In a game that ended in a 5-0 final, somehow it was the goalie who shined the brightest.
Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves, stopping every St. Louis Blue shot fired his way, and the New York Rangers took down the defending Western Conference finalists by the aforementioned 5-0 final. It was the 60th shutout of Lundqvist‘s storied career, and first of the 2016-17 season.
In the Rangers’ first meeting with the Blues, they lost 3-2 despite holding St. Louis to no shots in the final period. This time, the Rangers held the Blues to a goose egg in a more important category…goals. They kept the Blues at bay by scoring early, scoring often, and scoring on the power play.
Dan Girardi opened things up, scoring just before the halfway point of the first period to give the Rangers their de facto game winning goal. The goal was assisted by Chris Kreider, making his first appearance in four games after missing time due to back spasms, as well as Ryan McDonagh, who extended his assist streak to eight games, the first Rangers defenseman to do so since Brian Leetch did so for nine games in 1996.
Speaking of hot streak, Jimmy Vesey continued his, scoring on the power play for his team high sixth goal of the season, giving the Rangers (7-3-0) a 2-0 lead after the first.
In the second, Vesey helped one of his linemates edge closer to the team’s goal lead,
assisting on a Rick Nash goal that Nash deflected off the skate of Jake Allen for the 3-0 lead. Another power play goal, one that chased Allen from net, was scored by Mats Zuccarello, with helpers coming from Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. The Rangers capped the scoring off with Carter Hutton in net, as Kevin Hayes scored his third of the season from Vesey and JT Miller, also capping off a 3-point night for Vesey. Lundqvist did his thing in net, earning his first career shutout against St. Louis (5-3-2) and first overall since February 21 of last season.
Adding five more to their tally on Monday night, the Rangers now have 40 goals on the young year, tops in the NHL, and completing that feat for the first time since the 1992-93 season. In addition, Monday marked the 12th time in Rangers history that they obtained at least seven wins in their first ten games.
The Rangers will look to keep momentum alive on Thursday, when they square off with the Edmonton Oilers at home (7:00, MSG).