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Rangers Fall to Blues in St. Louis

Blueshirts outshoot St. Louis 15-0 in third period

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

The first road game of the season resulted in the first defeat of the season, as the Rangers fell to the St. Louis Blues, 3-2, at Scottrade Center.

Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad each scored a goal and an assist, while Henrik Lundqvist finished with 15 saves.

"I thought we played a really good game, especially in the third," Lundqvist said, referring to the third period when the Rangers outshot the Blues 15-0. "Really strong period. I think we created enough chances to tie it and even win this game. They made some big saves there in the end."

The Blues jumped out to a lead just 1:13 into the contest when Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a breakaway on St. Louis' first shot of the game. It was Tarasenko's third goal of the season.

"You'd like to have a couple shots before you face that guy on a breakaway," Lundqvist said.

But Kreider answered back quickly when he scooped up a pass from Zibanejad and fired a low shot stick side that beat Carter Hutton to tie the game, 1-1, at 5:25 of the opening stanza.

Video: NYR@STL: Kreider levels the score with quick wrister

St. Louis would regain the lead late in the first period on a goal by Paul Stastny, and would extend it to 3-1 on a power play goal by Alex Pietrangelo 2:28 into the middle frame.

Zibanejad traded in the assists for his first goal of the season just 30 seconds later. Kreider sent a pass off the boards in the neutral zone that Zibanejad carried into St. Louis' zone and sent a backhand shot on net that found space between Hutton and the post to get the Rangers back to within a goal. 

The Rangers had several opportunities to tie the game in the opening minutes of the third period, including a post by Zibanejad and another chance by J.T. Miller that was denied by Hutton. 

The final Blues shot on goal coming with 1:16 remaining in the second period. St. Louis managed just seven shots after the first period. 

"I don't think we can play much better than we did in the third," Lundqvist said. "We just have to tie it up there. It was close."

Despite the loss, head coach Alain Vigneault was pleased with the way his team played, especially in the final period when it pushed for the equalizer but came up short.

"There was no quit in our team," Vigneault said. "Other than 10 minutes in the first period I thought our whole group played extremely well considering the fact we were down to 5 Ds early."

Defenseman Dan Girardi, who assisted on Kreider's goal, left the game after the second period with a hip flexor. Vigneault said at this time, he'd call Girardi "a little bit more than day to day." He played just 7:56.

The Rangers return home Monday to take on the San Jose Sharks.

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