Chris Drury also recorded an unassisted goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves for the Rangers, who have won two straight and will continue their three-game California road trip against the Kings on Wednesday.
Chris Kunitz tallied the lone goal for the Ducks, who saw their five-game home win streak halted and have lost two of their last three games overall. Jonas Hiller allowed two goals on 29 shots in the losing effort.
With the score tied 1-1 in the waning minutes of the third period, the second costly turnover of the game by the Ducks led to the Dawes goal. Kent Huskins attempted a cross-ice breakout pass from his own zone along the right half- wall, but Dawes picked it off in the slot. After a nifty deke move to get around Chris Pronger inside the right circle, Dawes took a shot from in close near the right post that hit Hiller and trickled over the goal line.
Any chance the Ducks had to tie the game was erased by a slashing penalty on Ryan Getzlaf with a minute to go. Nikolai Zherdev was credited with the empty- net goal with one second remaining despite not shooting the puck into the net. Anaheim pulled Hiller for the extra skater despite being short-handed and Zherdev was in control of the puck with an unimpeded path to the goal when Pronger hauled him down from behind for the automatic goal.
Following a scoreless first period, the Rangers opened a 1-0 lead at the 2:26 mark of the second following a turnover by veteran Anaheim blueliner Scott Niedermayer. From his own goal line to the left of the net, Niedermayer attempted to clear the puck and Drury intercepted it at the right point. Drury then skated in and beat Hiller with a wrist shot from near the top of the right circle.
The Ducks tied the score with 1:30 remaining in the middle stanza. Ryan Carter was set up for a one-timer above the left circle and his laser shot was stopped by Lundqvist. The rebound caromed to the right side and Bret Hedican's shot was pushed aside, but another rebound -- this one saw the puck bounce to the opposite side -- was finally punched home by Kunitz from the near the left post.