EDMONTON, ALBERTA – The Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues are rolling again.
Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and two assists and St. Louis remained atop the Western Conference standings, beating the second-place Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.
Jaden Schwartz, Robert Thomas, Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev also scored to help St. Louis tie Washington for the overall NHL lead with 25 points.
“We just find a way to get it done,” said Thomas, whose team had won its previous three outings in overtime. “We’re winning a lot of 2-1, 3-2 games and close games at the end. I think that shows our character and being able fight until the end and get some wins.”
Jake Allen made 32 saves to improve to 3-1 on the season.
“I’ve felt like I’ve been getting better every game to be honest than at the start of the year,” Allen said. “I felt a lot more comfortable and it felt good to get a lot of action and obviously it was good to get the win and the guys battled hard.”
Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian scored for the Oilers. They have lost two in a row.
“This was a lesson for us,” Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. “This was a playoff game and obviously we have a long way to go. We have to find a way to win these games because there are going to be many of them this year. We’re going to play a lot of good teams and we have to be ready. They played last night, we gave them a little bit too much and it cost us.”
Leon Draisaitl extended his points streak to seven games with a feed to McDavid, who tucked his eighth goal of the season through the legs of goalie Jake Allen, to open scoring on a power play 2:46 into the game.
St. Louis responded with a power-play goal of its own six minutes into the first period when Schwartz tipped Pietrangelo’s point shot past Mike Smith.
Pietrangelo’s long-range shot got past Smith 7 minutes into the second period on another power play. The Blues added to their lead with 5 minutes remaining in the middle period when Thomas beat Smith to the glove side.
Draisaitl picked up another assist with 9 minutes left when he sent a long feed to Kassian.
Bozak’s short-handed empty-net goal went into the net on a lucky bounce before Barbashev added another short-handed empty-netter.
Rangers 5, Red Wings 1
In New York, Tony DeAngelo had a goal and an assist in the Rangers’ three-goal second period and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 shots during his first start in 10 days as New York beat struggling Detroit.
The Rangers were coming off a 6-2 defeat against an Ottawa team that had been winless on the road this season.
“We had to have a performance like this after what happened last game,” Lundqvist said. “You need to learn from our ups and downs and I think we did.”
Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome also had a goal and an assist apiece, and Chris Kreider and Greg McKegg scored to help New York win for the fourth time in six games. Lundqvist, after sitting out the previous three games, made 24 saves over the final 28:06.
“It was really important (to get the win),” Panarin said through a translator. “We played more simple, with less mistakes.”
Valtteri Filppula scored and Jimmy Howard finished with 26 saves, but the Red Wings’ fourth straight loss dropped them to 1-11-1 in their last 13 games.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5