Yet another night, yet another disappointing effort at the hands of the New York Rangers. Tonight, the Washington Capitals walked all over the Rangers, and destroyed them by a score of 4-1. Philip Grubauer picked up his first career win in only his second career start, and went on to shut down the Rangers for a majority of the game. Something eventually has to give with this team, because they are capable of being a lot better then their record indicates at the moment.
The first period was an encouraging sight at the time, as the Rangers were hanging with the Capitals, and didn't give them too many opportunities to convert. The second period, however, was where things started to get ugly, and pretty quickly. The Rangers came out in the second period, and were completely deflated, and showed no signs of a pulse. That allowed the Capitals to quickly pounce, and they scored two goals in a matter of 30 seconds to jump out to the 2-0.
Jason Chimera was the recipient of the first goal, as he kept jamming away in the crease, and eventually forced the puck over the goal line. Henrik Lundqvist obviously was pleased, as he believed that the puck had been covered long before Chimera had a chance to swipe at the puck. He definitely had a case, but, at the end of the day the defense didn't really do much to prevent Chimera from swinging away at will.
Then, just 30 seconds later, Steve Oleksy picked up his first goal on the season, as he ripped a shot through traffic. Lundqvist didn't appear to even pick up the puck as it came through a few bodies, and it flew right over his shoulder before he even knew what hit him.
To make matters worse, with about two minutes remaining in the period, Mikhail Grabovski was awarded a penalty shot. At first it appeared as if it was just going to be a two minute penalty on John Moore, but apparently the ref had something else up his sleeve. After looking at the replay numerous times, I still can't see where the actual penalty was, and if there even was one at all. Grabovski even got the shot off after the so called "penalty" was taken. It was a little mind boggling, and of course, it wound up haunting the Rangers.
Grabovski wound up ripping a slap shot high glove over Lundqvist, and it gave the Capitals a 3-0 lead heading into the second intermission. At this point, it really didn't matter what the outcome of that penalty shot was, because the game was more or less over as soon as the Capitals went up 2-0. As per the usual, the Rangers came out in the third period hanging their heads, and eventually gave up yet another goal.
Nate Schmidt picked up his second goal of the year as he wristed a shot through traffic, yet again, and Lundqvist didn't pick it up quick enough to make a reaction save. The Rangers were finally able to get on the scoreboard with two minutes remaining, as Benoit Pouliot tipped in a point shot from Michael Del Zotto. It was a small victory, considering the Rangers wound up breaking the shutout, but a loss is still a loss.
After the game, the Rangers wound up holding a player only meeting, which obviously shows that this team knows they're a ton better then they are showing right now. After it's all said and done, it doesn't really matter what the players have to say, it's their job to go out there and put some meaning behind those words. Hopefully Tuesday night they'll be able to come out guns blazing, and beat a team that they are very capable of beating.