New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Jaroslav Halak came up with 34 saves to
atone for a dismal defensive performance by the St. Louis Blues two days
prior, with the effort leading the way in a 2-1 triumph over the New York
Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Kevin Shattenkirk scored the eventual game-winner on the power play 3:09 into
the third period, helping the Blues shake off a 7-1 loss in New Jersey on
Tuesday. Alex Steen had the other St. Louis goal, with David Backes assisting
on both markers in the victory.
"It really could not have gone any better," said Shattenkirk, who grew up a
Rangers fan in nearby New Rochelle, N.Y. "I'm really happy with the way the
A red-hot Rick Nash produced the lone tally for the Rangers, losers of two
straight following a 6-1-0 stretch. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 23 saves in
Nash's 10th goal in 10 games knotted the score at 1-1 with 1:43 to go in the
third period, but the star sniper was called for a slash on Shattenkirk to
give the Blues a man advantage with three minutes elapsed in the third.
St. Louis needed just nine seconds to convert, as Shattenkirk fired a long
one-timer through Lundqvist's legs with Backes setting a screen in front.
"It was a set play," said Shattenkirk of the goal. "Once the puck was dropped
back to me I knew that I had the lane to get it to the net. At that point as a
defenseman you just have to throw it to the net and hope that something good
happens. That's the way our power play works."
The Rangers had an opportunity to even things up when the Blues' Barret
Jackman was sent off for a cross check with 7:29 to go, but St. Louis killed
off the infraction and Halak came up clean the rest of the way.
"The difference was the power play," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault
remarked. "We had an advantage at the beginning of the third. We didn't get
anything off it. Their power play did what they've done very effectively this
year. Right off the draw they established a shot. Within a few seconds they
take the shot, they score."
St. Louis got 12 saves from Halak and the lone goal of the opening period to
take a 1-0 edge into the first intermission. The score came off a giveaway
from Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi in his own zone, with Jaden Schwartz
collecting the puck and delivering a centering feed that caromed off Steen's
skate and handcuffed Lundqvist before crossing the line 8:38 in.
New York finally managed to draw even on its 25th shot of the night, Nash's
blast from the left circle off a Derek Stepan drop pass that rocketed past
Steen sat out the third period after sustaining a lower-body injury during the
game ... Nash has lit the lamp six times during a four-game goal-scoring
streak ... Lundqvist dropped to 0-4-0 in five career meetings with St.
Louis, the only NHL team he has never defeated ... The win was Blues
head coach Ken Hitchcock's 106th with the franchise, tying him with Jacques
Demers for fifth place on the club's all-time list ... Halak became the
first St. Louis netminder since Mike Liut (1979-82) to record 10 road wins
in three separate seasons ... The Blues swept the season set, having
posted a 5-3 win in St. Louis on Oct. 12, and have won seven of their last
eight against the Rangers while improving to 7-0-1 in their past eight visits
to MSG ... Forwards Maxim Lapierre and Vladimir Tarasenko both returned
to action for the Blues. Lapierre sat out five straight games with an
upper-body injury, while Tarasenko missed the last two due to the flu.