ST. LOUIS -- There really was no mystery about the reason goalie Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers earned his place in the record books in Thursday night's game against the St. Louis Blues.
He did it by working harder than they did.
On a night when he passed Mike Richter for the most career saves in the Rangers' franchise history, Lundqvist also picked up his 30th win of the season, stopping 35 of 36 shots in a 2-1 victory.
Lundqvist became the first goalie in history to win 30 or more games in 10 of his first 11 seasons in the NHL and only the third with 10 or more 30-win seasons in his career. The only other goalies to do that were Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.
"Obviously it's a huge honor," Lundqvist said. "Growing up those guys were guys I was watching and now I'm up there. It's just a sign I've been given a chance for a lot of years.
"I've been lucky to play with a lot of good players and been able to have a competitive team every year so I'm really happy about that."
The win was the 369th of Lundqvist's career. He passed Richter's record of 17,379 career saves with his 11th save of the game, coming in the first period.
"Every game you know that you're going to get his best effort and you're going to get great preparation and he's going to give you a chance to win," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. "That's what you want from your goaltender."
With the game tied at 1 early in the third period, Lundqvist made his biggest save of the night when he stopped Blues left winger Scottie Upshall on a breakaway attempt. The Rangers got the puck, went down the ice and took the lead on a goal by left winger Chris Kreider.
"I thought he was going to go butterfly on me so I tried to get it up above his pad on the glove side," Upshall said of his scoring attempt. "He's a big goalie and he makes key saves.
"Those are plays in the game that are momentum changers. That play ends up being the play of the game and when you are on the other side of that it's tough."
Kreider scored his first goal in nine games since Feb. 4 off a backhand pass from left winger Oscar Lindberg, firing a shot from the slot past goalie Jake Allen.
The Rangers' first goal came from left winger Tanner Glass off a deflection of a shot by defenseman Dan Girardi in the first period.
The win improved the Rangers' record to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games.
The Blues' only goal came on a power-play from right winger Troy Brouwer in the second period, after Girardi was assessed a double minor penalty for high-sticking Blues' right winger Vladimir Tarasenko.
That was not the only Blues' scoring chance of the night, however, which left coach Ken Hitchcock frustrated.
"Their goalie outworked us," Hitchcock said. "Their goalie was more determined than we were. We didn't bear down around the net when we had the opportunities. Too many times (it has happened). We get opportunities like this, you need people to bear down and be more determined than the guy in the 4 by 6.
"We had an empty net three times in the second period and didn't bear down. You only get so many cracks at it. We've got to see change here. (We're) living on playing well, working hard; we've got to see another gear, a level of determination and hunger around the net if we expect to score goals. You're not going to get soft goaltending like we got in a couple of games when we scored goals. This is focused teams right now with focused goaltenders. We're going to have to be a lot more aggressive."
The Blues lost in regulation for the second consecutive game, something that had not happened since Dec. 31-Jan. 2. They also might have lost another player to an injury.
Center Jori Lehtera left the game late in the first period and did not return. All that was announced was that he suffered an upper-body injury but he appeared to take a puck off his face. The Blues said they would know more about his status on Friday.
NOTES: RW Dmitrij Jaskin was inserted into the Blues' lineup in place of RW Ryan Reaves, who served the first game of a three-game suspension for his hit on Sharks D Matt Tennyson on Monday night. ... The Blues said D Alex Pietrangelo, out since Feb. 6 because of a knee injury, could return on Saturday when the Blues begin a four-game trip at Nashville. ... D Ryan McDonagh and D Marc Staal both returned to the Rangers' lineup. McDonagh had missed six of the last eight games, including the last two, with a sore jaw and neck, while Staal had to sit out the last game because of a sore back. ... The Rangers play at Dallas on Saturday night.