Keys To Rangers-Blues Tilt

By: David Kolb

ST. LOUIS BLUES (5-2-2) @ NEW YORK RANGERS (6-3-0)

Alain Vigneault talks about the importance of Chris Kreider's return, the status of Pavel Buchnevich's injury and how Kevin Hayes has improved this season.

KREIDER’S BACK

Goal scoring, which has not been an issue for this year’s New York Rangers, will get a boost tonight as Chris Kreider (neck) returns to the lineup. In five games before suffering the injury, Kreider scored three goals with four assists for seven points.

GETTING EVEN

Tonight’s game is the second of two meetings between the Rangers and Blues this season. The Blues defeated the Rangers 3-2 on Oct. 15 in St. Louis. Kreider and Mika Zibanejad each recorded two points (one goal, one assist) as the Blueshirts fell short despite outshooting the Blues 15-0 in the third period.

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TIGHT GAMES

Based on the history between these two teams, expect another tight game tonight. Going back to Nov. 3, 2002, 15 of the 18 meetings between the Rangers and Blues have been decided by two goals or less. 13 of those games were one-goal games.

BEATING ALLEN

Blues goalie Jake Allen, who will be in net tonight, comes to The Garden red-hot after recording a shutout win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Allen closed out October with a 4–1–2 record and 1.83 goals against average with a .923 save percentage, including a win against the Blueshirts.

LOVIN’ THE HOME ICE

The Rangers have posted a 5-1-0 record at home this season and have outscored their opponents 27-14 over the six games at Madison Square Garden. Coach Alain Vigneault has utilized the last change at home expertly to provide the Rangers with key matchup advantages. Tonight, look for AV to keep his top scorers away from the top St. Louis defensive pairing of Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo.