Elliott and stingy Blues host Rangers
Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers are no strangers to posting shutouts, but they saw the tables turned on them last time out.
Given the hot play of St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, the Rangers' offense could be in for another long night.
Elliott and the Blues look to wrap a five-game homestand with four wins this evening while the Rangers hope to extend their road winning streak to five straight.
St. Louis has won three in a row after dropping the opener of its residency on Dec. 3 and is coming off a 1-0 victory over the Sharks this past Saturday. The win was the Blues' seventh in nine games and improved them to 11-2-3 under Ken Hitchcock since he took over as head coach following the firing of Davis Payne on Nov. 6.
Elliott has been key to that surge, allowing two goals or less in 13 of his 14 starts. He made 24 saves in his fourth shutout of the season and 13th of his career on Saturday and leads the NHL with a 1.45 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.
Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the lone goal versus the Sharks, converting at the end of a 5-on-3 power play late in the first period.
"It was workmanlike," Hitchcock said of his team's performance. "It wasn't pretty and it isn't ever going to be pretty against a team that's as big and competitive as San Jose is. But I just thought from forwards to [defensemen] to everybody, we just battled."
The Rangers were on the wrong end of a 1-0 decision on Tuesday, dropping a home game to the Stars. Dallas goaltender Richard Bachman stopped all 34 shots in his second career start, including 13 in each of the final two frames.
Lundqvist made 27 saves and stayed in the game despite taking a howitzer shot from the Stars' Sheldon Souray near his left collarbone in the second period. He was tended to on the ice by a trainer, but stayed in the game.
The Rangers came into Tuesday's contest having gone 14-3-2 in their previous 19.
"We played hard. I thought as far as the zone time we spent quite a bit of time in their zone," said New York head coach John Tortorella. "But I still don't think we generated enough offense. We had some really good chances, three or four of them, but certainly not enough sustained."
New York, which opens a three-game road trip, snapped a four-game slide to the Blues with a 2-1 victory in St. Louis on Jan. 8 of last season.