With their full complement of players, for the first time this season (sorry Pyatt, you don’t count) the Blueshirts welcomed the Bruins to the World’s Most Famous.
As Rick Nash took the ice, the Rangers were whole. And they played an excellent first period against the B’s. They fired 16 shots at Tuuka Rask including a failed breakaway by Chris Kreider and a missed breakaway by Nash. Alarmingly for the second game in a row, Mats Zuccarello did his Barry Beck impression and refused to even think about shooting on a two on one. This time with Kreider.
Breaking in alone on Rask, Kreider was hauled down and awarded a penalty shot. The Rangers most powerful offensive force slowly skated in on the Bruins goaltender and fired a snapshot that Rask easily blockered away.
Damn, should have deked there CK.
The Rangers also threw several big hits and stood up for themselves to boot, like when Brian Boyle got rocked by Zdeno Chara and answered by blasting the Big Z in the crease. Or when lightweight pugilist Derek Dorsett threw down with Gregory Campbell.
But for all their hits, intensity and scoring chances they still found themselves 0-0 after one period.
Zuccarello, who is losing his game lately tried a terrible cross ice pass to Justin Falk or Derek Stepan (hard to tell) inside the Bruins zone that bounced to Shawn Thornton. And the Bruins plugger skated up the strong side wing and, with a ton of open space as John Moore (Happy Birthday buddy!) backed in covering neither the shooter or the pass, fired a wrist shot by Henrik Lundqvist glove side high to put Boston up 1-0.
It was a terrible decision by Zuccarello, who after some solid play, has been making some very poor hockey decisions.
Easy there Jarome, you haven’t been good for like 3 years.
And then while thoroughly outplaying the B’s and holding a them 25-10, Ryan Callahan made a terrible play losing the puck at the blueline and handing Daniel Paille a 120 foot breakaway. The Bruin forward tucked a backhand through Hank’s five hole to double the Bruins lead.
But the Rangers didn’t fold and on the same power play, with their second unit on the ice, cut the lead in half. After a couple of quick passes by Kreider and John Moore, Derick Brassard recently escaped from the Witness Protection Program, snapped a shot through Johnny Boychuk’s legs and over Rask’s glove.
Starting the third with a 33-13 shot advantage, the Rangers were poised for a breakout third period.
And they came out flying. The Blueshirts dominated Boston. They outhit, outworked, out skated, and outshot the Bruins. Kreider was a beast. Rick Nash looked solid. They just didn’t score. They had several ridiculously good scoring chances, but they didn’t finish.
They skated and moved the puck at will, but thy couldn’t solve Rask and with their full team on the ice for the first time all season, they became a sub 500 team.
With two goals over their last 3 games, Coach
Tortorella Vigneault had better figure out a way to generate some offense.
The Rangers looked way better than they did earlier this season, but they aren’t there yet. On the road for 5 games now, they need to find some O stat.
And on a side note, the Garden fans actually had the audacity to serenade Henrik Lundqvist with a Bronx Cheer after making a save while the Bruins were up 2-0. Apparently some disillusioned fans are calling for Cam Talbot (and his 5 games of NHL experience) to replace Lundqvist. These are the idiotic rantings of uninformed fans. Talbot has been solid in the games he has seen action and appears by all accounts a very capable back up. On the other hand, Henrik Lundqvist is the best goaltender in the world and has been for a long time. This fickle fan base should start assigning blame where it belongs, to the pop gun offense. The King is fine and if the Rangers can start to score some goal, they will be fine too.
Let’s go Rangers!
Seriously, you’re gonna throw Hank under the bus?