 into the third, and then helped prevent a tying goal by sliding over a loose puck at the goal line.

Valeri Nichushkin scored for Dallas with 4:01 left, but then Klein got the winner from the slot into the upper right corner of the net.

Chris Kreider also scored, and Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves for the Rangers. Second-place New York is 16 points behind Metropolitan Division-leading Washington.

Colton Sceviour also scored for the Stars, and Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves. Dallas has lost four of its past five home games and has a one-point lead in the Central Division over Chicago.

Sceviour also assisted on Nichushkin’s goal.

Both teams had good chances in the first period. Lundqvist stopped Tyler Seguin‘s shot from the left faceoff circle 5 1/2 minutes in, and 7 minutes later, the goalie deflected Alex Goligoski‘s shot from the inside edge of the left circle wide of the net. Jordie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak each had timely blocked shots for Dallas, and late in the period, J.T. Miller hit the left post for New York.

Kreider scored the first goal 4 seconds into the game’s first power play. Derick Brassard won the faceoff to Keith Yandle in the high slot, and Kreider used his stick to deflect Yandle’s shot between Lehtonen’s legs.

Sceviour tied the game after Lundqvist made a pad save on Seguin’s shot from the right circle. The rebound went to Sceviour in front, and he slid the puck into the lower right corner.

In the third, McDonagh banked a shot from the right corner in off Lehtonen’s back. The goal came seconds after the Rangers’ captain redirected a pass from Kevin Hayes just wide of the net. The puck went out to Viktor Stalberg, whose shot from the left rebounded to McDonagh along the goal line.

Barely a minute later, Lundqvist stopped a shot by Seguin. The puck remained loose behind Lundqvist, and with Dallas’ Jason Spezza trying to knock the puck in, McDonagh slid over it along the goal line.

Nichushkin scored on a slap shot over Lundqvist from the left circle.

NOTES: Dallas C Cody Eakin played in his 300th NHL game. … Rangers RW Jesper Fast started despite having his nose broken by a deflected puck during New York’s practice Friday in Farmers Branch. He assisted on Klein’s goal. … Dallas RW Ales Hemsky left the game in the second period because of an illness. … The Stars’ Radek Faksa picked up his first point in 10 games, since Jan. 3, with an assist on Sceviour’s goal. … The Rangers won both games in the season series.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.