Resilient Rangers grab point versus powerhouse Blues (STL 4 – NYR 3 S/O)
The Blueshirts were down 4 of their top 6 blue liners, their number 1 center and last year’s leading scorer. To add a cherry on top of that, their backup was in net to give their starter a much needed rest.
St. Louis Blues 4 vs. New York Rangers 3 (Shootout)
Let’s wrap our heads around this shootout loss for a moment, with McDonagh (shoulder), Klein (foot), Moore (suspension), and Boyle (hand) all out the Rangers would have to play their 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th defenseman on the depth charts.
Now wrap your head around this, both Dan Girardi (580) and Marc Staal (471) have played more career NHL games than Hunwick (301), Kostka (66), Allen (4) and McIlrath (3) combined.
“They played well,” Marc Staal said after the game, “I thought Allen and McIlrath both played confident.” Marc Staal had a strong night finishing +2, while the kids were adequate and both had an even rating. Conor Allen, who is considered an NHL ready defenseman by most played 13:03 and the slow footed, Dylan McIlrath played just 8:02.
The Rangers power play would get the on the board in the 1st period, on a tally by Chris Kreider who was a beast all night, firing 5 shots on Elliot. NY would outshoot the blues 15-4 in the opening stanza only to see that flipped in the second period 17-8.
St. Louis was on the power play when NHL player of the week, Vladimir Tarasenko scored a “Forsbergian” goal (goal made famous by Peter Forsberg in the Olympics). Oddly, it was Kostka and McIlrath killing the penalty when Tarasenko put his rocket boosters on and burned a flat-footed McIlrath just inside the blue-line. Tarasenko then but on the moves and with one hand backhanded the puck past Talbot as he went the other way.
The Blues kept the momentum in the third and took a lead off a pin-ball goal. Then the Rangers checked their guts and turned it on. Carl Hagelin’s relentless puck pursuit and pretty pass led to Marty St. Louis tying the game at 2. Followed by another great pass by Nash that elevated past Blues defenders and tipped home by Marty for the 3-2 lead.
Unfortunately, Cam Talbot was beaten on a shot high blocker side, that he would like back. “We need to win close games and that starts with me,” Talbot said afterwards. The game ended when Vladimir Tarasenko nailed it down in the shootout for St. Louis.
Derek Stepan was in a contact jersey for practice and is expected to make his long awaited season debut on Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings. The game may also see the returns of Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Klein (but I may just be overly optimistic). The game will start at 8PM as part of NBC’s Rivalry Night.
1. Marty St. Louis – After going 3 straight games with out a point, MSL scored his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season giving the Rangers the offense they desperately needed last night.
2. Kevin Hayes – Yes, scratch your heads. In 14 minutes of action last night, he fired 6 shots on goal and looked impossible to take off the puck. He was only 33% in the face-off circle, which screams he needs to be on the wing. However, outside of those draws, he’s doing a solid job and is more noticeable then Dominic Moore this year at center.
3. Marc Staal – Without his regular defense partner since the third period of game 1 this year, he has been very strong. Last night brought his 3rd straight 25 plus minute plus performance, he’s +4 in those 3 games.
1. Cam Talbot – By far a greater performance than in Columbus, but the 3rd goal had to be stopped. As I said in the pre-season, his reaction time has been a hair slower than last season. He’s so important to the Rangers that he needs to be better.
2. Dan Girardi – I actually feel he is playing well, my concern is his health. Last night he played 32:58 and against the Jets 34:50. Either another defenseman comes back soon or Girardi is going to be spent before Thanksgiving.
3. Tanner Glass – He was a -2 last night (both not his fault). On the Blues 2nd goal, Mueller deflected a pass that was wide that hit a Blue in front for a goal and on the third tally, Talbot should’ve stopped it. Bottom line, he a -7 on the year with no points. He needs to better.
HIGHLIGHTS & INTERVIEWS