The New York Rangers weren’t swept, but they were severely outplayed in last season’s Stanley Cup series. In their 2014-2015 NHL season opener, it didn’t seem to affect them, with another big game from Rick Nash, which is only natural once he faces the St. Louis Blues.
Nash scored twice and had an assist on the third goal as the Rangers started the season with a road win over the Blues. Nash now has 23 goals and 43 points in 51 regular season games against the Blues, a fact someone mentioned to him only after this win. I didn’t know I had success against them. It seems like it is one of the toughest places to play. Being in Columbus so long, it was such a tough building to come into and have success. Too bad we don’t play them more.
Henriq Lundqvist made 23 saves, Martin St. Louis had a couple of assists and Chris Kreider, who assisted Nash on the first goal, also scored one. But not all was good news from their win on the road, as the Rangers announced after the game that Dan Boyle will be out for at least a month and maybe more for suffering a broken hand after blocking a shot during his debut for the Rangers.
The Blues came back twice to even the score with goals by Jaden Schwartz and Paul Stastny. However, just like in the first goal, when some intense pressure from Kreider allowed Nash to open the scoring, it was the Blues being unable to clear the puck from their own half resulting in the Rangers scoring. St. Louis was the quickest to react to that turnover, and provided a fancy pass to Nash in order to score the game winning goal with less than two minutes left to play.
From the way Lundqvist described the clash after it was all over, it seemed like he was almost surprised the Rangers came away with the win. It’s not easy to come in here and beat this team. They are always good at home. Physical team. Smart team. They made a couple of mistakes in their own end which we took advantage of. They kept coming hard in the third but we responded pretty well.
Anthony Duclair, a third round pick from the 2013 NHL draft, made his debut for the Rangers. The left winger played just over 11 minutes on the ice. Jori Lehtera, a 2008 draft pick by the Blues, also made his debut in the NHL. The center played just over 16 minutes, managing to get one shot at goal.