Blues top Rangers with 3rd-period power-play goal
NEW YORK (AP) -- St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the tiebreaking power-play goal early in the third period, and the Blues got the best of the New York Rangers again in a 2-1 victory on Thursday night.
Alexander Steen also had a goal for the Blues before leaving late in the second period with a lower-body injury. David Backes had two assists, and Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves in beating New York's Henrik Lundqvist in a matchup of Olympic goalies.
New York's Rick Nash scored his sixth goal in four games - netting at least one in each - but Shattenkirk took advantage of Nash's slashing penalty, scoring 9 seconds into the power play at 3:09.
Lundqvist made 23 saves in his return from a one-game absence caused by the flu. He allowed fewer than three goals for the seventh straight game, but still couldn't find a way to stop the Blues - the only NHL team he has never beaten (0-4).
St. Louis swept the two-game season series and has won seven of the past eight meetings. The Blues, beaten 7-1 at New Jersey on Tuesday, have earned points in eight straight visits to Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers got even late in the second period on Nash's team-leading 17th goal. Derek Stepan sent a pass from behind the net out to Nash, who stepped into a slap shot from the dot in the left circle and ripped a drive past Halak with 1:43 left.
New York continued to pressure the Blues for the remainder of the period and drew its second power play of the night in the closing seconds. The Rangers outshot the Blues 28-18 through 40 minutes.
Lundqvist was steady in his return. He seemed a bit off on his timing at certain points, but made several good saves after the Rangers fell behind.
Steen gave the Blues an early 1-0 lead with his 26th goal. A pass from Jaden Schwartz hit Steen's right skate in front of the crease, caromed off Lundqvist's stick and skate and trickled in behind him at 8:38. The goal was briefly reviewed by video replay, and it was determined that the puck wasn't kicked into the net.
It was the fifth straight goal allowed by the Rangers since they had a 3-1 lead over the Islanders in the second period on Tuesday in a 5-3 loss. A late power-play goal was the winner in that one, too.
Steen struggled to get to the bench in the second after going hard into the boards, but he was back soon after on the power play. He skated off for good with 2:57 left.
NOTES: Nash has 21 goals and 40 points in 50 games versus the Blues. ... Steen has 14 career points against the Rangers and 12 in the past seven games - including six goals. ... Schwartz played in his 100th NHL game. The Blues will attend the White Out for Mandi game at Yale University on Friday, an event in memory of Schwartz's sister - a former hockey player at Yale who died of leukemia in 2011. ... Blues C Maxim Lapierre was activated from the injured list after missing five games due to a lower body injury. ... Newly acquired D Kevin Klein made his Rangers debut. ... St. Louis C Derek Roy was a healthy scratch.
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