St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko (91) is mobbed by teammates after scoring a goal in the third period against the New York Rangers at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on October 9, 2014. New York won the game 3-2. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues Ryan Reaves puts the puck in the lap of New York Rangers Henrik Lundqvist in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on October 9, 2014. New York won the game 3-2. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
New York Rangers Dominic Moore congratulates goaltender Henrik Lundqvist at the final horn and a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on October 9, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues T.J. Oshie skates onto the ice as he is introduced on opening night before a game against the New York Rangers at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on October 9, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
(AP) — Rick Nash was unaware of his impressive numbers against the Blues before Thursday night's season opener.
The New York Rangers' left wing had another big game in St. Louis, scoring the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to finish with three points in a 3-2 victory.
"I didn't know I had success against them," said Nash, who has 23 goals and 43 points in 51 regular-season games against the Blues. "It seems like it is one of the toughest places to play. Being in Columbus so long, it was such a tough building to come into and have success. Too bad we don't play them more."
Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, and Martin St. Louis added two assists for the Eastern Conference champions, who announced after the game that new defenseman Dan Boyle will miss four to six weeks after breaking his hand blocking a shot during his Rangers debut.
"It's not easy to come in here and beat this team," Lundqvist said. "They are always good at home. Physical team. Smart team. They made a couple of mistakes in their own end which we took advantage of. They kept coming hard in the third but we responded pretty well."
Jaden Schwartz led the Blues with a goal and an assist. Paul Stastny also scored in his St. Louis debut and Brian Elliott stopped 22 shots.
After a fortunate carom off the glass, Nash scored the go-ahead goal with 1:50 remaining off a behind-the-back pass from St. Louis in front of the net.
"I saw it right away, saw it hit the glass seam and fire back," Nash said. "I was yelling at Marty that it stayed in the zone. It was unbelievable. It was a great play by him."
Elliott said he saw where the puck bounced.
"I knew exactly where it was," he said. "You're in between trying to tell your guys and not tell their guys, so you're just hoping your guys see it and come back and just be ready for it. (St. Louis) made a pretty slick play to settle it down and get it across crease there for their goal."
New York opened the scoring 4:01 into the first period on Nash's low shot from the slot off a Blues turnover in the defensive zone. Kreider was credited with the assist.
Schwartz tied it 1:32 into the third period when he chipped a rebound over Lundqvist after a long shot from beyond the right circle by David Backes. Alex Pietrangelo also got an assist.
Kreider put the Rangers ahead 2-1 with a breakaway goal, assisted by Nash and Marc Staal, with 13:30 remaining.
St. Louis tied it again with 9:18 left in the third when Stastny scored on a goal that was originally credited to Vladimir Tarasenko. Instead, the assists went to Tarasenko and Schwartz.
It was the first point with the Blues for Stastny, a St. Louis native who signed a $28 million, four-year deal as a free agent this past offseason after playing his first eight seasons in Colorado. He became the third family member to play for the Blues, following his father, Peter, and brother, Yan.
NOTES: The Blues had Bob Plager, Brett Hull, Bernie Federko, Gary Unger and Al MacInnis drop the ceremonial first puck. ... Jori Lehtera made his NHL debut for the Blues. He was the team's third-round draft pick in 2008. ... Anthony Duclair made his NHL debut for the Rangers. He was their third-round pick in 2013. ... Several members of the St. Louis Cardinals, including 1B Matt Adams, attended the game and received a standing ovation when introduced to the crowd. The Cardinals open the NL Championship Series at home Saturday night against San Francisco.
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