Brett Hull gets most of the attention on the St. Louis Blues, but he's not the only one who can put the puck in the net.
Adam Oates, better known as a passer than a shooter, broke a tie with 11:11 remaining last night in Madison Square Garden as the Blues beat the Rangers, 3-2, ending New York's four-game winning streak.
Oates, who missed 18 games in November and December with a pulled stomach muscle, was the Blues' other 100-point scorer last season. But unlike Hull, whose 113 points included 72 goals, Oates had 79 assists in his 102 points.
He has nine goals and a team-high 29 assists in 23 games this season.
"He means a lot to this team," said Hull, whose first-period goal was his 44th in 43 games this season.
Oates said he's only playing at about 80 percent, but that was enough to beat the Patrick Division-leading Rangers and avenge a 3-2 overtime loss in St. Louis last Saturday.
"The other night could have gone either way, and this game could have too," he said. "It's good to know we can beat a team like this."
Oates took Sergio Momesso's pass from the right boards and snapped a quick wrist shot past Mike Richter to break a 2-2 tie and give the Blues only their fifth win ever at Madison Square Garden. St. Louis is 5-40-5 at the Garden, but has two wins and a tie in its last three visits.
Richter said Oates made a perfect shot.
"It was frustrating. He had nowhere to score except where he put the shot, on the long side on the ice," Richter said. "You have to hand it to him. People forget about him, but he's a great player too."
The goal was the only one in a third period dominated by the Blues, who outshot the Rangers 11-1 over the first 15 minutes.
"The Rangers have a lot of good skill players and you can't give them open ice," Blues Coach Brian Sutter said after his team won for the second time in two nights.
The Blues, who won Tuesday night in New Jersey, controlled the first period too, outshooting New York 9-6 and scoring twice in 38 seconds for a 2-0 lead.
"We were kind of coasting, I thought, in the first period," Rangers Coach Roger Neilson said. "It was a sort of no-chance period by anybody for 10 minutes and they stepped it up and got a couple of goals."