The New York Rangers (46-26-4) lost to the Anaheim Ducks (41-23-11) by the score of 6-3. For a box score, click here.
1st Star – East coast Rangers fans who were able to stay awake for back-to-back West coast starts.
2nd Star – East coast Rangers fans who were smart enough to go to bed early so they’re not tired AND angry Monday morning.
3rd Star – Antti Raanta (Lots of Rangers fans wondering if he gives Blueshirts best chance in postseason)
Post Game Cocktail Recommendation
While not a cocktail, I’m pretty sure we’re all going to need a few of these Monday morning after a couple of late nights watching the Blueshirts.
Gif of the Game
Since Rangers fans probably need a good laugh after this one, here’s Cam Fowler getting harpooned in the throat…
Center of Attention
The Rangers have good, maybe even very good centers. But when they play against great centers, they can be exposed. A night after the Rangers took a beating on faceoffs in Los Angeles, both Getzlef and Kesler dominated the Blueshirts. The two big strong Anaheim centers combined for 1g, 5a, while Kesler was 54% from the faceoff circle including this gem to put the Ducks ahead for good early in the third period.
Meanwhile, Getzlef was able to get the job done at both ends of the ice…
While the Rangers have great depth down the middle, they don’t possess the skill set of the top centers in the NHL.
Hayes has had a tremendous season, but he was completely neutralized by Getzlaf tonight. I barely remember him having the puck on his stick at all. Hopefully, Hayes uses this as a learning experience.
While the Rangers are 1-1-0 after the first two games of the trip, the much heavier Kings and Ducks had their way physically with the Blueshirts. The Ducks had bodies in front of Lundqvist all night with neither Blueshirt defensemen nor forwards being able to clear out the crease.
What concerns me most about the last two games is that the Rangers likely first round opponent, the Canadiens, got bigger, stronger and nastier at the deadline. I hope these two games aren’t foreshadowing of the postseason.
Rocky Return for Lundqvist
Early on, it looked like Lundqvist might have a nice relaxing return to the Rangers lineup as most of the shots were from the outside with little to no traffic in front. But once the Ducks started sending men to the net, Lundqvist’s night turned very unpleasant.
The traffic in front resulted in deflections, tip ins and missed defensive assignments. In other words, havoc. Unfortunately, Lundqvist wasn’t afforded the opportunity to ease back into the saddle.
Having said that, I didn’t think Hank looked all that comfortable in the crease either. He wasn’t square on a few of the goals and was loud in his movements.
I’m not going to sound the alarm bells after one game, but if Lundqvist isn’t able to find his groove in the final six contests, AV might have an interesting decision on his hands come playoff time. And the fact that I’m even mentioning this is more a tribute to how well Raanta has played than an indictment on Hank’s uneven performance this season.
I mean, when Lundqvist is still making saves like this, you know he has more than enough gas in the tank to lead the Rangers on another long playoff run…
We’re Going Streaking!
Ok, not that streaking, but Rick Nash has now scored goals in four straight games. Let’s hope he saves some of those for the postseason for once.
Before I get to Stepan, let’s enjoy his goal in all its glory…
Nice to see Stepan starting a positive streak as he has goals in two straight after suffering through a 23-game goalless drought last month. The one encouraging aspect throughout Stepan’s dry spell was despite the puck not finding the back of the net he was still generating a ton of chances, so you figured once he got one they might come in bunches.
Despite all my doom and gloom above, the Rangers did have this game tied going into the third on the road against a tough opponent. Wasn’t completely terrible tonight.
A game after the Rangers specialty teams bailed them out against the Kings, they allow a short-handed goal, a power play goal and went 0-for-2 with the extra man.
The Rangers were also a little unlucky as they hit a couple of pipes, had a quick whistle wipe out a goal and lost a potential high stick challenge (it was the correct call as Kestler’s stick was well below the crossbar).
Girardi comes out of the lineup and the Rangers go right back to allowing power play goals. Funny how that works. 9 of 10 games allowing a power play goal against.
This play had nothing to do with anything, but someone needs to explain to me what the hell Holden is doing?
It looks like he laid down to take a nap. Not exactly text book defense.
I thought Klein had a solid return to the lineup. Really not that noticeable. Which for him, is a good thing.
I’m running out of adjectives to describe Skjei. And he’s just getting started.
While on a micro level this game is meaningless as the Rangers have the 1st Wild Card virtually locked up. However, on the macro, I’m starting to get concerned that playing against a heavy Montreal lineup in the first round might not be as advantageous as we once anticipated.
Thankfully, us Rangers fans get a night to catch-up on our sleep before the Rangers conclude their West Coast swing on Tuesday night in San Jose.