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Rangers lead NHL in shutouts

Chris Kreider of the Rangers celebrates his goal

Chris Kreider of the Rangers celebrates his goal in the first period against the New Jersey Devils during their game at the Prudential Center on Oct. 21, 2014 in Newark, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

With eight shutouts in 31 games, the Rangers lead the NHL in that category. Henrik Lundqvist has five and Cam Talbot has a career-high three.

It is the first time since 1928-29, when the Rangers had 11 shutouts in 31 games, that the club has come close to that mark, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Said Dan Girardi, "We're pretty fortunate to have two guys back there that if you let them see the puck, they're going to stop it and they're going to make a big save when need be."

Girardi, an alternate captain, leads the team in hits (80) and blocked shots (71) and is only the 20th player to skate in at least 600 games for the Rangers. "It's a great feeling," he said. "I'm hoping for a bunch more."

Kreider hitting his stride

Chris Kreider, who scored in Calgary and had an assist in Carolina this past week, appears to be finding his game.

"He's been doing what Kreids is supposed to do," coach Alain Vigneault said of the left wing, who hadn't scored in 13 games before doing so against the Flames. "On the rush, he's got to use those wheels to get loose and get looks, and when the puck's dumped down to him, he's got to get on the forecheck and win battles down low to get the puck back, and once we have the puck, he's a big net-front presence."

Kreider, who had 17 goals and 20 assists in 66 games last season, has five goals and 10 assists in 29 games this season.

Close watch on Brassard

Derick Brassard's minutes were being monitored in his second game back. He played 18:10 against Carolina on Saturday after recovering from mumps.

"For a player who had nothing but one practice [in a week], I thought for the most part he was fine," Vigneault said. "I just used him once in overtime four-on-four. I thought his legs might've been getting a little heavy. Considering what he's been through, he did a good job for us."

Brassard entered Sunday night's game second on the team in points with 24.

Moore, Stempniak out

Defenseman John Moore was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. Right wing Lee Stempniak missed his second straight game while being isolated and awaiting results of blood tests for mumps. It was unclear whether he will be available for Tuesday's game against the Capitals.

Blue streak

The last time the Rangers had more than a five-game winning streak was in October-November 2011, when they won seven straight.

Ice chips

With an assist, Mats Zuccarello has a point in five of the last six games and eight in 12 . . . Ryan McDonagh has a point in seven of the 10 games since returning to the lineup after separating his shoulder on a check . . . The Rangers were 1-for-1 on the penalty kill and are in a stretch of 15-for-16 in the last seven games . . . The Rangers are 11-0-1 when leading after two periods and 13-3-2 when scoring first.

New York Sports