Justin K. Aller
The Pittsburgh Penguins shut out the New York Rangers this afternoon by a score of 3-0, which sent them packing with their third straight loss.
And here we are again, yet another game, and yet another loss for the New York Rangers. The Rangers have only scored a total of two goals throughout their last three games, and it's been a glaring problem for a while. While many people are putting the full blame on John Tortorella, it's the players job to execute, and they're not exactly doing too much of that right now.
This one started out rather quickly for the Pittsburgh Penguins as Beau Bennett opened the scoring with an off angle slap shot, that found it's way past Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist didn't play a bad game this afternoon, but he was off quite a bit with his angles. The Rangers were very sluggish for a better half of the first period, and were lucky to head into the locker room only down by a goal. Decent starts haven't been a strong point for the Rangers this year.
The second period was a little different as the Rangers began to find their legs, and generate the chances in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury was letting up a ton of rebounds all afternoon, but the Rangers couldn't get the right bounces to get a goal of their own. While it was a much better period by the Rangers, the Penguins also had their fair share of chances as well. Again, the Rangers were lucky to come away with yet another period by only being down a goal.
The third period is where it got ugly, as the Penguins added two more goals to make it 3-0 early on in the period. Tyler Kennedy ripped home a power play goal from an odd-angle shot, which beat Henrik Lundqvist over the left shoulder. The first two goals were misread by Lundqvist, and he's usually a goaltender that stops those types of shots. But, that basically sums up how the Rangers season is going thus far.
Pascal Dupuis put the icing on the cake with a pretty impressive goal that he was able to handle, and flip over Henrik Lundqvist from the goal line. Marc Andre Fleury came away with the shutout, and the Penguins went on to win their eight straight game this season, and their sixth straight over the Rangers.
Something needs to change very quickly for the Rangers whether it be a shake up via a trade, or a call up. But whatever is going with the Rangers right now, it's not working at all.
The type of system that Tortorella runs, has also been greatly exposed this season to the point where it's costing the Rangers point in the standings. Sure, defense is a big key in winning hockey games, but when you're down 2-0, and still waiting out the opposition, there is a clear cut problem. The Rangers had a lineup full of grinders last year, and this "grind it out" type of system worked well for them. Now? They have an offensively heavy top two lines, and they're being restricted as to what they can and cannot do.
The Rangers will head back home on Monday where they will take on the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden. Hopefully we'll have something to get excited about by then.