Blues Fall to Rangers 2-1

The St. Louis Blues hosted the New York Rangers for the only time this season. They wouldn’t meet the Rangers again until March 29th at Madison Square Garden. St. Louis was looking to win one and go from there, still having not successfully strang three consecutive wins together all season long.

Team Records

  • Blues: (15-17-4) Away: (6-7-2)
  • Rangers: (16-14-7) Home: (11-4-5)

Last 10 Games

  • Blues: 6 wins, but they had lost by 5 goals three times, and by 4 goals once.
  • Rangers: 3 wins, but they’ve still collected 11 points. 3 OT losses, and 2 Shutout losses.

Forward Lines

It was time for Robby Fabbri to return to the lineup. He took Jordan Nolan’s spot alongside the impressive 4th line duo, Barbie & Sunny.

  1. Schwartz, Schenn, Tarasenko
  2. Steen, O’Reilly, Perron
  3. Maroon, Bozak, Thomas
  4. Fabbri, Barbashev, Sundqvist

Defensive Pairings

  1. Bouwmeester, Pietrangelo
  2. Edmundson, Parayko
  3. Dunn, Bortuzzo

Starting Goaltenders

STL – Jake Allen:

  • (13-11-4, 3.10 GAA, .900 SP)

NYR – Henrik Lundqvist:

  • (11-9-7, 2.87 GAA, .913 SP)

Goals Scored: Ryan O’Reilly, Mats Zuccarello, Boo Nieves

Three Stars

  1. Henrik Lundqvist
  2. Boo Nieves
  3. Ryan O’Reilly

Game Summary

1st Period

3:50 minutes in, Alex Pietrangelo was called for high sticking on Jesper Fast. Rangers went on their first Power Play.

Jake Allen made a save on Neal Pionk but the rebound came free. The puck popped up and over him, he sprawled out, throwing himself back to lay on top of the puck.

Blues were able to kill the penalty and hold Rangers to 2 shots on goal for the man advantage.

Ryan O’Reilly was able to score on a set up from David Perron (10:08) to put the Blues up 1-0. Perron skating in to support his center. O’Reilly gave the puck to Perron who took a short skate in a circle and gave it right back to O’Reilly who was open for a solid one-timer.

12:16 in, Robert Thomas was called for hooking Tony DeAngelo. The Rangers saw their second Power Play. The Blues allowed New York 4 shots this time around but the Rangers failed to capitalize.

With 4:24 left, McQuaid was called for holding Alex Steen. The Blues would have their first chance on the man advantage. Tyler Bozak was denied by Henrik Lundqvist. Vince Dunn saw an opportunity but shot wide. Pietrangelo was able to put a shot on goal, but New York killed the penalty. 2 shots on goal for the Blues.

Jake Allen made a great save on Brett Howden with 1:42 remaining in the period. Oskar Sundqvist was then called for tripping Tony DeAngelo.

The Rangers 3rd Power Play resulted in a goal scored through Jake Allen’s legs by Mat Zuccarello to tie the game at 1.

Here’s what Lou had to say…

Shots on Goal were 12 to 7 in favor of the Rangers.

2nd Period

Chris Kreider interfered with Brayden Schenn 16 seconds in to give St. Louis their 2nd Power Play of the game. O’Reilly had a look, but Lundqvist said no. Jaden Schwartz shot wide of the net. Vince Dunn was then denied by Henrik. Steen was able to tip a shot on goal, but Lundqvist had an answer. St. Louis put 3 shots on goal for this Power Play.

Sundqvist fed Fabbri and Robby ripped the post. Shortly after (3:11), Boo Nieves backhanded a puck that looked to bounce off of Jay Bouwmeester’s leg up and over the right pad of Jake Allen gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. I personally never saw McLeod touch the puck, but that’s just me.

6:40 into the frame, the Blues would get a Power Play as Tony DeAngelo hooked a goal-rushing Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues went on their 3rd Power Play. The Blues held possession of the puck well and worked nicely in setting themselves up. They had Pat Maroon in front who had a few good looks as they were funneling the puck to the Rangers net. The Blues, however, would not capitalize.

We saw shots tied at 18 with about 7:25 left in the 2nd.

The Blues held on to the puck for quite some time as Jake Allen had left for the delayed penalty. Ryan Strome was called for using an illegal (broken) stick.

The Blues went on their 4th Power Play with 2:44 left which was killed off by the Rangers successfully.

Ivan Barbashev then shot wide on a prime opportunity nearing the end of the period.

Shots on Goal were now 25 to 19 in favor of the Blues as they were able to put 18 on this period and also held New York to just 5. Henrik Lundqvist played a solid 2nd period. He was definitely a difference maker. Also, New York’s commitment to blocking shots was key. Through 2 periods, the Rangers had blocked 12 shots. St. Louis had missed the net their fair share as well.

3rd Period

Tyler Bozak had a good opportunity but was taken down cleanly. Robert Thomas sent a pass from the right wall, just in front of the net. Bozak crashed in and the net came free.

Joel Edmundson took a stick high (near the throat) from Vladislav Namestnikov but there was no call. Joel did not retaliate and play continued. I couldn’t believe it. This happened right in front of an official.

Halfway through the 3rd, the Blues had put 4 shots on goal to the Rangers 1.

Alex Pietrangelo then took a shot from the point but was denied by Lundqvist. Shortly after, David Perron skated in on the short side and received a pass from Ryan O’Reilly. This time, Perron missed everything.

Pavel Buchnevich saw a chance but shot just wide on Jake Allen. Just moments later, Jake Allen came out to play a puck, he returned to his net just in time to make a save on Zuccarello. That could have been an ugly way for this one to end.

The Blues were battling in Henrik Lundqvist’s crease to score on a loose puck. The official whistled the play dead, but the puck was still free. Tough break.

The Rangers then had a key shot block on Tyler Bozak, and again a blocked shot by Steen, and by Pietrangelo.

Allen left for the extra attacker. We then saw some opportunities to grab a grinder goal, but somehow Henrik Lundqvist kept the puck out of his net. He was playing super calm and cool.

The Blues continued to pressure the Rangers goaltender but he was remarkable, stopping 37 of 38.

My Thoughts

The Blues played a pretty solid game. The boys gave it everything they had. They were outplayed in the 1st period, but this game was really decided by Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers willingness to block shots (23) because the 2nd and 3rd periods truly belonged to the Blues.

I think Jake Allen played a great game, but he’d obviously like to have the Nieves goal back whether it bounced off of Bouw or not. I don’t believe he had much of a chance at all on the Zuccarello goal. Regardless, Jake gave his team an opportunity to win tonight. Unfortunately, the guy between the pipes on the other end was a brick wall.

The Blues didn’t give up in a close contest and showed a lot of character. Sometimes a goaltender steals a game. Sometimes your opponents are going to block a lot of shots too.

Thanks for reading, Blues fans, and have a Happy New Year!


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