Blues start fast, defeat Rangers 3-1
NEW YORK -- Through three games, the St. Louis Blues had trailed for only 114 seconds.
They didn't add to that total Tuesday night as defenseman Carl Gunnarsson scored 15 seconds into the game and St. Louis went on to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers.
Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz also scored, and Carter Hutton made 32 saves in his first start of the season for the Blues (4-0-0).
Schwartz stole the puck away from Brady Skjei in the Rangers' zone on the first shift. Gunnarsson snuck down from the blue line and took a cross-ice pass from Schwartz, and quickly fired it past the glove of Henrik Lundqvist (20 saves). It was Gunnarsson's second goal of the season after he scored five in his first 189 games for St. Louis.
New York (1-3-0) tied it just over two minutes later on the power play. The Rangers cycled the puck around the zone before a Kevin Shattenkirk shot was stopped by Hutton. Pavel Buchnevich swept the rebound wide of the crease and onto the stick of Mika Zibanejad, who scored to tie the game at 1-1.
It was Zibanejad's fifth of the season -- he has scored in each of the Rangers' four games -- and his fourth with a man advantage.
The Blues retook the lead at 13:30 of the first period on the power play. After Steven Kampfer turned the puck over along the boards, it ended up on the stick of Schenn on the goal line, who banked it off the arm of Lundqvist to put St. Louis up 2-1.
Schwartz added an empty-net goal at 18:13 of the third period.
Lundqvist kept the Rangers' deficit at a goal midway through the second period when he stopped Scottie Upshall on a short-handed breakaway. The Blues forward chipped the puck past Ryan McDonagh at his defensive blue line before taking off, then denied by Lundqvist's right pad.
The Rangers nearly tied it after killing off the beginning of a five-on-three power play in the third, when Michael Grabner found himself on a breakaway. Hutton came to the top of his crease though and made the save.
NOTES: Blues F Dmitry Jaskin was scratched for missing a team meeting Tuesday. ... The Rangers assigned 18-year-old F Filip Chytil, taken with the No. 21 in the 2017 NHL Draft, to the AHL Hartford Wolfpack. ... Rangers D Kevin Shattenkirk played his first game against the Blues, whom he played 425 games for before being traded to the Washington Capitals last season.