ST. LOUIS (AP) New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist celebrated a milestone night in style.
Chris Kreider and Tanner Glass scored and Lundqvist made 35 saves as the New York Rangers beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Thursday night.
Lundqvist got his 30th victory of the season, joining Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy as the only goalies in NHL history to have at least 30 wins in 10 different seasons.
“Growing up, those guys were guys I was watching and now I’m up there with wins,” Lundqvist said. “To me, it’s just a sign of I’ve been given a chance for a lot of years. I’ve been lucky to play with a lot of good players and been able to have a competitive team every year.”
Lundqvist also passed Mike Richter as the team’s all-time regular season saves leader with stop on Vladimir Tarasenko‘s wrist shot late in the first period.
“Every game you know that you’re going to get his best effort and you’re going to get great preparation and he’s going to give you a chance to win and that’s what you want from your goaltender,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.
Fittingly, Lundqvist’s save on Scottie Upshall‘s breakaway led to the game-winning goal. Seconds after the pad save, Oscar Lindberg found Kreider in the slot to make it 2-1 at 4:18 of the third period.
“That’s a big moment and gives us a lot of confidence,” Lundqvist said. “I think they’re a heavy team, they’re a good team and I thought we did a really good job of defending.”
Upshall thought Lundqvist was going into a butterfly on the breakaway so he tried to beat him high.
“Those are plays in the game that are momentum changers,” Upshall said. “That play ends up being the play of the game and when you are on the other side of that it’s tough.”
Kreider gave Lindberg the credit for the game-winner.
“It was an effort play,” Kreider said. “He had a guy on his back basically the entire way up the ice, got dragged down and is still able to make the play.”
Glass put the Rangers up 1-0 with 6:46 to go in the first after tipping a shot by Dan Girardi from the point over Jake Allen‘s right shoulder. It was Glass’ second goal of the season and first in 29 games.
Blues forward Jori Lehtera was hit in the face with the puck with just over a minute left in the first and didn’t return.
Brouwer’s power-play goal for the Blues with a little more than 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the second tied the game at 1-1. It came 55 seconds after Girardi received a double-minor for high-sticking Tarasenko.
Brouwer’s goal extended the Blues’ power-play scoring streak at home to six games, the longest streak for St. Louis since a six-game span from Dec. 31, 2005, to Jan. 26, 2006.
Lundqvist kept the game tied with several tough saves, including gloving Colton Parayko‘s wrist shot in the second period and stopping Dmitrij Jaskin on a point-blank chance early in the third.
“We had an empty net three times in the second period and didn’t bear down,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “You only get so many cracks at it. We’ve got to see change here.”
Allen made 22 saves in his first start since suffering a lower-body injury on Jan. 8.
The Rangers now have a four-game points streak against the Blues (3-0-1) and 14 of the last 17 meetings between the teams have been decided by two goals or fewer.
“I thought the third period was our best tonight,” Vigneault said. “We made a couple of mistakes early there, a couple of turnovers that led to grade `A’ chances, but we were able to make a couple of grade `A’ saves and we were able to counter.”
NOTES: Blues F Ryan Reaves served the first of a three-game suspension for a hit on San Jose’s Matt Tennyson on Monday. … Blues placed G Brian Elliott (lower body) on long-term injured reserve Tuesday and recalled G Pheonix Copley and F Ty Rattie from Chicago of the AHL. … Rangers assigned D Brady Skjei to Hartford of the AHL on Wednesday. … D Marc Staal (lower body) and D Ryan McDonagh (jaw contusion/neck spasms) returned to the Rangers’ lineup.