NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
NY Rangers 1 1 0 2
St. Louis 1 0 0 1
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, December 31, 2018
Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 16,849

Blues look to improve penalty kill against Rangers

New York Rangers at St. Louis Blues

  1. The Blues have won three of their last four games against the Rangers including both games in 2017-18. Brayden Schenn scored the game-winning goal in OT for the Blues in the most recent game on March 17, 2018, one of his 28 game-winning goals since 2014-15, tied for fifth most in the NHL over that span.
  2. The Rangers defeated the Predators in Nashville on Saturday, their first win in regulation on the road this season. New York has allowed 72 goals in 17 road games this season, the most through this many road games of a season since 1988-89 (74 goals).
  3. The Blues fell to the Penguins at home on Saturday, 6-1. Nine of the Blues' losses this season have come by four or more goals, four more than the next closest teams (five teams with five). St. Louis has not lost nine or more games by four-plus goals in a full season since 1995-96 (10).
  4. Mika Zibanejad assisted on all four Rangers goals in the win over the Predators. It was his first career four-assist game. Zibanejad has 11 points (5g, 6a) in nine career skates against the Blues.
  5. David Perron scored the lone goal in the loss to the Penguins, giving him five points (2g, 3a) in his last three games with at least one in each. Perron has two point streaks of three games this season after having six point streaks of at least three games with the Golden Knights last season.
  6. The Rangers have allowed only seven goals in the first two minutes of any period this season, tied for fourth fewest in the NHL. The Blues have allowed just 13 goals in the last two minutes of any period this season, tied for fourth fewest in the league.

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues' penalty kill had been showing signs of leakage recently. The dam broke on Saturday.

The Blues went 0-for-4 on the penalty kill in a 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Enterprise Center.

It was the sixth time in seven games that the Blues have allowed a goal on a penalty kill unit that was once fourth in the league and killed off 23 straight at one point this season.

"They don't get those chances, you do the math, its 2-1, a much closer game," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo told NHL.com. "Tough to give those guys that many opportunities. Players like that not only get chances, but they feel better about the game with the puck on their sticks and they get that on the power play."

Blues interim coach Craig Berube acknowledged the trend.

"It slipped about the last five games I would say," Berube told NHL.com. "There are just mistakes that are made that can't happen. We have to do a better job of blocking shots in some scenarios. They're just mistakes we've got to clean up."

The Blues (15-17-4) entered the game seeking their first three-game winning streak of the season. They are now 0-4-0 after winning two straight and have been outscored 21-6 in those games.

"We weren't bad 5-on-5," Pietrangelo told NHL.com. "Penalty kill wasn't good enough tonight. There were some good things 5-on-5, but you still lose the game. We took our penalties 5-on-5. We've got to be a little smarter ... but things happen. Sometimes, you take weird penalties. You flip the puck over the glass. You've got to find a way to pick those guys up and kill those penalties."

The Blues will try to right the penalty kill as they host the New York Rangers (16-14-7) on Monday night, in the third game of a five-game home stand. It is the first meeting between the two teams after the Blues won both games last season.

The Rangers are coming off a 4-3 win at Nashville on Saturday night. The victory snapped a three-game skid, but the team has earned points in eight of its last 10 games.

Marc Staal and Jesper Fast scored third periods goals as the Rangers overcame a 3-2 deficit to beat the Predators.

"You could feel it," Rangers coach David Quinn told NHL.com. "There was excitement, guys understood what they needed to do. There was a different feel tonight for sure."

Before the game, the Rangers veterans held a team meeting stressing the importance about playing strong on the road trip heading into the All-Star Break.

"The guys had a meeting today and talked about playing winning hockey and understanding situational hockey, and I thought we did a heck of a job of it tonight," Quinn told NHL.com. "I give our leadership group a lot of credit. ... I give those guys a lot of credit because they took the bull by the horns, and we played winning hockey when it mattered."

Updated December 30, 2018

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