The Rangers muddled through yet another loss in yet another game they should have won, against the Senators last night.
The league’s worst power play actually got worse in the first period – I didn’t think that was possible either. Michael Del Zotto played happy hands with the puck on the blue line and gave the biscuit to Jakob Silfverberg. Dan Girardi, trying to D up on Silfverberg, face planted along the wall. The Ottawa winger seeing the All-Star defenseman making snow angels on the ice calmly walked in on Henrik Lundqvist and flipped a ridiculous backhand top cheese by Hank.
Not much else happened for the remained of the first and second.
The Rangers couldn’t get anything past 2013 brick wall Craig Anderson for two periods. In the third, Chris Kreider going hard to the net took Anderson out thanks to a trip by Mark Methot. The referees correctly decided not to whistle Kredier and incorrectly decided not to call the goal on Marc Staal’s shot crossing the line as CK was nailing Anderson. The refs also blew a super quick whistle on a goal-mouth scramble earlier, that should have been a goal. But hey, good teams overcome such mistakes, right?
an oak tree Ben Bishop replaced Anderson, the Rangers fortunes started to turn around. Ryan Callahan actually popped a power play goal, the old fashioned way. Cally went to the net and collected the rebound of a Marc Staal shot off the back wall. Puck movement, shot on goal, rebound, net pressure, goal. Seems kind of simple when you think about it, no?
Staked to a 2-1 lead with 8:25 left and Hank in net behind a shut down D, the Rangers were poised to close out the road victory. That is until the the only Ranger actually playing worse than Richards this year, Brian Boyle made his way onto the scoresheet. The 6’7″ disappointment who has rocketed off to 0-1-1 -5 start this year, took a terrible holding penalty with a little over 6 minutes remaining.
The Blueshirts PK, like many of the Rangers, also not as good as last year’s unit, scrambled around the D zone for 11 seconds before Mika Zibanejad popped the equalizer.
Buyout Brad Richards was benched again in the third, and with each game B-Rich plays it seems more and more like the summer time buyout is a matter of when and not if. Richards is a Torts guy. He came here to play for Torts – and go to fashion shows. With now, consistent, third period benchings this player/coach lovefest may end quickly and ugly.
Ottawa had some solid chances in OT that Hank turned away, and Marian Gaborik almost won the game gathering his own rebound and ringing a bouncy puck off the post.
The shootout was a mess. Sifverberg got one for the Sens and Gabby missed as usual while Cally sniped. Derek Stepan, Richards and Carl Hagelin all missed and with a chance to win the game J.T. Miller totally faked Bishop out of his jock and then somehow couldn’t tuck the puck into a wide open net. After Kaspars Daugavins lost the puck through Hank’s five hole and Kreider rang one off the crossbar, it was game over.
Hank was solid once again, but the Rangers pop gun offense failed to come through. The NYR are not scoring enough to overcome a mistake or two in a game. If the power play (1-4, 1 SHG against) was anything but putrid, this should have been a W. This trend is becoming very alarming, and like the birds in winter, this Ranger season is about to head South.