ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rick Nash had two goals and an assist, including the tiebreaking score late in the third period, and the New York Rangers beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Thursday night in the first game of the season for both teams.
Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist for the Eastern Conference champions, and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves.
Jaden Schwartz led the Blues with a goal and an assist. Paul Stastny also scored, 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 Martin St. Louis in front of the net.
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.
Nash’s two goals were his 22nd and 23rd against St. Louis. He has 43 points in 51 career regular-season games against the Blues.
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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