Rangers losing skid hits three, fall to Blues 5-2

NHL: New York Rangers at St. Louis Blues
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday night at the Enterprise Center, the St. Louis Blues defeated the New York Rangers, 5-2, handing the Blueshirts their first three-game losing streak of the season. 

Jordan Kyrou led the way offensively for St. Louis, recording his third career hat trick. Jordan Binnington made 41 saves on 43 shots, on way to his 14th win of the season.

Adam Fox and Vincent Trocheck scored for New York, and Igor Shesterkin stopped 15 of the 19 shots he faced. His season record now stands at 16-10-0.

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St. Louis Blues 5 vs New York Rangers 2

NHL: New York Rangers at St. Louis Blues
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off another lopsided loss on Monday night at the hands of the surging Vancouver Canucks, in which defense and goaltending were suspect, it was self-inflicted wounds and missed opportunities that hurt the Rangers in this one.

To begin the contest, the Rangers were at a slight disadvantage with Mika Zibanejad out due to flu-like symptoms, opting to play with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. Despite this, they managed to apply early pressure, resulting in a goal by Fox, his 5th of the season, scored less than two minutes into the game.

However, the Blues quickly responded with Kyrou scoring his 10th goal of the season, bringing the game to a 1-1 tie. 

The momentum continued in favor of St. Louis when just over three minutes later, Kyrou netted his second goal of the game during a power play. This opportunity arose after Nick Bonino was penalized with a two-minute minor for delay of game. The first period concluded with the Blues leading 2-1.

The second period saw the Rangers face significant challenges due to penalties, taking three consecutive minors in the first half of the period. Although they successfully killed off the first two, the Blues found their opportunity on the third. Brandon Saad capitalized on this advantage, scoring his 10th goal of the year and extending the Blues’ lead to 3-1.

New York did get a chance to respond when they went on the power play for the first time in the game. During this power play, they created several scoring opportunities. Chris Kreider was notably active, hitting the post twice with deflections, but ultimately, they were unable to get the puck past Binnington. The middle frame ended with St. Louis maintaining their lead at 3-1.

The Rangers were presented with an early opportunity to close the gap in the third period with a power play. However, Binnington, continued his strong performance, denying the Rangers and maintaining the Blues’ two-goal lead.

The game’s momentum further shifted in favor of the Blues when Kyrou scored his third goal of the game and extending the Blues’ lead to 4-1.

The Rangers, refusing to back down, managed to narrow the lead slightly when Trocheck scored a power play goal. This goal not only cut the Blues’ lead to 4-2 but also extended Trocheck’s goal streak to three games and Artemi Panarin’s point streak to nine games.

The game was eventually put out of reach for the Rangers when Pavel Buchnevich, a former Ranger, scored an empty net goal, sealing a 5-2 victory for St. Louis.

Despite this effort, a notable statistic was the Rangers’ third consecutive game recording 40 shots on goal, yet all these efforts resulted in losses, highlighting a challenge in capitalizing on their shooting opportunities.

The Blueshirts will look to get back into the win column on Saturday afternoon, as they face off against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals in D.C. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:00 PM.