Blues beat Rangers 3-1 for 8th straight victory

Sports

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI – JUNE 03: Brayden Schenn #10 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates his empty-net goal in the third period at 18:31 against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on June 03, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) – Brayden Schenn scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and Jordan Binnington made 25 saves as the St. Louis Blues won their eighth straight game with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Schenn scored for the fifth consecutive game when his wraparound banked off the skate of goalie Alexandar Georgiev at 9:56. Jaden Schwartz and defenseman Colton Parayko had assists on Schenn’s 25th of the season.

Schwartz sealed it with an empty-net goal, his 21st, at 19:54 as the Rangers lost their third straight.

Binnington won his sixth in a row for the Stanley Cup champion Blues (40-17-10), who have the best record in the Western Conference and previously had winning streaks of seven and eight games this season.

Only the Boston Bruins, whom St. Louis defeated in Game 7 of the finals last year, has more points. The Blues are just the second defending champions in NHL history to have three separate winning streaks of seven-plus games the following season, matching the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens.

Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring for the Rangers with a power-play goal at 12:26 of the first period, whipping the puck past Binnington for his 33rd goal while Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo was off for tripping.

Zibanejad has goals in eight of the Rangers’ last nine games and 12 of the past 15 to take over the team lead from Artemi Panarin, who has 32 goals and 90 points. The 26-year-old Zibanejad has played in just 53 games this season and has 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in his last 19.

The Blues tied it on an unassisted goal at 2:35 of the second by Parayko, who beat Georgiev for his ninth of the season. Georgiev started for the fourth time in five games after veteran Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Philadelphia, his first start since Feb. 3.

The Rangers were coming off back-to-back losses to the Flyers after winning five games in a row and nine of 10 to surge into the Eastern Conference playoff race.

They have a tough road ahead with Washington visiting on Thursday, then New Jersey on Saturday followed by a trip to Dallas, Colorado and Arizona.

The Blues improved to 7-1-4 against Metropolitan Division opponents and 13-6-4 overall against Eastern Conference teams. They have outscored opponents 28-13 during their winning streak.

NOTES: Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly played his 800th career game. … The Rangers scratched injured forward Chris Kreider and goalie Igor Shesterkin. … The Blues scratched defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and forwards MacKenzie MacEachern, Jordan Kyrou and Troy Brouwer. … St. Louis won the previous meeting, 5-2 on Jan. 11 at home.

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