After a huge statement game against the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers came out flat tonight against the New Jersey Devils, and were defeated by the score of 4-0. The Rangers were without Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, and Carl Hagelin tonight, and their absences are definitely starting to show. Callahan stood out in the Washington game, and gave the Rangers a major spark when they needed it.
The Rangers just didn't have that spark in them tonight, and were thoroughly outworked in all areas of the ice tonight. It only took the Devils seven minutes to strike as Andrei Loktionov, who was a last minute addition, to chip in an easy rebound to put the Devils up 1-0. Justin Falk and John Moore were completely lost on the play, and they left Loktionov wide open in front with an easy pickup.
Just about five minutes later, the Devils were able to jump out to a two goal lead, as Adam Henrique ripped a shot over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist. While Henrik Lundqvist was to blame for this goal, as he was off his angle by a wide margin, the defense doesn't really get off the hook either. Dan Girardi got beat pretty badly in the neutral zone, and allowed Henrique a wide open lane to the net.
The Rangers were only able to muster up six shots throughout the first period, and were sorely lacking their top-six forwards. Things would get progressively worse for the Rangers as they found themselves down 3-0 just six minutes into the second period. Michael Ryder was the recipient of the third goal, as he ripped a low, hard shot from the point that found it's way under the arm of Henrik Lundqvist.
Dainius Zubrus would put the icing on the cake as he tapped in yet another rebound that wasn't detected by the Rangers defenseman, and was able to score uncontested. Obviously blaming this game solely on the absence of Callahan, Nash, and Hagelin isn't ideal, but it definitely played a factor.
The Devils were also in the same boat, as they were missing Damien Brunner, Patrik Elias, and Adam Larsson tonight. The Devils simply took advantage of their opportunities when they had them, and the Rangers did not. The Rangers will be off until Thursday, before they head into Philadelphia to take on the Philadelphia Flyers.