NEW YORK – Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan scored in a one-sided first period, and the suddenly healthy New York Rangers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Defenseman Marc Staal added just the eighth power-play goal of the season in the second period for New York, which ended an 0-3-1 skid in the second game of a four-game homestand and completed a three-game, season-series sweep of the Lightning.

The Rangers were bolstered by the return of top forward Rick Nash, who missed four games, and defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto. New York moved one point ahead of Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Nash, who assisted on Staal’s goal, finished the scoring with 1:33 remaining off a feed from Brad Richards for his fourth goal.

New York held a 20-3 shots advantage after the first period, 35-11 through two and 42-25 overall. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 24 shots.

Lightning counterpart Mathieu Garon made 38 saves, and Martin St. Louis scored Tampa Bay’s lone goal in the first period. Steven Stamkos had an assist to stretch his point streak to eight, but his NHL-best goal-scoring run ended at six.

Tampa Bay, which fell out of a tie for the Southeast Division lead, lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Rangers carried a 2-1 lead into the second, but had to be shaking their heads they weren’t ahead by more following their most dominant period this season.

New York stormed to an early two-goal lead that was cut in half, despite the Rangers tying a season high with 20 shots in the first and allowing a season-low three.

Hagelin started the scoring 7:23 in after he made a slick move to get free from defenseman Keith Aulie. McDonagh sent a pass from the neutral zone to Hagelin at the left point. Hagelin shifted as Aulie slid in front of him and crashed into the side boards. That gave Hagelin open space to glide into the circle, and he fired a slap shot that beat Garon.

The Rangers struck again 1:17 later when Stepan netted his fourth. New York dug the puck out of the corner, and passes by defenseman Dan Girardi and captain Ryan Callahan set up Stepan in front for a quick, hard shot that he seemed to know was heading in when he let it go.

 

WILD 4, COYOTES 3: Dany Heatley scored two goals and Minnesota used a rare offensive outburst to win in Phoenix.

 

BLACKHAWKS 3, BLUES 0: Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Ray Emery and Corey Crawford combined on a shutout as Chicago extended its NHL-record season-opening points streak to 20 games with a win at St. Louis.

 

SABRES 4, PANTHERS 3: Nathan Gerbe scored two goals, Ryan Miller made 38 saves and Buffalo host Florida in a shootout to improve to 2-1 since Ron Rolston took over as interim coach.

 

HURRICANES 4, PENGUINS 1: Eric Staal wasn’t going to let his little brother lose on this special night.

The older Staal centered a line that produced three goals in host Carolina’s victory over Pittsburgh in ex-Penguin Jordan Staal’s first game against his old teammates.

 

MAPLE LEAFS 5, ISLANDERS 4: Nazem Kadri notched his first career hat trick and Dion Phaneuf scored at 1:11 of overtime to give visiting Toronto a victory.

 

JETS 3, DEVILS 1: Andrew Ladd scored eight seconds into the game, tying a franchise record, and finished with two goals and an assist to lead host Winnipeg, which has won five of its last six games.

 

OILERS 5, STARS 1: Ales Hemsky scored a goal and two assists, Jeff Petry added a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves in helping Edmonton roll to a victory at Dallas.