On Thursday, the St. Louis Blues defenseman out of New Rochelle,
N.Y., played his first game as a pro at the Garden, scoring the
decisive goal in St. Louis' 2-1 win over the Rangers.
Shattenkirk, 24, delivered a power-play goal at 3:09 of the third
period that snapped a 1-1 tie for the Blues (34-11-5). He blasted a
shot from just inside the right point for his eighth goal of the
campaign from defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and center David Backes.
Rangers left winger Rick Nash, who scored the lone goal for New
York, was serving two minutes for slashing.
The goal was St. Louis' league best 42nd on the power-play this
season and one that Shattenkirk's boyhood idol, former Ranger
defenseman Brian Leetch, would be proud of.
"There's a lot of things I watched in him (Leetch) growing up,"
Shattenkirk said. "He was a very special player and I try to emulate
him as best I can. Those were areas (power play) that he shined in."
Shattenkirk estimated there were 70 friends and family at the game.
"Before the game was a little nerve racking," he admitted. "Then
after a couple of shifts it felt like a regular hockey game. Once
the goal happened it was more of a relief. I could hear some people
Shattenkirk, who will be making his Olympic debut in Sochi, ranks
fourth among American-born defenseman in points with 144 since
entering the league in 2010-11.
"He (Shattenkirk) is really good on the power play," said Blues
coach Ken Hitchcock. "You give him that type of one-timer it's going
to be on the net."
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 shots for the Blues. Goalie
Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves for New York (27-23-3).
"We expected a tough challenge, but we played really well,"
Lundqvist said. "5-on-5 we did a great job. It just came down to one
St. Louis is 14-3-5 in one-goal games. New York, losers of two
straight, is 12-9-3 in one-goal games. The Blues killed off three
"We're back to the pursuit game," said Hitchcock of the league's
eighth best penalty-killing unit. We were quiet and tentative at the
start of the game, thinking something bad was going to happen. When
we got through the first period 1-0 it just seemed like everything
went back to normal."
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The Rangers broke through to tie the score at 1 at 18:17 of the
second period. Halak stopped 24 New York shots before Nash connected
for his 17th goal, a wrist shots from the left circle. Center Derek
Brassard and defenseman Ryan McDonough had the assists.
Nash took four of New York's 16 shots on goal in the period. He's on
a hot streak, scoring six goals in his last four games. Nash is the
only active player with a streak of nine consecutive 20-goal
Alexander Steen's hard work paid off midway through the first
period. The St. Louis left winger kept poking at the puck in the
crease until it finally trickled in for his 26th goal of the season
and 99th for the Blues, who led 1-0 at 8:38.
Steen left the ice after two periods with a lower-body injury and
did not return. Hitchcock said Steen was day-to-day.
NOTES: Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist is 0-4-0 against St. Louis. ...
Blues G Jaroslav Halak is 10-3-1 on the road this season. ... The
Rangers acquired D Kevin Klein from the Nashville Predators for D
Michael Del Zotto. Klein was tied for 22nd in the NHL in blocked
shots with 94 going into Thursday's game. He blocked two shots in
15:46 of ice time against the Blues. ... The Blues will spend Friday
in New Haven, Conn., at Yale's Ingalls Rink in a benefit to raise
money for the foundation that bears the name of St. Louis C Jaden
Schwartz's sister. Mandi Schwartz, who played for the Yale women's
team, died in 2011 at 23 from leukemia. ... Jaden Schwartz skated in
his 100th game for the Blues on Thursday. ... Rangers LW Chris
Kreider began the night tied for second in the NHL in scoring among
rookies with 30 points. ... St. Louis RW Vladimir Tarasenko returned
to the ice after missing two games with flu-like symptoms. ... The
Rangers have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 31 of 53 games
this season, including eight of their last nine and 10 of their last
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