New York Rangers (32-32-7) at St. Louis Blues (37-28-5)
NHL: Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. ET
The Rangers have won two straight after dropping three in a row and they are coming off a 4-3 OT win over the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. In their recent three-losses they totaled six goals while in their last two wins they have totaled 10. New York ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of goals per game while their defense only ranks 25th in the league in goals allowed. The Rangers have given up three goals in each of their last two games. Very early in the season in the Big Apple the Rangers lost to the Blues 3-1.
The Blues had their two-game win streak snapped in their last game where they only scored one goal while totaling 11 in their previous two games. St. Louis has followed their seven-game losing streak by winning three of their last six games. While they rank a solid 7th in the league in goals allowed they only rank 25th in goals per game.
Zibanejad plays the hero
In their last game the Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in OT where Mika Zibanejad played the hero with a late 3rd period goal to tie the game and then netting the game winner in OT. New York was outshot 40-33 and after being down 2-0 entering the 3rd period they scored three goals and they scored two of the goals on the power-play. Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast also found the back of the net for the Blues. Alexandar Georgiev (3-2-0 2.76 GAA) stopped 37 of 40 shots and he has given up three goals in each of his last two starts. #1 GK Henrik Lundqvist (25-23-6 2.92 GAA) may get the start in between the pipes in this game and the Rangers have lost his last three starts where he has given up a total of nine goals. Mats Zuccarello leads the team in points, Michael Grabner leads them in goals, and three players for the team have at least 20 goals. Zuccarello has scored four goals in his last five games. New York is only one point out of the basement in the Metropolitan Division and on the season they are 12-19-3 on the road.
Many shots only lead to one goal
The Blues were at home in their last game where they lost to Colorado Avalanche 4-1 where they took 45 shots, only giving up 23, but only scored one goal. They gave up two goals in the first period and gave up two more after Joel Edmundson scored the lone goal in the game for St. Louis in the middle of the 2nd period. Jake Allen (21-12-2 2.76 GAA) did not have a great game giving up three goals on 22 shots and he had not given up more than two goals in his previous three starts. Allen should get the start in this game and he was not in the net in the early season win over the Rangers this season. Brayden Schenn leads the team in points, Vladimir Tarasenko leads them in goals, and this duo has combined for 51 goals on the season. Schenn only has one point on one assist in his last five games. St. Louis is in 2nd to last place in the Central Division 25 points back of the Nashville Predators and this season they are 20-15 at home.
The New York Rangers are:
- 8-17 in their last 25 overall
- 3-13 in their last 16 vs. a team with a winning record
- 5-13 in their last 18 road games
- 1-9 in their last 10 vs. Central
The St. Louis Blues are:
- 6-2 in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference
- 11-5 in their last 16 vs. Metropolitan
- 121-59 in their last 180 vs. a team with a losing record
While the Blues have lost four of their last five home games they face a Rangers team that has dropped 13 of their last 18 road games. Early in the season the Blues beat the Rangers 3-1 in New York and the outcome of this game will be similar, as the Blues will get back to playing solid defense. St. Louis will get the win and snap the Rangers two-game win streak.