Rangers 3, Blues 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ John Ogrodnick’s goal with 9:48 left snapped a tie, lifting the New York Rangers to a 3-2 NHL victory Saturday night over the St. Louis Blues.
Ogrodnick’s goal, his eighth of the year, came after he took a pass from linemate Brian Mullen behind St. Louis’ net. Ogrodnick walked into the slot and beat Blues goalie Greg Millen to Millen’s stick side with a backhander.
James Patrick and Mullen also scored for New York. Brian Benning and Ron Flockhart scored for St. Louis in the first meeting of the teams this season.
The Blues scored first on Benning’s 35-foot slapshot off the left boards at 6:59 of the first period. His low shot eluded Rangers goalie Bob Froese. It was Benning’s second goal of the year.
New York rebounded in the second period on power-play goals three minutes apart. Patrick’s blistering slapshot from the top of the left faceoff circle produced a 1-1 tie at 10:50 with St. Louis defenseman Charlie Bourgeois off the ice for elbowing.
Following an interference penalty to the Blues’ Todd Ewen, the Rangers grabbed a 2-1 lead at 13:50 on Mullen’s weak shot from the side of the net.
Flockhart scored only 44 seconds after Mullen with a knuckling shot from 20 feet out. The Blues’ forward dashed up the left side and beat Froese for his fifth goal of the year at 14:34 of the second period.
New York outshot St. Louis by 34-24, compiling a 26-15 bulge over the first 40 minutes before the Blues played the Rangers on even terms to no avail at the end.
″I didn’t really know what he was going to do,″ Froese said of a stop he made with his chest against Tony Hrkac after the Blues rookie soared in alone on net with 10:46 to go on a semi-breakaway.
″James Patrick knew about him from college. He said he was good with the puck,″ Froese said. ″I was expecting him to deke, but instead he came right at me. I just tried to stay with him and not commit.″
The Blues pulled Millen for 24 seconds with 1:05 left and removed their goaltender for a sixth attacker again with 17 seconds remaining.
″I think the puck came out from behind the net and hit me in the stomach,″ Ogrodnick said of his winning goal.″It came right out on my stick. I just cut into the slot and backhanded it. There was a lot of room on the far side.″
Mullen, in addition to his goal, had two assists for New York.
″We had some good chances, but you know you’re in trouble when your fourth line is your best line on the ice,″ Blues Coach Jacques Martin said. ″The first two periods we didn’t play with them. (We) just didn’t show up to play.″