The New York Rangers dropped their second straight for the first time this season to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-2 in the shootout. For a box score, click here.
Of course, we can’t start this recap without major kudos to Sam Rosen with his legendary and now Hall of Fame worthy 33 year broadcasting career.
Are the days of the Rangers scoring 5+ a night at the Garden ending? Sure looks that way. And like I mentioned in Four Thoughts from the other night, Lundqvist needs to be up to task. He was a lot better tonight than he was in Columbus on Friday. For what it’s worth, only one team finished last season with a shooting percentage of over 10%. The Rangers were at 14% coming into tonight.
The calendar is going to flip over to 2017 before we see Mika Zibanejad again. Ugly looking leg injury in OT that he couldn’t put weight on coming off the ice.
It was nice to see Kreider get on the board early on and hopefully put his own injury issues behind him. He looked an awful lot like his early season self tonight.
The Rangers got a little off their game towards the end of the second period with a series of poor decisions with the puck that ended with Skjei closing his hand on the puck while the Rangers were on the power play. Of course, leave it to Keith Yandle to blow one by Lundqvist for his first of the season.
A completely broken play put the Rangers back in the lead early on in third, with Zuccarello sending a puck through the crease and re-directed back into the net by Zibanejad. He’s been struggling to find the back of the net and they were just beginning to fall for him until the injury.
Aaron Ekblad tied it a little over six minutes later after a weak shot glanced off JT Miller, who was trying to block the shot, bounced off the ice and into the net.
First OT for the Rangers this season and they looked every bit of a team that hasn’t played past 60 minutes. They barely touched the puck and it was more of a wide open nail-biter compared to the third period.
The Rangers did a pretty good job of limiting the Panthers’ chances through the first two periods, however they’ve got to be better when it comes to breaking out of their own end and through the neutral zone. They did it in spurts tonight, but got away from it as the game progressed and their high percentage scoring chances were held to a minimum. That’s the difference between now and this time last month.
The schedule gets a bit harder this week starting Monday when the Rangers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since they were eliminated by them last April.
(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)