New York Rangers (1-0) vs. St. Louis Blues (2-0)
NHL: Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 8:00pm EST
Line: St. Louis -125/New York +113
The St. Louis Blues will host the New York Rangers Saturday night from the Scottrade Center. The Rangers won both meetings against the Blues last season by a score of 2-1 and 6-3. The Rangers defeated the Islanders 5-3 Thursday night, and the Blues edged the Wild 3-2 to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Rangers Explode in Third Period in Win Over Islanders
The New York Rangers started their season on the right foot by defeating their cross-town nemesis the New York Islanders. The Rangers broke a tie in the third period and proceeded to score three goals in under eight minutes to seal the deal. Chris Kreider led the way with a game winning goal goal and added an assist and fired seven shots on goal in the win. The speedy winger only put up 43 points last season, and should put up around 45-50 points this season. One player to watch for is J.T. Miller, who is a player on the rise, scoring a career- high 22 goals in his first full NHL season last year, and the former first round pick could surpass that total this season. Miller scored a goal in the Rangers win Thursday night, and played on a line with Rick Nash.
Henrik Lundqvist will be between the pipes in this contest, after making 25 saves on 28 shots Thursday night against the Islanders.. King Henry had another solid season last year, but his numbers weren’t quite up to par as in previous seasons. The former Vezina award winner posted a 2.48 GAA last season compared to a 2.25 GAA in 2014-2015. Defensman Kevin Klein is questionable with a back injury.
Blues Edge Wild in Second Straight Victory
The St. Louis Blues come into this contest having won two straight to start the season with both wins coming against tough conference opponents. The Blues spoiled the Blackhawks home opener Wednesday night and followed that up defeating the Wild 3-2 in their home opener Thursday night. Paul Statsny is off to a hot start, collecting one goal and three assists through two games. The 30-year old center only scored 10 goals last season with 39 assists, however he should surpass those totals this season as the first line center. One player to watch for is Nail Yakupov who the Blues acquired for very cheap last week from the Oilers. The former first overall pick never really found his groove with the Oilers, and rumours surfaced he wanted out of Edmonton last season after notching only 23 points in 60 games.The speedy right winger scored his first goal in the 3-2 win Thursday night and also collected an assist, and could have a breakout season as he does feature great talent.
Jake Allen is expected to get the call in net after two great performances to begin the season, stopping 36 of 40 shots. This is Allen’s team now after the departure of Brian Elliot, meaning Allen will definitely start a majority of the games. Allen posted a solid 2.35 GAA in 47 games last season.
The New York Rangers are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 games following a win.
- 1-5 in their last 6 games after scoring 5 or more goals in their previous game.
The St. Louis Blues are:
- 13-3 in their last 16 games when playing their third game in four nights.
- 8-3 in their last 11 games against the Eastern Conference.
- 66-27 in their last 93 Saturday games.
I like the Blues in this contest. St. Louis has looked great through the first two games, beating two good teams in Chicago and Minnesota. The Blues are a dominant home team, going 24-13-4 at the Scottrade Center, last year while the Rangers barely went above .500 on the road last season. I like the Blues top six forwards, and overall the Blues play a tighter defensive game than the Rangers. The Blues have looked great in their first two games and I can’t go against them at home.