ST. LOUIS - Rick Nash scored the tiebreaking goal, his second of the game, with 1:50 left to give the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Blues Thursday night in the teams' season opener.
Nash buried a backhand pass from Martin St. Louis, who slid the puck under defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, for his third point of the night.
The Blues, who had beaten the Rangers twice last season, had fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits and had a chance to snap a 2-2 tie when Mats Zuccarello was called for tripping behind the Rangers net with 5:34 to play in regulation. But Henrik Lundqvist stopped three power-play shots.
The Rangers had led 1-0 early in the game, and 2-1 in the third period, but Vladimir Tarasenko tied the score on an odd-man rush, firing a shot past Lundqvist's stick-side with 9:18 left.
Chris Kreider had raced down the ice on a breakaway and beat Brian Elliot on the blocker side at 6:30 to break the 1-1 tie. Nash, who had scored in the first period, had fed Kreider.
With the Rangers up 1-0 after two periods, Lundqvist tried to bat away a rebound, but Jaden Schwartz, charging the net, beat him to the puck and chipped it over him, tying the game at 1:32 of the third period. The Rangers had led since Nash's goal at 4:01 of the first period.
The Blues were energized by the goal, and T.J. Oshie and the smaller Zuccarello dropped the gloves behind the net. Oshie got the best of the scrap.
Kreider's speed helped create Nash's first goal. He stole the puck from Kevin Shattenkirk on the right wall, found Nash in the slot and the winger beat Elliott under his right pad from 18 feet. It was Nash's 22nd goal in 50 games against the Blues. Nash also slid to block a shot, one of seven for the Rangers in the period, and the visitors led 7-2 in shots.
After the Blues seemed to steady and control more of the play in the Rangers zone, Lundqvist made several stops through screens. Overall, though, the Rangers were getting to pucks quicker than the Blues, and Elliott was forced to make two right skate saves in close, one against Zuccarello.
With 2:25 left, Lee Stempniak was sent off for hooking Jori Lehtera. But the Rangers, using three different forward pairs -- Nash and Jesper Fast. St. Louis and Derick Brassard, and Carl Hagelin and Dom Moore -- killed the penalty, and Stempniak burst out of the box on a breakaway but Elliott squeezed the shot under his right arm, his 15th save with nine seconds left. Lundqvist stopped all eight Blues shots.
The one negative for the Blueshirts was in the faceoff circles where the Blues won 13 of 20. Miller and St. Louis were 0-for-8 combined.
In the penalty-filled second, the Rangers' penalty kill came up big again. St. Louis went off for hooking at 2:10, and then Hagelin was whistled for a hook, but that was negated by an embellishment call on Tarasenko. With 3:42 gone, Dan Boyle's clearing attempt went into the seats and the Blues had a five-on-three for 29 seconds. But the Rangers held on.
Thirty-three seconds after a Ryan Reaves slash, Steve Ott and Zuccarello went off for minor penalties. Then St. Louis' one-timer hit the crossbar -- the closest the Rangers would come to adding to their lead.