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Halak, Blues smother Rangers

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 
night went." 

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 
the setback. 

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 
Halak's glove. 

                                   Game Notes 

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 Blue
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. 

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