ST. LOUIS – Martin Rucinsky’s shot hit the end glass and bounced in off the back of goalie Patrick Lalime in overtime, giving the New York Rangers a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

Jaromir Jagr added to his NHL-leading point total with a goal and three assists, including one on Rucinsky’s flukey winner.

Jagr has 50 points in 32 games on 23 goals and 27 assists. He is on pace for 128 points, which would be his highest total since the 2000-01 season when he had 121 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Rangers have won nine of 11 and have 44 points, ranking near the top of the NHL standings after missing the playoffs in seven straight seasons. The Blues have lost three in a row and six of seven. St. Louis is a league-worst 3-10-2 at home.

Rucinsky had two goals and an assist for the Rangers. He scored the decisive goal 1:37 into overtime when his slap shot from just inside the blue line hit off the glass behind the Blues goal and deflected in off Lalime’s back.

Jason Strudwick and Petr Prucha also scored for the Rangers.

Keith Tkachuk scored twice for St. Louis, extending his point streak to six games. Tkachuk has 13 points in those contests and has been on the ice for 13 of St. Louis’ last 14 goals.

Mark Rycroft and Mike Sillinger had the other Blues’ goals.

It looked as though the Rangers would win in regulation when Prucha scored from a bad angle at 16:42 of the third period to make it 4-3. But with 7.8 seconds left, Sillinger whacked a puck out of the air from just to the left of the Rangers’ goal, and it eluded goalie Kevin Weekes to send the game to overtime.

Jagr gave the Rangers a 3-2 advantage with 10:32 left in the third period when his shot from the right circle hit Lalime, but still managed to trickle in. Rycroft tied it with the Blues’ first short-handed goal of the season when he slipped behind the defense and converted Ryan Johnson’s centering pass.

The Blues outshot New York 12-4 in the first period and dominated play, but had to settle for a 1-1 tie after the first 20 minutes.

With Prucha off for hooking, Tkachuk gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 15:31 of the period when he took a pass from Eric Weinrich in the slot, and with his back to the goal, slid a backhander between Weekes’ pads. Rucinsky tied it 1:07 later as he skated in alone down left wing and beat Lalime with a slap shot from the left circle.

Strudwick gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead at 5:32 of the second period when he deflected Tom Poti’s shot past Lalime. Tkachuk tied it again at 15:01 of the period with a deflection of his own, as he redirected Doug Weight’s shot past Weekes.

Notes: New York, which came into the game ranked second in the league in penalty kills (87.3 percent), allowed two power-play goals in 12 short-handed situations. … Defenseman Steve Poapst, acquired from Pittsburgh on Friday for Eric Boguniecki, made his debut for St. Louis. … Prucha extended his scoring streak to five games; he has seven goals during the streak.

AP-ES-12-10-05 2302EST


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