PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Martin St. Louis wasn’t even drafted as a young player. Now, he’s in elite company that includes Wayne Gretzky.
The 12-time All-Star reached 1,000 career points with a goal and added an assist, Cam Talbot made 26 saves and the New York Rangers beat the slumping Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 Friday.
St. Louis became the sixth undrafted player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points. Gretzky tops that list with 2,857. Adam Oates (1,420), Peter Stastny (1,239), Dino Ciccarelli (1,200) and Joe Mullen (1,063) are the others.
“I owe it a lot to the people who believed in me and the players I played with,” he said. “It’s a great accomplishment. I’m not going to hide my feelings. I’m proud of that. Doing it in a win, on a goal, it makes it special.”
Rick Nash and Dan Boyle also scored for the Rangers (10-8-4), who shut out the Flyers for the second time in nine days. Derek Stepan assisted all three goals.
“We were able to get some timely goals and when we didn’t have a breakdown, we had some big blocked shots or big saves from our goalie,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.
Philadelphia (8-11-3) dropped to 1-6-1 in its last eight games while getting blanked for the third time in its last six. Boos rained down on the Flyers during the third period.
“This is a better team than we’re playing right now and that our record is showing,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. “We have to get going, no doubt about it. I’m not happy with our record and our overall performance.”
Hextall said he didn’t expect any imminent major shake-ups.
“We have a pretty good hockey team out there,” he said. “I haven’t lost any faith in this team, but we’re not happy, either.”
The Flyers held a players’ only meeting after Wednesday’s 5-2 loss at Detroit but responded with a similar result. The Rangers had skated to a 2-0 win over the Flyers on Nov. 19. The teams will play in New York on Saturday.
Boyle’s slap shot from the point on the power play gave New York a 1-0 lead just over six minutes into the game. Nash set a screen in front of goalie Steve Mason, who appeared not to see the puck before it zoomed past his stick side high into the net. It was the 20th power-play goal allowed this season by Philadelphia, which entered last in the league on the penalty kill (72.9 percent).
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead 4:04 into the second period when St. Louis scored on a rebound for the 1,000th point of his career.
“That’s a lot of points,” Vigneault said. “He’s been a great example throughout his career, and all of his teammates are really happy for him.”
Nash, who entered second in the NHL in goals scored, tallied his 16th of the season by finishing a 3-on-1 short-handed break 5:30 into the third.
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, who was returning from a separated left shoulder that had sidelined him since Nov. 1, had an assist on the goal. McDonagh skated up the center of the ice and passed left to Stepan, who fired across to a wide-open Nash just outside of the crease.
Talbot, in his sixth game filling in for starter Henrik Lundqvist, beat the Flyers for the second time this season. Talbot stopped 31 shots in the Nov. 19 win over Philadelphia.
“It was more of a big team effort,” Talbot said. “I was back there but a lot shots were from the outside, and the guys did a great job of boxing out and pretty much letting me see every puck.”
Philadelphia coach Craig Berube didn’t fault the effort but said the Flyers need to play with more composure and less frustration.
“You become frustrated and lose your composure when you stop playing like a team on the ice,” Berube said. “That doesn’t mean this is not a good team or a team that wants to stick together. Right now they’re a little bit lost that way. To get that composure back and get that frustration out of your game you need to go out (Saturday) and play like a team for 60 minutes no matter what.”
NOTES: A moment of silence was held prior to the game for former Flyers coach Pat Quinn, who died Sunday at the age of 71. . Philadelphia C Chris VandeVelde (lower body) missed his fourth straight game.
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