The St. Louis Blues won their fifth straight game and did so with a bit of help from Vladimir Tarasenko.
The Russian scoring machine scored a highlight reel goal in the second period and then netted the shootout-winning goal to give the Blues a 4-3 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Tarasenko ended the night with two points as he added an assist on Jay Bouwmeester's first goal of the season at 14:33 of the third period that helped send the game to overtime.
The Rangers' loss spoiled a two-goal game from Martin St. Louis whose third period tallies put the Rangers ahead 3-2.
Brian Elliot stopped 36 shots in 65 minutes and stopped two out of three Rangers attempts in the shootout to earn the win. Cam Talbot made 31 saves but stopped just one shooter in the skills competition.
Three Things We Learned
1. You might think I'm repeating myself from last week, but Tarasenko is worth the price of admission. His Peter Forsberg-like breakaway goal in the second period alone is why we plunk down hard-earned cash for tickets. The one thing the Blues haven't had in recent years is a dynamic goal scorer and it's looking like Tarasenko is guy to assume that role.
2. After a bumpy start, we're starting to see what the Blues are about now. Winning five straight games is nothing to sneeze at and they're getting strong play in all facets. What's scarier still is they've been doing it without select guys in the lineup. Paul Stastny's injury hasn't hurt them nor did David Backes' brief absence from the lineup. It's too early to say whether any of this sticks, but doubts about the Blues early on may have been premature.
3. Don't suppose Derick Brassard and Martin St. Louis have found a little chemistry tonight, do you? Brassard assisted on both of St. Louis' goals and while the two players aren't exactly physically imposing, their play, when it's like this, can more than make up for that. Having Rick Nash on the other side helps out a lot. It makes you wonder what happens with Brassard once Derek Stepan is ready to go (which should be soon).