VANCOUVER, B.C. – Martin St. Louis scored his first goal with the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves Tuesday night as New York defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1.
Daniel Carcillo and Benoit Pouliot had the other goals for New York, which has won seven of its last eight games and sits comfortably in an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Ryan Kesler scored for Vancouver and rookie Eddie Lack finished with 28 saves as the Canucks’ remote postseason hopes took another hit.
Vancouver is six points back of the final wild-card berth in the West and has five games remaining.
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“I think good teams find a way to win, and right now we’re not finding that way,” Kesler said. “I’m not saying that we’re not a good team; we’re just not getting the job done.”
Tuesday’s game marked the regular-season return of Rangers coach Alain Vigneault to Rogers Arena. Vigneault coached in Vancouver for seven seasons, winning six division titles.
The Canucks fired Vigneault last summer after the club’s first-round playoff exit and replaced him with John Tortorella after the latter was let go by the Rangers.
The switching of coaches has worked out much better for New York, with Vancouver heading toward its first spring without playoff hockey in six years.
“No whining. We lost. We’re losing,” Tortorella said. “We’ve just got to keep on trying to get better.”
The Rangers led 2-1 after two periods and St. Louis, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Lightning, put the game out of reach while killing a penalty at 10:15 of the third. St. Louis has 30 goals this season.