New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Ducks' quest to become the top team in the National Hockey League turned out to be a blowout ... for all the wrong reasons.
Derek Stepan broke out of a scoring slump with two goals and one assist, while Keith Yandle contributed three helpers, as the New York Rangers pounded Anaheim by a 7-2 count at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast and Derick Brassard also tallied for the Rangers, who pumped home a season high in goals and have won seven of their last eight.
Cam Talbot backed the torrent of goals with a 36-save performance.
Corey Perry notched both goals for the Ducks, who could have moved past idle Montreal into first-overall in the NHL with a win, but now face a tie with the Blueshirts and Habs atop the standings with 99 points.
"We weren't very good, obviously," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "From the goaltending on out."
Frederik Andersen lasted just over half of the opening period having allowed three goals on seven shots in the loss. John Gibson finished the contest with 18 saves.
Miller's strike at 2:38 of the second restored New York's two-goal advantage and Stepan's wrister from the left circle slipped by Gibson for a 5-2 Rangers edge at 16:01.
Fast beat Gibson on a wraparound for a four-goal contest at 6:12 of the third and Brassard's shot from the left wing produced a 7-2 margin only 2:05 later and capped the hosts' offensive explosion.
Kreider tapped home his own rebound of a deflected Stepan shot just 1:24 after the opening faceoff, but Perry equalized from the left wing at 2:50.
Stepan eventually beat Andersen on a power play with 5:43 elapsed, on an unimpeded shot through traffic from the left point.
A turnaround shot from the right circle by Kevin Hayes ended up deflecting off Hagelin at the right post and eluded Andersen at 10:16, prompting his exit for Gibson.
Perry closed Anaheim's gap to 3-2 just 56 seconds later, but the Ducks failed to make any further headway.
"They showed in the first that they can score two pretty quickly. You can never think that a lead is safe with that team," Talbot said.
Perry reached the 30-goal mark for the fifth time in his career despite missing time due to a bout with the mumps ... Stepan's goal was his first in 15 games (Feb. 19 vs. Vancouver) and snapped the Rangers' 0-for-18 streak on power play ... Talbot improved to 15-3-3 since starter Henrik Lundqvist was sidelined by a neck injury in early February.