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Rangers Vs. Blues: A Costly Win

Notes from the Rangers win over the Blues.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

- I set a bar for the New York Rangers before the season began, a point total I thought they should be aiming for in Derek Stepan's absence. I figured anything over 12 points would be really good in the 10 games Stepan has to miss. Well, it might not have been pretty at times, but the Rangers got two big points last night. That's a great road win against a really good team, and the Rangers did it without their number one center and half a game without a top four defenseman.

- Speaking of Dan Boyle: Loved what I saw from him, and then he got hurt. He's out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. Good news: he can still condition with a broken hand. Bad news: the Rangers are going to miss him ... a lot. The Rangers do have options to replace Boyle, don't get me wrong, they're just not good options. More on this tomorrow.

- Rick Nash? Two goals (including the game winner) and an assist. Chris Kreider? A goal and an assist. Martin St. Louis? Two assists and he hit the crossbar. That line registered seven points and scored all three of the Rangers goals. Nash looked like vintage Nash. Kreider looked better than he did all of last year. St. Louis didn't look totally uncomfortable at center -- and he won 36% of his faceoffs, which was about as good as I think any of us expected.

- A note on the Kreider goal. First of all, that pass from Nash was insane. Right on the tape as Kreider is picking up speed. Also, if you watch the replay, look at how much separation Kreider generates from the blue line until he scores the goal. You can't teach speed, and Kreider is just one of many players on this year's squad who has a plethora of it. Kreider also caused the turnover on the first goal with a nice hit. He was a monster all game. Easily one of the Rangers best forwards.

- Henrik Lundqvist wasn't too busy in the first, but my word was he a monster in the third. He made two or three brilliant saves, and kept steadying the ship when the Rangers defensemen were gassed thanks to Boyle's absence. Ryan McDonagh -- who played great -- played over 28 minutes, while Dan Girardi logged over 26. Alain Vigneault had to shorten his bench with Boyle out, and it showed in the third. The Rangers defenseman just looked tired.

- Not a good game from John Moore. I love that he uses his speed to carry the puck into the zone and streaks behind the net, but when he does that he has to know if he has coverage. Thursday night he didn't, threw the puck into the slot and it resulted in a 2-on-1 the other way. That can't happen. His coverage on the Blues' first goal was pretty bad, too. Hopefully it's just first night jitters.

- Thought Kevin Klein had a really good game, though. Liked what I saw from Marc Staal. And like I implied above, Girardi and McDonagh were monsters. I don't think Girardi is a dirty player, but that's an ugly hit. Glad Paul Stastny is OK.

- There were whispers Jesper Fast might not be OK for Saturday's matchup in Columbus. Did you guys see the lump on his arm when they showed it on the telecast? I can't believe he even played. He was slow on the re-defend during the Blues' second goal, too. That's not like him and he really didn't look like himself after the blocked shot. If Kevin Hayes is healthy we might get a look at him Saturday.

- I thought Anthony Duclair looked really good. He made a few nice plays and looked fine on the power play. In the second -- when the Rangers started their march to the penalty box -- Vigneault had to keep him grounded (which made total sense). In the end, Duclair saw about 11 minutes of ice time, but didn't look out of place at all. I think he would have played more if the Rangers were more disciplined, but it's a good first game under his belt against a good team.

- Really happy with Lee Stempniak. Really good game.

- Maybe my expectations were really low, but Tanner Glass was fine last night. Made two great plays in the offensive zone that resulted in turnovers and a couple of nice plays on the penalty kill. He played 14 minutes and Vigneault had him out with less than a minute left and the game on the line. That means he's here to stay, guys.

- Not a good game from Mats Zuccarello at all. Derick Brassard looked OK. J.T. Miller was also fine, but not as involved in the offensive zone.