The New York Rangers picked up their first two points of the season tonight, and defeated the St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-2. Rick Nash had a monster of a game, coming away with two goals and an assist, which included the game winning goal late in the third period. Henrik Lundqvist also had a pretty big game as well, and kept the Rangers above the water when the Blues started to turn up the pressure late in the game.
The Rangers didn't waste much time getting on the board, as Rick Nash picked up his first goal of the game just four minutes into the game. Chris Kreider deserves a ton of credit on the goal, as he made two big plays to knock the puck loose, and finally tapped it over to Nash with a one handed pass. At that point, Nash had all the time in the world to pick his spot, and ripped a wicked wrist shot right over the pad of Brian Elliott. The Rangers played exceptional defense all throughout the first period, which allowed them to take the 1-0 lead into the intermission, and lead 16-8 in shots.
The second period was a bit.....interesting to say the least. It consisted off a whole lot of penalties on both sides, and the game wound up taking a physical turn for the worst. Things got really ugly when Dan Girardi took a run at Paul Stastny, and wound up catching him with a knee-on-knee hit. The hit could have easily resulted in an ejection for Girardi, but luckily for the Rangers, it only wound up being two minutes.
The Rangers were able to kill off the ensuing power play, and held on to their 1-0 lead heading into the third period. That lead didn't last long however, as Jaden Schwartz knotted the game up just a minute into the third period. David Backes set up the goal with a long wrist shot from the blue line, which Henrik Lundqvist had trouble with, and kicked the rebound right out at the top of his crease. Schwartz was coming in hard on the forecheck, and just barely got the tip of his stick on the puck to pop it over Lundqvist's glove.
Just over five minutes later, the Rangers responded with another goal of their own as Chris Kreider ripped a shot over the pad of Elliott to make it 2-1. Rick Nash made a beautiful play in the neutral zone, and found Kreider all alone at the blue line, and he finished the rest.
Both teams continued to trade goals though as the Blues once again tied up the game with a little over nine minutes remaining in regulation. Vladimir Tarasenko wound up coming away with the goal as he backed three different Rangers players in on the net, and ripped it through Girardi's legs to cap it off. The Blues continued to amp up the pressure following the goal, but Henrik Lundqvist was up to the task completely.
With under two minutes remaining in the game, the Rangers finally put together some offensive zone pressure, and it wound up paying off on the score sheet. After a strange bounce off of the stanchion on a clearing attempt, Martin St. Louis found himself in alone with Rick Nash trailing the play a few feet behind him. St. Louis pulled up, slipped a pass under the stick of the defender, and found Nash cutting into the slot for the game winning goal. That wound up being Nash's second of the game, and he started off the season quieting his haters from last season.
The Rangers will have an off day tomorrow, before they head in to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. That will be followed up by the home opener Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.