The New York Rangers dropped their third straight game on this Western Conference road trip, and head back East with a miserable 1-4 record. Luckily for them, tonight's effort was exponentially better than the previous two games, but they were still victims of their own mistakes once again.
As it has been throughout these first five games, the Rangers have always had an issue with finding their legs in the opening period. They were caught flatfooted once again tonight, and allowed Alex Steen to capitalize on an early rebound chance, and it was 1-0 St. Louis. Marc Staal didn't help the cause very much as he lost Steen in transition, and allowed him to pick up the loose puck, and stuff it into the wide open net.
Luckily for the Rangers, they were given a golden opportunity late in the first period as they had a two-man advantage in the closing minutes. After some good puck movement, and a few missed opportunities, the Rangers were able to knot the game up at one with a power play goal coming in the final ten seconds of the period.
Derek Stepan made a great play in the corner to force the puck on net, and Ryan Callahan chipped in the loose puck in behind Jaroslav Halak for the tying goal. That lead, however, would only last until the five minute mark in the second period, as David Backes sniped one through the legs of Martin Biron and the Blues regained a 2-1 lead. Once again, a turnover in the offensive zone lead to the Blues breaking out with an odd-man rush, and the defense not picking up the slack.
Ryan McDonagh, who hasn't looked this bad his entire career, whiffed on the puck coming across the slot, and allowed Backes some time to walk in and rip it through the five hole. While the Rangers toned down on the defensive zone lapses, they were still evident tonight and wound up costing the Rangers once again.
About thirteen minutes later, Derek Roy received a gift from Biron as he ripped a weak shot on net, that Biron somehow misread and it was 3-1 Blues. Nearing the end of the second period, the Rangers and Blues traded a pair of goals coming from Brad Richards, and David Backes to make it a 4-2 game heading into the third period.
Just as things were starting to look up for the Rangers, following another power play goal by Ryan Callahan, Derek Dorsett took his third penalty of the evening to put the Blues back on the power play. Not even a second after the ensuing faceoff, the Rangers were pulling the puck out of their own net once again. Vladamir Tarasenko sniped one right from the left faceoff circle, and that all but sealed the deal for the Blues.
The Rangers will be flying back to New York once they pack it up in St. Louis, and make their first trip back home in over a week and a half. They'll have a few days to correct their glaring problems, before they take on the Washington Capitals this upcoming Wendesday at 8:00 PM.