Latsch: Three takeaways from the Blues’ win over the Rangers
The St. Louis Blues got the kind of rebound effort they needed Thursday night in New York after their debacle against the Devils two nights earlier.
The Blues got goals from Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk and a strong effort from goalie Jaroslav Halak to beat the host Rangers 2-1.
St. Louis (34-11-5, 73 points), which plays at the New York Islanders on Saturday, had lost four of its previous six games, including a 7-1 loss at New Jersey on Tuesday night.
Here are three takeaways from the Blues’ win:
STEEN’S EARLY EXIT
Steen opened the scoring with a goal in the first period, his 26th of the season, that was assisted by Jaden Schwartz and David Backes. It was his second goal in two games and gave him four points in his last three games.
But everyone will be talking about the Blues’ leading scorer because he left the game after banging into the boards awkwardly in the second period. He tried to continue playing at first, then went to the locker room and did not return due to a lower-body injury.
Thursday’s game was just the fourth that Steen had played since returning from a concussion that cost him 11 games.
Both St. Louis goaltenders had a rough night in the loss to New Jersey, with Brian Elliott starting and allowing three goals and then Halak coming in and surrendering four more.
Halak (21-7-3) was brilliant against New York. He gave up a goal to Rick Nash in the second period, but that was the only blemish on his sheet. He stopped 34 of 35 shots on goal and helped the Blues pull out the much-needed victory.
It was a happy homecoming for Shattenkirk, a native of New Rochelle, N.Y. The defenseman scored the game-winning goal on the power play 3:09 into the third period.
It was the eighth goal of the season for Shattenkirk, who grew up a Rangers fan and was playing his first game in Madison Square Garden. The U.S. Olympian is just one goal away from his career high, which he set in 81 games during the 2011-12 season.
Shattenkirk was one of three Blues defensemen, along with Jay Bouwmeester and Barret Jackman, to score goals in a 4-1 win in Detroit on Monday.
You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter (@natelatsch) or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.