Kapanen took a pass from Brayden Schenn to score his 15th goal of the season for St. Louis, which has won two in a row. Tyler Pitlick and Alexey Toropchenko also scored, and Jordan Binnington made 21 saves.
“We're going into games trying to win, play our game, and kind of build on that for next year,” Kapanen said. “You want to end on a high note. You want to play well until the end, and that's what we're trying to do right now.”
Vincent Trocheck tied it at 2 for the Rangers with 2:03 remaining in regulation on a power play and Jaroslav Halak pulled for an extra attacker.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored and added an assist in his first game in St. Louis since being traded to New York along with Niko Mikkola on Feb. 9. The Rangers fell four points behind second-place New Jersey in the Metropolitan Division with each team still having three games to play.
“It wasn't a great game, obviously,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “It was sort of one of those games where there wasn't a lot of energy with our group after the back-to-backs and the long flight last night.”
Toropchenko scored his 10th of the season eight minutes into the second period when he stole the puck from Artemi Panarin and drove down the length of the ice to beat Halak.
“He’s using his shot, and it’s a pretty heavy shot, and he’s beating goalies,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “But he’s just skating by people, skating through people. Very confident right now. And good to see because there’s a lot of potential there going forward.”
Tarasenko scored his 18th on a power play when he buried Mika Zibanejad’s rebound 1:55 into the third to tie it.
“It was kind of a big deal playing against a team where you played the last 11 years,” Tarasenko said about scoring in St. Louis. “But the No. 1 thing is we kind of lost. But it was a nice moment.”
Pitlick batted a loose puck in the crease past Halak for his seventh of the season 10:13 into the third period to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead.
NOTES: St. Louis returned D Matthew Kessel to Springfield of the AHL and recalled D Dmitri Samorukov under emergency conditions. Samorukov played in his first NHL game since making his debut as a member of the Edmonton Oilers in St. Louis on Dec. 29, 2021. ... St. Louis played a tribute video honoring Tarasenko during a first-period timeout. ... Rangers RW Patrick Kane was scratched for precautionary reasons for the second straight game.
Rangers: At Columbus on Saturday night.
Blues: At Minnesota on Saturday night.
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