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game recap

Blues edge Rangers for fourth straight win

Hutton makes 32 saves, Schwartz has two points to help St. Louis stay undefeated

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The St. Louis Blues remained undefeated to start the season with a 3-1 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

The Blues (4-0-0) have won the first four games of the season for the second time in their history. They previously did it in 2013-14. 

Carl Gunnarsson, Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz scored for St. Louis. Carter Hutton made 32 saves in his first start of the season.  

 

[WATCH: All Blues vs. Rangers highlights]

 

The early-season winning streak is somewhat unexpected considering some of the Blues players out because of injury. 

Forward Alexander Steen (left hand) and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (left ankle) were injured in training camp and could return to the lineup soon, but forwards Patrik Berglund and Zach Sanford each are out long-term rehabbing from shoulder surgery, and forward Robby Fabbri is out for the season with a knee injury.

"It's the next man up, that's the mentality that our group has," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "We're not going to allow any excuses to creep in. I think our veteran players have really raised their game and stepped up and delivered in a big way for us. The guys that are filling in know they have to perform and we've seen that this year."

Video: STL@NYR: Gunnarsson scores 15 seconds into game

Gunnarsson scored 15 seconds into the first period to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. Schwartz had an assist, his fifth of the season, giving him at least one point in each of the first four games.

Mika Zibanejad tied the game 1-1 at 2:22 of the first period with a power-play goal. 

Schenn scored a power-play goal at 13:30 to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead. 

Schwartz added an empty-net goal with 1:47 remaining in the third period. He leads the Blues with seven points (two goals, five assists).

"It's early and there are still things that we can get better at, but sitting here 4-0, if you would have told us that before the year, it's hard to say," Schwartz said. "It's a nice feeling in here right now."

Video: STL@NYR: Lundqvist denies Paajarvi with right pad

Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for the Rangers (1-3-0), who have allowed the first goal in each of their three losses.

The Rangers fell behind at 5:29 of the first period before losing 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche in their season opener Thursday. They gave up a goal 2:30 into the first period of an 8-5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. It took 15 seconds against the Blues.

New York also benefitted from two disallowed goals in the first 10:00 of a 2-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

"That's on myself, the other leaders and the other guys in here," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "We've got to find a way to get this group going right from the start, understand the importance of a good first shift and keeping it simple."

Video: STL@NYR: Zibanejad buries PPG from the back door

 

Goal of the game

Schenn scored with a bank shot off Lundqvist. Paul Stastny's shot went wide to the left, caromed off the end boards and came back to Schenn at the left post. His shot hit Lundqvist and the puck went into the top-right corner of the net.

Video: STL@NYR: Schenn knocks in PPG from behind the net

 

Saves of the game

Hutton made a pad save on Marc Staal's redirection of McDonagh's shot at 11:05 of the third period. The Blues goalie stayed down on his side by the left post to make consecutive saves on Jimmy Vesey before covering the puck at 11:08.

Video: STL@NYR: Hutton sprawls for great series of saves

 

Highlight of the game

Lundqvist made a left pad save on Stastny during a St. Louis power play at 6:30 of the third. The puck came out to Rangers forward Michael Grabner, who took off on a shorthanded breakaway. Hutton made a shoulder save to preserve the 2-1 lead.

Video: STL@NYR: Hutton denies Grabner on breakaway

 

They said it

"No secret, we're missing top players on our team. Whether it's veteran players or goalies or whoever, guys are stepping up and that's what makes a good team. We're 4-0. We'll take it." -- Blues forward Brayden Schenn

 

"We lost a few games here. It's important that we get the urgency and realize how important the next game is and the game after that. You have to see it as a big game every night." -- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist

 

Need to know

Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk played his first game against the Blues since they traded him to the Washington Capitals on Feb. 27. Shattenkirk, who signed a four-year contract with New York on July 1, played seven seasons in St. Louis and is sixth all-time among defensemen in Blues history with 258 points (59 goals, 199 assists) in 425 games. … Zibanejad became the second player in Rangers history to score a goal in each of the first four games of a season. Rick Nash also did it in 2014-15, when he scored 42 goals in 79 games. 

 

What's next

Blues: At the Florida Panthers on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Rangers: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, TVA Sports, FS-O, MSG, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Schwartz, Hutton lead Blues to 3-1 win in New York

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