Blueshirts Get The Blues After Loss To St. Louis

Following two strong performances that saw the Rangers defeat the cross-river Devils and the high-scoring Avalanche, the Blueshirts headed to St. Louis for a matchup with the defending champs. The Rangers did jump out to an early lead, but it was all Blues the rest of the night, putting five pucks into Henrik Lundqvist’s net.

Filip Chytil – The brightest star for the Rangers in this one was the play of the 20-year-old Czech forward. Chytil potted his 11th goal of the season to give the Blueshirts the 1-0 lead early in the first, the 24th time the Rangers have scored the first goal of a game this season. After Ryan Lindgren tapped the puck over to Chytil in the defensive zone, Chytil took off and beat Binnington on a long-range wrist shot.

Chytil’s 11 goals match his total from all of last season in 40 fewer games and those 11 tallies rank him third in the NHL for players 20-years-old or younger. The kid has not had the proverbial “sophomore slump” and is looking like he could be a good player for the Rangers for a long time.

Brett Howden – The Rangers’ second goal came from Brett Howden on a gorgeous pass from the aforementioned Chytil. Fil got the puck behind the net, despite being defended by two St. Louis players, and found a wide-open Howden to get the Rangers within one.

Like Chytil, Howden has matched his goal total from last season with his sixth coming in just 44 games. The 21-year-old has done a nice job for David Quinn’s squad this season, playing mostly bottom-six minutes.

Growing Pains – The Rangers had a decent start to the game despite trailing after the opening 20 minutes. But mistake after mistake ultimately cost the Blueshirts in this one. Libor Hajek got caught trying to make a play at his own blue line, Tony DeAngelo fanned on a pass that led to a breakaway goal, Artemiy Panarin and Kaapo Kakko defending the same guy which left a man open; just a few of the errors the Rangers made in tonight’s defeat. Some of these mistakes can be corrected, and with the Rangers being one of the youngest teams in the league, you can be sure that the coaching staff will address the errors as soon as possible.

Henrik Lundqvist – It was a rough night for Lundqvist, who played his first game in nine days. Lundqvist gave up five goals to the defending Stanley Cup champions, who rank fifth in the Western Conference in scoring. As noted before, the Rangers did make a lot of mistakes in this one that led to the goals against, but King Henrik probably could’ve stopped a couple of the St. Louis goals. Lundqvist has another season and a half remaining on his current contract, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers handle their three goalie situation.

Next Game: The Rangers return to MSG on Monday night for their first matchup of the season with the Islanders. Puck drops at 7!


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