Well, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that one sucked. After a solid effort against the Montreal Canadiens 24 hours prior, the New York Rangers laid an egg tonight as their scoring woes continue to carry on. Over the last two games, the Rangers have only combined for a single goal, which isn't all that satisfying when you look at their previous performances. While they only gave up one goal over those last few games, you have to be able to score in order to win some hockey games.
That was evident tonight as the Rangers just couldn't get the bounces, and at other times made some questionable decisions. Their puck possession was very sloppy, and their passing was almost non-existent. A majority of the time the Rangers were forced into make blind passes, or just chipping the puck out of the zone to relieve the pressure. I will give the Kings credit though, they are one tough team to play against in their own zone. Their speed helps them close the gaps, and their passing is so on point that they are exiting their zone before the Rangers forwards even hit the faceoff dots.
The first period was encouraging in the sense that the Rangers were able to double up the Kings on shots, and generated a few scoring chances after coming off an emotional win in Montreal. Fast forward to the second period, and that's when things started to turn ugly. Henrik Lundqvist was forced to stand on his head a majority of that period, and this game could have easily slipped away had it not been for Lundqvist's heroics.
Tyler Toffoli wound up scoring just a minute into the second period one a botched slap shot, that wound up taking 2-3 bounces before it made it to Henrik Lundqvist. The final bounce to a caromed off of Anton Stralman's skate, which wound up deflecting the puck through Lundqvist's five-hole, which he appeared pretty frustrated with.
The Rangers push back was decent, but it wasn't nearly enough to break through the wall that the Kings were putting up in their own zone. That, and Ben Scrivens made the necessary stops that he needed to make. The Rangers also failed on two 5-on-3 power play opportunities, and even though they were short, they still didn't muster up the types of chances they would have liked.
The third period was much more of the same until the final five minutes of the game. In a last ditch effort to find the tying goal, Dan Girardi ripped a slap shot off the end boards that wound up deflecting back in front of the net. After three solid jabs at the puck from Dominic Moore, the puck wound up in the back of the net, but it would be under review. From the replay it showed that Moore actually kicked the puck in from the side of the net, and it eventually wound up being called off from the people up in Toronto.
It was definitely the right call, and it was just the way this game was going for the Rangers. Obviously this was a frustrating loss, especially after the effort they put forth in Montreal. Hopefully Rick Nash is able to get the Rangers offense going again as he is expected to return on either Tuesday or Thursday.
Until then, stay calm everyone.