Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game…“I thought we played a real hard game. Every inch on the ice was really battled for. They’re a big team; they’re a skilled team, they’re a physical team. You’ve got to work extremely hard and I thought we did that the whole game. Five-on-five it was a very even game. The difference was the power play. 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.”
Henrik Lundqvist on tonight’s game…“We expected a tough challenge but we played really well. Like I said, 5-on-5 we did a great job and we did all the things we talked about. It just came down to one play there. We came out and played really strong and a lot of things we will take with us for the next couple games.”
Brad Richards on tonight’s game…“It was a good hockey game. There’s not much either way. They scored a power play goal. I’m not sure what happened to them in Jersey, but we knew it was going to be a one goal game. There wasn’t much room out there. We generated a little momentum in the second. It was the first time in a long time I think our power play let us down. We were just not pounding the puck; if there’s anything that wasn’t on tonight that was it. It was a good hockey game. We played a real good hockey team. They scored on a power play and we don’t.”
9:36PM: First Period:
- Alexander Steen 26 (Assists: Jaden Schwartz 19, David Backes 20)
- Rick Nash 17 (Assists: Derek Stepan 24, Ryan McDonagh 22)
- Kevin Shattenkirk 8 (power-play) (Assists: Alex Pietrangelo 30, David Backes 21)
- The Blues are really good but I felt that the Rangers played alright and probably well enough to win. I don't think they had many quality chances, but I thought they handled themselves pretty well against the physicality of St. Louis. St. Louis defends really well and watching them I see the kind of team that I think John Tortorella always wanted the Rangers to be, big, strong and able to play well at both ends of the rink.
- The game can probably be broken down as St. Louis scoring on their third period PP and the Rangers not scoring on either of their chances in the third. The Blues, I felt, were better at 5 on 5 but not by much and if the PP could have gotten on the board it could have tilted things for the Rangers.
- The stat that Joe Micheletti brought up about the Blues scoring 14, now 15 times, in the first ten seconds of a PP is really cool and shows important winning that faceoff is.
- There was some kind of missed coverage on the first goal and another goal, like a few during the Islanders game, where guys are left pretty open right in front of the net to score. That is probably something the coaches will need to reinforce.
Notes via the Rangers:
- The Blueshirts are now 27-23-3 overall (57 pts), including a 12-13-3 mark at home this season.
- The Rangers and Blues have been separated by two or fewer goals in 11 of their last 13 meetings dating back to Nov. 3, 2002, with nine of those contests being decided by one goal or fewer.
- The Blueshirts have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 31 of 53 games this season, including eight of their last nine games and 10 of their last 13. The Rangers have also allowed two or fewer goals in six of their last seven games at home, and eight of their last 10 at Madison Square Garden.
- The Rangers out-shot the Blues, 35-25, including a 28-18 advantage after two periods. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in 17 of the last 22 games, holding a 766-647 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have registered 30 or more shots in 21 of the last 26 contests.
- Derek Stepan tallied an assist to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, four assists over the span), and three shots in 19:17 of ice time. He ranks second on the team with 24 assists, and third with 33 points this season.
- Ryan McDonagh registered an assist and was credited with two hits in a game-high, 23:40 of ice time. He has tallied an assist in three of the last four games (three assists over the span), and is now tied for third on the team with 22 assists this season.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves to and is now 17-18-3 overall, including a 9-11-3 mark at home this season. He has now held opponents to two or fewer goals in each of his last seven games, posting a record of 5-2-0 with a 1.43 goals against average, .953 save percentage, and one shutout over the span.
- Kevin Klein was credited with two blocked shots in 15:46 of ice time while making his Rangers debut. Klein was acquired from Nashville yesterday in exchange for defenseman Michael Del Zotto.