Notes on the game
With the win, the Rangers record is 34-15-5 and they moved within a point of second place Pittsburgh and they still have a game in hand. They also have a game in hand on Washington and a comfortable eight point lead. FYI, the Rangers have a better points percentage than Pittsbugh, .676 to .673.
The Rangers have a record of 13-5-2 after a loss and along with Tampa and Boston are the only teams in the East who have not lost more than two consecutive games in regulation.
The Rangers record against teams currently in a playoff position is 13-13-2. They improved their record against the Central Division to 6-4-1.
Artemi Panarin had three points in a game for the seventh time this season. He is 14th in the NHL in scoring with 59 points and is sixth overall with 44 assists.
Adam Fox had three assists for the second time this season. His 46 assists are most among blueliners and fourth overall. He in third place in defensemen scoring with 53 total points, five points behind Cale Makar. He led all skaters, playing over 24 minutes.
Chris Kreider scored his 35th goal and he is two goals behind Auston Matthews and Leon Draisaitl who lead with 37. It was his 18 power play goal, tops in the NHL and two more than Draisaitl.
This was only the third time in his last 14 starts that Igor Shesterkin has allowed three goals in a game. He still leads the NHL with a .940 save percentage and a 1.98 goals against average.
In his grudge match against his good friend Pavel Buchnevich, Shesterkin stopped him on five shots including one breakaway.
It wasn’t a notable return for Buchnevich who got a video salute in the first period. The ex-Ranger finished with a plus/minus rating of -2.
Credit Mika Zibanejad with one huge save at the start of the second period when he stopped a puck from crossing the goal line and cleared it.
The Rangers blocked 23 shots in this game, led by Ryan Lindgren with four. His best was as time was winding down and he could barely stand up. Igor Shesterkin left the goal crease and literally was pushing Lindgren towards the bench since he was hobbled.
Jacob Trouba laid a big hit on Jordan Kyrou in the third period and was immediately attacked by Brayden Schenn. Both players got fighting majors when Schenn should have gotten an instigator penalty.
Trouba leads the team with six fighting majors and most of them have been when he has had to defend himself after a big hit. It’s ridiculous that a player who makes a hard, legal hit is forced to fight and the team that causes the altercation doesn’t get an additional penalty.
Two Ranger penalties, Dryden Hunt for boarding and Lafreniere for slashing, were the kind of infractions that happen all of the time in games, but never get called. The inconsistency of the calls is maddening and a huge problem for the NHL.
Greg McKegg gets a lot of grief from the fan base for his lack of scoring, but he was excellent on the late penalty kill, especially with Kevin Rooney out with an injury. Gallant said “Kegger was big. That’s what Kegger does for us. Sometimes you look at him out there and say he doesn’t bring us much offense, but he does that gritty stuff, he does the right thing with the puck and he did a great job on the PK.”
There was no word on the severity of the injury to Kevin Rooney who left the game in the second period with an upper body injury.
Patrik Nemeth scored his first goal as a Ranger after missing 11 of the last 12 games and not playing since February 20. It was his ninth NHL goal in 406 games.
The Rangers won the special teams battle, going 1-2 on the power play (one lasted only 16 seconds) and stopping the Blues three times. St. Louis has the second best power play in the NHL and the fifth best penalty kill. The Rangers power play is ranked fourth in the league and their penalty kill is seventh best.