ST. LOUIS -- Down two forwards and one defensemen, the St. Louis Blues needed goalie Carter Hutton to play a big role in the third period to secure a victory.
In his Blues debut, Hutton came up with multiple critical saves; he made 15 of them in the third and 33 for the game to preserve the Blues' 3-2 victory against the New York Rangers at Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Hutton, who by his own admission gave up a bad goal to Rangers center Mika Zibanejad early in the second period, more than made up for it in the third with four point-blank saves to preserve the lead.
It was evident the game fell squarely on Hutton's shoulders.
"You never think personally like that. You're just in the moment; you're just playing, you're just battling," Hutton said. "You know how much the guys and their blood, sweat and tears go into it, right? At the same point, you're just in it, you're just battling. It's just a constant mindset of keep competing and do what I do best and battle. Tonight, that was the difference."
Video: NYR@STL: Hutton shuts down Miller one-on-one
Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and assist for St. Louis, which was held without a shot in the third period.
Alex Pietrangelo scored for St. Louis, which won its third in a row to start the season, the fourth time in its history it's done so (1969-70, 1993-94, 2013-14).
The Blues played the third period without defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and centers Kyle Brodziak and Jori Lehtera. Each departed with an upper-body injury, leaving St. Louis with 10 forwards and five defensemen.
"The goalie was outstanding in the third period," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Hutton. "He won us the game, which was great. We needed it. Whether it was three (games) in four nights or the injuries or whatever that depleted us, we needed our goalie in the third period, and he came through for us."
Chris Kreider and Zibanejad each had a goal and assist for the Rangers, who defeated the New York Islanders 5-3 at Madison Square Garden in their season opener Thursday. Henrik Lundqvist made 15 saves.
The Rangers felt they threw everything they had at Hutton but could not get one past the Blues goalie when they needed to most.
"He was seeing the puck a lot, and I'm sure we had some shots, but you've got to try and take away his eyes and make him uncomfortable a little bit more, and we could have," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said.
Tarasenko scored his third goal to put St. Louis ahead 1-0 at 1:13 after Colton Parayko blocked a J.T. Miller shot, getting the Blues out in transition.
The Rangers tied it on Kreider's goal at 5:25 after he collected a loose puck in the slot and beat Hutton with a wrist shot to the short side.
The Rangers were outshooting the Blues 8-1, but the Blues finished the first with the final 10 shots, and Stastny got his 100th point with St. Louis when he scored on a rebound of a shot from Robby Fabbri in the slot with 2:28 left.
Pietrangelo scored on the power play with a one-timer from the slot at 2:28 of the second to make it 3-1, but Zibanejad scored 30 seconds later.
Goal of the game
Stastny had little time to make up his mind when he got the puck in the corner to start a power play but quickly found Pietrangelo for the two-goal lead.
Video: NYR@STL: Blues take lead as Stastny puts home rebound
Saves of the game
Hutton made three outstanding saves in the third period, one on Miller at 2:09, a second on Kreider at 2:44, and a third on Miller at 7:18.
Video: NYR@STL: Hutton denies Miller with superb kick save
Highlight of the game
The Rangers intercepted an errant pass in the neutral zone off an aggressive forecheck, got the puck into the Blues zone, and Kreider was in the right spot to put away a rebound to make it 1-1.
Video: NYR@STL: Kreider levels the score with quick wrister
Unsung moment of the game
Parayko's shot block helped the Blues spring into transition that led to Tarasenko scoring the first goal.
Video: NYR@STL: Tarasenko beats Lundqvist on a breakaway
They said it
"I think we created enough chances to tie it and win this game, but [Hutton] made some big saves in the end." -- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist
Need to know
Brodziak played his 700th NHL game. ... Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi left the game in the second period because of a hip flexor, coach Alain Vigneault said.
Rangers: Home against the San Jose Sharks on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG, CSN-CA, NHL.TV).
Blues: At the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SNV, FS-MW, NHL.TV)
Video: Hutton stands on his head in big Blues win