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Rangers vs. Sharks recap: Big second period pushes Blueshirts past San Jose

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The Rangers used a strong second period to hand the Sharks their first regulation loss of the season.

Bruce Bennett

When it rains, it pours.

After playing San Jose very evenly in the first period, the Rangers got to the Sharks and Alex Stalock in the second, scoring the most goals the team has in any one period this season, and handing San Jose its first regulation loss Sunday night 4-0.

Despite a good pace to the first period, the teams only combined for 12 shots on goal, with the Sharks holding a slight 7-5 edge.

The second period though was where the Rangers did their real damage . It began when, with just under seven minutes remaining, Carl Hagelin threw what looked like a harmless shot on goal. But Alex Stalock fumbled the rebound, and with the puck loose atop the crease, Hagelin followed his shot, pouncing on the loose change, and pushing it past Stalock for a 1-0 lead.

The Rangers were hardly done.

It appeared San Jose would carry a one-goal deficit into the last 20 minutes, but with just under a minute to go into the second, the Rangers would strike again. With Derick Brassard's line creating pressure down low, the puck trickled toward the crease, and Martin St. Louis was able to whack it through the pads of Stalock for a 2-0 lead, and St. Louis' first goal of the season.

The 2-0 lead wouldn't last for long though, as the Rangers would add another only four seconds later, tying the fastest two goals in franchise history (and the fastest without one being an empty netter). Dominic Moore won the ensuing faceoff at center ice, and Rick Nash dumped the puck in on Stalock. But the San Jose goalie came up high in his crease, and pushed the puck right back to Nash, who easily beat Stalock through the legs to make it 3-0. The goal, Nash's seventh of the season in his six games, leads the league.

The three goals in the third period are the most the Rangers have scored in any period this season.

With a comfortable lead in the third, the Rangers didn't sit back and try to kill the clock. Kevin Hayes netted his first career goal 7:18 into that final period when he stole the puck behind the net, and then scored off his own rebound to push it to 4-0.

All that was really left to do was preserve the shutout for Henrik Lundqvist, his first of the season, on the strength of 33 saves.

Dan Girardi left the game in the third period of a blocked shot stung him in the leg. Alain Vinguealt rotated his five defensemen the rest of the way, while the Rangers limited San Jose from generating any quality chances.

The Rangers will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils.