SAN JOSE (AP) — Ryan McDonagh scored his first two goals of the season and Brady Skjei added a short-handed tally that helped the New York Rangers salvage the final game of a four-game road trip by beating the San Jose Sharks 6-5 on Thursday night.
New York had been outscored 13-6 in losing the first three games of the trip before overcoming a deficit in the second period with a three-goal barrage from McDonagh and Skjei.
Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, and Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves to send New York into the All-Star break on a high note.
Logan Couture scored twice to give him 20 goals on the season. Barclay Goodrow, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Tomas Hertl also scored for San Jose, and Kevin Labanc had three assists.
Aaron Dell made 23 saves.
The Sharks played without star forward Joe Thornton, who will likely miss several weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his injured right knee earlier Thursday. This marked the first time San Jose played a game without Thornton or Patrick Marleau — who left for Toronto in free agency over the summer — since Jan. 21, 2004, at Arizona.
Couture did his best to overcome Thornton’s void, giving San Jose a 2-1 lead early in the second when he beat Pavelec from the slot after a good rush by Labanc.
But the Rangers erased that deficit with three goals from their defensemen in a span of just over six minutes.
McDonagh struck twice in just 1:12 after scoring no goals in his first 44 games. The first came when he joined the rush and took a pass from Kevin Hayes to score into the open net.
Then after Timo Meier was penalized for tripping, McDonagh beat Dell with a wrist shot from the point to make it 4-3.
Skjei added the insurance goal with the Sharks on the power play when Labanc cleared a rebound off Skjei’s leg and into the net.
Vlasic got the Sharks back within one goal midway through the third, but San Jose couldn’t manage the equalizer against Pavelec.
Miller then scored with 1:50 remaining to restore the two-goal lead which was crucial when Hertl scored with 49.7 seconds to play.
The Rangers got a boost from Hayes, who returned to the lineup after missing six games with a leg injury. Brent Burns got caught too far up ice, allowing Hayes to take a pass from Miller and come in alone on Dell to beat him with a slap shot.
The Sharks answered with two goals before New York tied it again late in the period when Fast scored off a cross-ice pass from Michael Grabner.
NOTES: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McDonagh was the first Rangers defenseman to score two goals in a span of 72 seconds or fewer since James Patrick did it in 11 seconds on March 25, 1986, against New Jersey. ... Burns’ assist on Goodrow’s goal extended his points streak to six straight games.
Rangers: Host Toronto next Thursday night.
Sharks: Visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
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