Biron earns first victory over Blues, leading Rangers to 2-1 victory - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Biron earns first victory over Blues, leading Rangers to 2-1 victory

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

ST. LOUIS - Martin Biron finally got the best of the St. Louis Blues.

The backup goalie stopped 24 shots and made Sean Avery's go-ahead goal in the second period stand up in the New York Rangers' 2-1 victory over the Blues on Saturday night.

Biron had been 0-7-2 in his career against St. Louis.

"I kind of just saw it before the game and I said, 'Well, that's kind of funny,' " Biron said. "It could be a good game to go on a winning streak."

Brandon Dubinsky had two assists—also helping to set up Derek Stepan's goal—for the Rangers, the only NHL team that hadn't beaten the Blues in regulation the last 10 seasons. New York leads the NHL with 31 road points (15-7-1).

The Rangers earned a shootout victory at Dallas on Friday and are 10-1 on the back end when playing on consecutive nights.

"We weren't spot on. Our team's tired, we're a little bit beat up," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "But we grinded. That's who we are, that's how we're going to have to play."

The Rangers have won three in a row and sent the Blues to their third straight loss. They beat the Blues in regulation for the first time in 12 games since Nov. 22, 2000.

"It's about finding ways and showing a lot of that resiliency, a lot of that battle," Biron said. "Playing hard, that's our identity."

The Blues' Brad Winchester opened the scoring on a deflection early in the second period.

St. Louis squandered a chance to tie it late, but got only one shot during a four-minute power play after Avery was whistled for high-sticking. The Blues were 0-for-6 on the power play, and the missed opportunity on the Avery penalty really hurt.

"Their four guys outworked our five throughout the four minutes," Blues forward David Backes said. "That kind of typifies the game. They're a team coming in here tired, and we didn't make them skate or make them pay for everything they achieved.

"And we didn't capitalize on our chances when we had them."

Biron also was put to the test in the second and had a strong response. He stopped six shots during a power play, and thwarted Matt D'Agostini on a breakaway, keeping the Blues from taking a two-goal lead.

"It's one of those saves where you feel really good about the way the game is going to go," Biron said. "It's 1-0 and that could be a big change, but now you're feeling like we're going to get going, and that's what happened."

Stepan's 12th goal beat Jaroslav Halak between the legs to tie it 1-1 midway through the second. Avery's second of the season at 15:26 erased momentum the Blues had built while taking nine straight shots.

Dubinsky emerged from the scrum with the puck and fed it to Marian Gaborik, whose fluttering shot deflected off Halak's chest and sailed over his helmet, landing near the goal-line. Avery tapped it in for his first goal since Oct. 27.

The Blues were held to a season-low two shots in a scoreless first when New York managed only six. St. Louis scored on its second shot of the second, taking the lead on Winchester's deflection.

Winchester has scored in consecutive games for the first time and has seven goals this season.

NOTES: The Blues have sold out all 22 home games. ... Dubinsky has four goals and 12 assists the last 17 games. ... The Rangers are 11-4-2 in their past 17 games. ... Avery entered the game second in the NHL with 123 penalty minutes. ... Alex Steen had five shots for a four-game total of 24, but a three-game streak totalling five points ended. ... The Rangers' lone loss on the back end of consecutive games came against the Blues, who won 2-0 on Nov. 7 in New York.