ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Kevin Klein’s turnover in the opening minutes led to the Anaheim Ducks’ opening goal.
The veteran Rangers defenseman sure came up with an improbable way to make up for it.
Klein had the first two-goal game of his 11-year NHL career, scoring the tiebreaker with 6:41 to play in New York’s 2-1 victory Wednesday night.
The veteran defenseman played 555 regular-season games and 67 playoff games with Nashville and New York before his first two-goal performance. He won it for New York by driving the net — another unlikely development for a stay-at-home defenseman — and directing a sharp pass from J.T. Miller for the go-ahead goal.
“It’s nice, but the two points is the big thing,” Klein said. “Just to chip in, I’m happy about that.”
Klein also scored the tying goal in the second period as the Rangers got off to an auspicious start on their three-game California road trip, ending Anaheim’s two month-long home points streak.
Klein’s teammates were a bit more excited than he was about the unlikely source of their offense. They even awarded him the Broadway Hat — the unsightly black fedora worn proudly by the Rangers’ top nightly star.
“He’s such a heart-and-soul guy,” forward Dominic Moore said. “It’s really great to see him be the hero tonight.”
Antti Raanta made 22 saves in the Rangers’ second victory over Anaheim this season. New York also played a penalty-free game, leaving the Ducks without a power play for the first time since Dec. 19.
New York’s Ryan McDonagh appeared to get hit in the side of the face by an Anaheim shot at the final buzzer, leaving the forward down on the ice in pain. McDonagh eventually got up and skated off, and New York coach Alain Vigneault said McDonagh is “OK, as far as I know.”
Jamie McGinn scored and John Gibson stopped 21 shots for the Ducks, who have lost four of five in their first poor stretch since Christmas. Anaheim lost in regulation at home for the first time since Jan. 17, ending a 10-game points streak at Honda Center.
“I thought we passed up way too many chances to shoot,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We tried to be cute, and when we’re a cute team and not just getting pucks to the net, we’re not successful. And when you don’t get a chance on the power play, it makes it a little more difficult. I think we deserved at least one.” Flyers 3, Blackhawks 2
In Chicago, defenseman Radko Gudas scored on a deflected shot in the third period, helping surging Philadelphia beat the Blackhawks to move into position for a wild-card playoff spot.
Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves as the Flyers improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and leapfrogged idle Detroit for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Canadiens 3, Sabres 2 (OT)
In Buffalo, Paul Byron scored at 3:15 of overtime to lead Montreal over the Sabres.
Andrei Markov and Greg Pateryn scored in regulation and Ben Scrivens made a season-high 41 saves for the Canadiens, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Oilers 6, Blues 4
In Edmonton, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Letestu each scored twice and the Oilers defeated St. Louis.
Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl also scored for Edmonton,which has won six of its last 10 games, but had lost its last two. Avalanche 3, Canucks 1
In Vancouver, Mikkel Boedker scored twice as Colorado moved back into playoff position with a win over the Canucks.
Andreas Martinsen also scored for the Avalanche, who have 76 points — one ahead of idle Minnesota for the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Flames 4, Jets 1
In Calgary, Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists and the Flames scored three times in the first period before cruising past Winnipeg.
Joe Colborne had a goal and an assist and Mikael Backlund, the third member of that line, added two assists as Calgary won consecutive games on home ice for the first time since December.
Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano also scored for the Flames.