Pregame Analysis

Rangers Look to Build Momentum Vs. Blues

Fresh off their first victory on Sunday night, the New York Rangers will look to earn consecutive wins for the first time this season as they continue their early season Madison Square Garden parties against the St. Louis Blues (7:00 PM EST, MSG).

The Rangers (1-2-0) put a stop to an early season slide, shutting out the Montreal Canadians 2-0 in their previous game. Brady Skjei opened the scoring with a late first period goal, while Mika Zibanejad scored in the third period, his fourth of the season. Zibanejad, who has scored in each of the Rangers’ three games thus far, is currently locked in a four-way tie for second in the NHL’s goal leaders. Henrik Lundqvist, meanwhile, recovered from a tough outing in Toronto on Saturday night, making 34 saves for the 62nd shutout of his career, a tally that broke a 16th place tie on the all-time shutouts list. Patrick Roy is next on the list at 66. On another historic note, Lundqvist, who will start tonight, can tie Glenn Hall for ninth all-time in wins with a victory tonight.

Meanwhile, the Blues (3-0-0) are one of six undefeated teams remaining in the NHL. They’ll wrap up a back-to-back New York City road trip, as they defeated the New York Islanders in shootout fashion at Barclays Center yesterday in a holiday matinee. Superstar Vladimir Tarasenko scored both St. Louis regulation goals in the second period, before scoring the winner in the shootout portion, which lasted just two rounds. Brayden Schenn had the shootout goal, while Jake Allen made the necessary pair of stops.

This will be the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Blues this season, with the teams splitting a pair last season, each winning on their home ice. The Rangers dominated the matchup at MSG last November, winning 5-0 behind a three-point night from Jimmy Vesey (one goal, two assists). Lundqvist made 35 saves in a shutout effort. Carter Hutton, tonight’s expected Blues starter, stole the October set, making 33 saves, including 14 in a third period where his teammates mustered no shots, in a 3-2 St. Louis win.

Following tonight’s game, the Rangers next play Friday in Columbus (7:00, MSG).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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