NEW YORK – While in the New York area, the St. Louis Blues witnessed an epic snowstorm and their most lopsided loss of the season. Despite the foot of snow, excitement and preparations for the Stadium Series games set for Yankee Stadium in the Bronx continued, but the Blues won’t be around for any of it.
After a 2-1 victory at Madison Square Garden, the Note looks to wrap up a four-game trip with their third victory. They will face the New York Islanders Saturday afternoon at the Nassau County Coliseum. After a demoralizing 7-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night, the St. Louis Blues recaptured their game against a surging New York Rangers squad.
St. Louis opened the scoring Tuesday night just over eight minutes in the first period when Alex Steen registered his 26th goal of the season. David Backes fired a pass to Jaden Schwartz who sent the puck across the ice to Steen. The Blues’ leading scorer was unable to get a stick on it, but the puck deflected off his skate and in off the blocker of Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundquist. Lundquist was seeing his first action since sitting earlier in the week due to illness.
The Blues kept their slight edge until the end of the second period. That is when good New York forechecking behind the Blues’ net led to the equalizer. Derek Stepan fought off a check from Olympic-bound defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and sent a pass to a closing Rick Nash. The Blueshirt sniper fired a one-timer past the glove side of St. Louis goaltender Jaroslav Halak to tie the score.
Toward the end of the period, St. Louis’ Alex Steen suffered a lower-body injury on a check from New York defenseman Dan Girardi and did not return for the third period. Despite the loss of their leading goal scorer, St. Louis continued to push for the lead and found a chance three minutes into the final period.
With Nash off for slashing Blues’ defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis went to work. On the ensuing face-off to the right of Lundquist, David Backes won the draw sending it back to Shattenkirk. After a pass to defense partner Alex Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk received a pass back and fired a low shot which beat the Rangers’ netminder between the legs.
It was Shattenkirk’s fourth game-winning goal of the season and it came with friends and family witnessing his return to New York, a place the Sochi-bound defenseman calls home in nearby New Rochelle, New York.
New York pushed to knot up the game pounding the St. Louis net, but Halak continued his stellar play stopping all seven shots in the final period and 34 of 35 for the game. The Blues returned to their disciplined team play and secured the victory on a night when division-rival Chicago lost in regulation at Minnesota.
Currently the Blues are in second place in the Central division with 73 points, just three points behind Chicago, but with three games in hand.
After Saturday afternoon’s game against the Islanders, the Blues return home to face the New Jersey Devils. It may be future HOF goaltender Martin Brodeur’s final visit to the Gateway City. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Central time at Scottrade Center.
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