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Alain Vigneault coaches his 400th game with Rangers

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches against the

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches against the Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 3. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ST. LOUIS — Alain Vigneault coached his 400th game with the Rangers on Saturday against the Blues, becoming the fourth coach in franchise history to reach that plateau, along with Emile Francis, Lester Patrick and Frank Boucher.

Vigneault, 56, is in his fifth season with the Rangers. He took over for John Tortorella in the summer of 2013. Overall, prior to Saturday, he had coached 1,205 games over 16 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks and the Rangers, and had 646 wins, two short of tying Ron Wilson for 10th place on the all-time list.

Vigneault, who signed an extension midway through last season, is under contract for two more seasons after this one, but with the organization committed to rebuilding, the coach’s future with the team has been the subject of plenty of speculation.

Kevin Hayes also hit a milestone against St. Louis, playing in his 300th NHL game.

Kreider sets career high

Chris Kreider’s four points (one goal, three assists) in Wednesday’s overtime win over Pittsburgh were a single game career-high. Kreider scored the Rangers’ first goal on a power play rebound that night, and set up Mika Zibanejad’s tying and winning goals.

“For me, Kreids has always been a real pro, in the sense that he’s got to be one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached as far as his physical preparation,’’ Vigneault said. “He works so hard, sometimes you’ll even wonder if he’s not doing a little too much off the ice and even on the ice, but he’s getting, obviously, a bigger leadership role with our team right now. He’s one of the veteran players, and he gets it. He knows that he’s got to do a little bit more.

“The way he played last game — that was a real powerful game and we’re hoping that he’ll bring a little bit more consistency, and that’s one of the areas he’s been working on.’’

New York Sports