Vesey scores go-ahead goal in 3rd, Rangers top Blues 4-2
NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Vesey scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, helping the Rangers beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Friday night.
Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider also scored, and Alexandar Georgiev made 44 saves for the Rangers, who had lost two in a row.
Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron scored for St. Louis. Jordan Binnington stopped 20 shots in only his third regulation loss on the road this season.
Vesey found a loose puck during a scramble in front at 5:17 of the third to break the 2-2 tie. Brett Howden and Vinni Lettieri assisted on the play.
Kreider, who missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury, added an empty-net goal with 8 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Rangers.
Early in the second period, the Rangers erased a two-goal deficit with two of their own within a span of 1:20.
Strome notched his 17th of the season when he found a loose puck in front at 2:22 of the period. Mika Zibanejad helped tie it when he delivered a beautiful cross-ice feed to set up Buchnevich for a one-timer at 3:42. It was Buchnevich’s seventh goal in the month of March and 19th on the season.
Tarasenko opened the scoring at 14:35 of the first when he powered the puck past Georgiev through a small opening on the short side. The Blues alternate captain has recorded at least 30 goals and 30 assists for five straight seasons. Jayden Schwartz and Ryan O’Reilly assisted.
Just 27 seconds later, David Perron doubled St. Louis’ advantage. Schwartz took advantage of Brendan Smith’s turnover and fed Perron for the easy tap-in.
Smith, who has played forward for a large chunk of the season, was shifted back to defense after Kreider returned to the lineup. Smith was also called for goalie interference at 16:58 of the first period when Zibanejad appeared to cut the Blues’ two-goal lead in half. However, the call was reversed after St. Louis coach Craig Berube challenged the play.
NOTES: Rangers scratched forward Connor Brickley and defensemen Fredrik Claesson, John Gilmour. ... Marc Staal returned to the lineup for the Rangers after missing the previous two games with a lower-body injury. ... During a first-period stoppage, the Rangers welcomed back former left wing Sean Avery. .. St. Louis scratched Michael Del Zotto, Robby Fabbri and MacKenzie MacEachern.
Rangers: At Philadelphia on Sunday.
Blues: At New Jersey on Saturday night.
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