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game recap

Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers shut out Blues

Goalie makes 35 saves, Jimmy Vesey gets three points in win

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves and the New York Rangers had five different goal-scorers in a 5-0 win against the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

It was Lundqvist's 60th NHL shutout and his first against the Blues in 10 appearances. He raised his save percentage from .901 to .917 as a result of the shutout.

"This was his best game so far this year," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Defenseman Dan Girardi and forwards Jimmy Vesey, Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes each scored. Vesey, who has a team-high six goals, also had two assists for his first career three-point game.

Forward Chris Kreider had two assists in his first game after missing four straight with neck spasms.

"A lot of things right now are clicking," Lundqvist said. "Penalty kill, power play, it's all playing a big part right now. Just try to feed from this. We know every game you have to come back to the basics and do the little details right, but overall I think we're happy with the start."

The Rangers (7-3-0) lead the NHL with 40 goals. They have scored 32 goals in seven home games, including 11 in the past two, and are 6-1-0 in those games. They have given up nine goals in their past five home games and 12 in their past seven overall.

"There are going to be games that are tight, one-goal games, but I think that's why we keep getting the goals, because we're playing the same way the whole time," Girardi said. "We're not opening ourselves up when it's 2-0 or 3-0. In the past and maybe the start of the year we were giving up a little, but now we're finding the way. Just don't change."

Video: STL@NYR: Nash banks in goal off Allen from behind net

The Rangers got four goals on 20 shots against Blues goalie Jake Allen before he was pulled with 7:05 left in the second period. Carter Hutton made eight saves in relief.

"That's a [heck] of a team and they gave us a [heck] of a lesson," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They are playing great team hockey and they just exposed any weakness we had. They exposed it. They've done it to a few teams now. Real eye opener for me."

The Blues (5-3-2) have scored three goals and are 1-2-1 in their past four games.

"I think the overall game plan for me is more of a concern," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "If we stick to our game we're going to score goals and we're kind of getting away from that game plan. Simplify the game, get more traffic and we'll score goals."

Girardi gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 9:37 of the first period. Vesey scored a power-play goal 94 seconds later to make it 2-0. The Rangers scored three more in the second period.

Video: STL@NYR: Zuccarello taps home Kreider's pass for PPG

 

Goal of the game

Vesey's power-play goal was a result of some tic-tac-toe passing from defenseman Ryan McDonagh to Vesey to defenseman Brady Skjei to center Derek Stepan and finally back to Vesey at the left hash marks for a forehanded shot that beat Allen.

Video: STL@NYR: Vesey doubles the lead with close-range PPG

 

Save of the game

With the Rangers leading 2-0 in the first period, Lundqvist made a sprawling glove save on Robby Fabbri, who was sprung in alone by Pietrangelo and tried to beat the goalie with a backhanded shot at 15:04.

Video: STL@NYR: Lundqvist robs Fabbri with superb glove save

 

Highlight of the game

Vesey, Miller and Hayes put on a clinic of how to execute a 3-on-1 rush late in the second period. Vesey started it up the ice. Hayes and Miller joined. Miller cut inside, got the pass from Vesey, played it off his skate and moved it to Hayes for a glove-side one-timer.

Video: STL@NYR: Hayes lights the lamp with one-timer on rush

 

Unsung moment of the game

After forcing a turnover on Pietrangelo at the left point, McDonagh walled off the Blues captain, shielding him from the puck and allowing Kreider to get to it first. Kreider found Girardi at the point. His shot deflected off of Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko's stick and went in past Allen.

Video: STL@NYR: Girardi beats Allen to start the scoring

 

They said it

"Could've been 2-0, could've been 1-0, the way [the Rangers] were playing, they were in control. Their game was in control. They were in control. It's their team play. Their team play is excellent." -- Blues coach Ken Hitchcock

 

"Everybody is on the same page on how to help each other in our own end. A lot of times it starts in our own end, how we break out. That's really how you get speed to your game -- that first pass, close support. I'm super impressed, even with the new guys coming in here adjusting to this style. Sometimes that takes time but I think we have confidence in our system and one another, and we believe in it and try to execute it." -- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist

 

Video: STL@NYR: Allen stands tall to deny Miller all alone

 

Need to know

McDonagh had an assist to give him at least one in a career-high eight consecutive games. … Stepan's assist on Vesey's goal was the 200th of his NHL career. … Nash's goal was the 398th of his NHL career. … Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester played in his 1,000th career NHL game.

 

What's next

Blues: At the Dallas Stars on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Rangers: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, SN360, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lundqvist records 60th career shutout in 5-0 win

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