St. Louis Blues vs. New York Rangers: Game Preview


The St. Louis Blues begin a quick two-game, two-night road trip on Monday evening in New York, attempting to split their season with the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers. The Blues lost 3-2 to the Rangers on opening night, which was one of only two losses that the Blues have suffered in their six games on home ice this season.

The Rangers are unlikely to be any easier for the Blues to defeat in Madison Square Garden. While their record could be better at 5-4-1, the Rangers have generally been very effective on their home ice and can use their impressive core of players to make things rough for any opponent.

It’s possible that the Blues could get back one of the players that scored in the season opener, center Paul Stastny, on Monday night.  The talented forward, who has been out with a shoulder injury since the opening moments of the Blues’ fourth game, has been participating in practice for the past week. He made the trip with the Blues, and coach Ken Hitchcock said that it’s now in Stastny’s hands as to when he returns.

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On the flip side, the Blues will once again be limited by injuries on Monday, even if Stastny does come back. Forward T.J. Oshie will miss his third straight game with a concussion. Forward Ryan Reaves suffered an upper body injury on Saturday, and his status also is not clear for Monday night’s game. With that said, Reaves fought through a bout with the team-wide bacterial infection last week and played in Dallas despite spending time in the hospital, so it would be somewhat surprising if he ended up missing this game.

Brian Elliott will start in goal for the Blues on Monday night, with Jake Allen expected to get the nod on Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils. With it being a back-to-back, it wouldn’t be surprising to see defenseman Jordan Leopold inserted into the lineup at some point, whether it be against New York or New Jersey.