Lundqvist reminds us how special his career has been in win vs. Blues

AP
8 Comments

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.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

blackhawks
Harry How/Getty Images
13 Comments

CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

Getty Images
3 Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

tampa bay lightning
Scott Audette/Getty Images
2 Comments

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
Julian Avram/Getty Images
2 Comments

TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.