NEW YORK – Paul Kariya scored his 400th NHL goal to snap a third-period tie and the St. Louis Blues took advantage of uncharacteristically shaky Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and beat New York 4-3 on Thursday night.
St. Louis scored four times on its first 14 shots and handed the ninth-place Rangers a key loss in their pursuit of an Eastern Conference playoff spot. New York is three points behind Boston with 11 games left.
Just 1:13 after Wade Redden got the Rangers even at 3, Kariya took a feed in front from T.J. Oshie and scored his milestone goal.
Brad Boyes and defencemen Mike Weaver and Erik Johnson also scored for the Blues, 11-44-7 at New York. Weaver’s goal was his first in three years, covering 185 NHL games. Ty Conklin made 26 saves.
Redden’s first in 58 games gave the Rangers brief life that Kariya quickly took away. Marian Gaborik had a goal and two assists, and Ryan Callahan also scored for New York, which has lost six of eight (2-4-2).
Lundqvist fought the puck all night. Despite putting only 10 pucks on net, St. Louis carried a 3-2 lead into the third.
Weaver tied it at 2 at 2:21 of the second after the Rangers failed to clear the puck out of their zone. Weaver let go a shot from inside the blue line that eluded Lundqvist. The New York netminder banged his stick and was still shaking his head side to side when the teams lined up for the ensuing faceoff.
The defenceman hadn’t scored a goal since March 23, 2007.
Lundqvist’s rough game got worse 3:24 later when Johnson sent a seemingly tame shot from the right wing boards that sneaked in between his pads during a power play.
New York held the Blues to six shots in the first period and took a 2-1 edge.
St. Louis got the jump for the second straight game. It wasn’t as quick as Alex Steen’s team record-tying goal eight seconds into Tuesday’s home loss to Colorado, but still fast.
Boyes staked the Blues to a 1-0 lead 1:10 in. St. Louis won a faceoff in the Rangers end and dug out the puck in the corner. It came to Boyes in the left circle and he zipped a shot over Lundqvist’s glove for his 13th goal.
That was an early clue that Lundqvist lacked sharpness. About eight minutes into the first, T.J. Oshie rang a shot off the post behind him during 4-on-4 action. Lundqvist also seemed to miss catching a rising shot that sailed wide in the second.
His best moments came during a Rangers power play in the first when he faced two breakaways. B.J. Crombeen was denied before he tripped over Lundqvist’s pad and crashed awkwardly into the boards. Moments later, David Backes outraced defenceman Michal Rozsival for a loose puck. His backhander was kept out by the left post.
Olli Jokinen fired a shot from the centre blue line that hit Callahan in front and caromed in to make it 1-1 at 5:52 of the first. Gaborik pushed the Rangers ahead with 2:52 left in the period when his shot hit the stick of defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo and fluttered past Conklin’s glove for his 37th goal.
NOTES: The Rangers had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:17 of the third after consecutive delay-of-game penalties. … St. Louis has earned 1,400 points on the road. … The Blues are 5-4-2 in their last 11 visits to New York.