Girardi Hurt as Rangers Fall to Blues, 3-2

fullsizeoutput_527The Rangers peppered the St. Louis net with 15 shots in the 3rd period Saturday night but could not solve goaltender Carter Hutton, and the Blueshirts fell to the Blues 3-2.

Defenseman Dan Girardi left the game in the 2nd period with what was described as a hip flexor injury, and did not return to the game.

Chris Kreider scored his 2nd goal in as many games, and lineman Mika Zibanejad scored his first goal of the season.

Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead just 73 seconds into the game, his 3rd goal of the young season, on the team’s first shot of the game, but Kreider evened the game at 5:25 of the 1st, putting a rebound past Hutton. Kreider had seven shots on goal for the 2nd straight game.

Paul Stastny made it 2-1 St. Louis with a goal with 2:28 to play in the 1st. And when Alex Pietrangelo scored a power play goal 2:28 into the 2nd period, the Blues had a 3-1 lead.

But the Blueshirts answered quickly. Zibanejad flicked a backhand past Hutton 30 seconds later to cut the lead to 3-2. The Rangers would get no closer. Hutton finished with 33 saves.

Henrik Lundqvist made 15 saves in the loss.

Girardi’s injury affects an already-depleted Rangers’ defensive corps. Kevin Klein is listed as day-to-day with a back injury and as missed the team’s first two games. Adam Clendening and Nick Holden each logged big minutes Saturday, and Girardi’s injury could mean playing time for Dylan McIlrath, who was a healthy scratch Saturday.

The Rangers [now 1-1-0, 2 pts] host the San Jose Sharks Monday night at The Garden.