Rucinsky's shot from just inside the blue line hit the end glass and bounced in off the back of the Blues' goalie 1:37 into 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.
"That was ugly," Jagr said of Rucinsky's winning goal. "That was the worst goal I've ever seen."
It capped a bad night for Lalime, who allowed five goals on 28 shots, much to the dismay of his coach.
"I'm not pointing a finger; watch the hockey game," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "Our goaltending wasn't good enough."
Lalime wasn't offering any excuses for his performance.
"You saw the goals," he said. "There's not much you can say about it. You've just got to battle through and hopefully things will go our way."
Rucinsky, who had two goals and an assist, said the Rangers were lucky to come out on top.
"We didn't play well," he said. "We've been playing a lot better than this. Fortunately we came out with the two points. We'll take that."
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.
"Their goaltender has been having a tough time stopping it lately, and every time they play, the score is high," Jagr said. "You just want to shoot the puck."
Jagr thought Lalime's struggles seemed to be more mental than physical.
"I remember him; he's (still) a great goalie," Jagr said. "It's all about confidence."
The Rangers have plenty of that these days. New York has won nine of 11 and has 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.
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.
"We did a lot of good things but we just didn't come out with a win," Tkachuk said. "That's the tough part."
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.
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.
|Patrick Lalime can't believe how the winning goal gets past him ... off the glass and his backside. (AP)|
|NY Rangers (20-8-4) «||1||1||2||1||5|
|St. Louis (5-17-4)||1||1||2||0||4|
Rangers Color Blocked Full Zip Hooded Jacket – Royal Blue/Red Shop Now!
|15:31||Power Play - Keith Tkachuk (6), Backhand Shot - Assist: Eric Weinrich|
|16:38||Martin Rucinsky (7), Slap Shot - Assist: Jaromir Jagr|
|05:32||Jason Strudwick (2), Tip-In - Assists: Tom Poti and Steve Rucchin|
|15:01||Power Play - Keith Tkachuk (7), Tip-In - Assists: Doug Weight and Eric Weinrich|
|09:28||Jaromir Jagr (23), Wrist Shot - Assists: Martin Rucinsky and Martin Straka|
|10:43||Short - Mark Rycroft (4), Wrist Shot - Assist: Ryan Johnson|
|16:42||Power Play - Petr Prucha (13), Wrist Shot - Assists: Tom Poti and Jaromir Jagr|
|19:52||Mike Sillinger (9), Tip-In - Assists: Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk|
|01:37||Martin Rucinsky (8), Slap Shot - Assists: Jaromir Jagr and Marek Malik|
|03:28||Strudwick: Interference - 2 min.|
|08:20||Mayers: Holding - 2 min.|
|09:09||Poti: High sticking - 4 min.|
|14:37||Prucha: Hooking - 2 min.|
|02:21||Nylander: Slashing - 2 min.|
|02:41||Sillinger: Boarding - 2 min.|
|06:53||Mayers: Tripping - 2 min.|
|09:41||Betts: Tripping - 2 min.|
|14:24||Nylander: Holding - 2 min.|
|15:10||Ortmeyer: High sticking - 2 min.|
|16:54||Malik: Hooking - 2 min.|
|00:57||Poapst: Delay of Game - 2 min.|
|05:20||Rozsival: Hooking - 2 min.|
|06:38||Rucinsky: Holding - 2 min.|
|10:23||Jackman: Delay of Game - 2 min.|
|12:45||Tkachuk: Hooking - 2 min.|
|16:26||Sillinger: Hooking - 2 min.|
|17:29||Jackman: Slashing - 2 min.|
|17:47||Poti: Hooking - 2 min.|
|00:37||McAmmond: Hooking - 2 min.|
|00:56||Straka: Hooking - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 15094|
|Game Time - 61:37|
|Referees - Brad Meier, Tim Peel|
|Line Judges - Angelo D'Amico, Dan Schachte|