There are two themes that came to pass in tonight's 3-1 loss to the Penguins that the Rangers must fix if they expect to be a playoff team. They yet again lost on home ice and their power play was nowhere to be found when they needed it most. In a league where special teams are more important than they have ever been in years past, the Rangers need to have a power play that is a consistent threat. With the game at 3-1 in the third period, the Rangers had two 5 on 4 opportunities on the power play that they failed to convert on. It was the difference in the game. Their lack of a power play is what separates them from teams like the Penguins.
The Rangers played a tough first period and despite being down one zip, they were succeeding in not giving the Pens any room to operate. But the wheels fell off the wagon in the second when Crosby made a video game pass to Kris Letang who picked the corner on Hank to make it 2-0. Then Chris Conner pushed it to 3-0 on an odd man rush. The Rangers made a fatal error in the second period getting into a track meet with the Penguins. They allowed the Pens to dictate the pace of the game and as a result they gave up too many odd man rushes. To make matters worse, the Penguins defenseman were making cross rink outlet passes that negated any fore-check the Rangers could muster.
Unlike in their last meeting in Pittsburgh, this game didn't have the same sort of favoritism stank that lingered for a week under the noses of Rangers fans. Yes, Sidney Crosby slew footed Ryan Callahan in typical punk-like Crosby fashion. No, he will not be reprimanded for it. Yes, in the typical lunacy that is NHL officiating there was a penalty called against Callahan on the play. But the fact of the matter is, the Rangers don't have a legitimate gripe this game. They failed themselves and were beaten by a team that has it's act together much more than they do.
- Gotta love Brandon Dubinsky:
"Thats the kind of guy he is, tries to get away with that all that nonsense and he complains a lot"
- If Ryan Callahan is the soul of this Rangers team, than Brandon Prust is the heart. I don't think the guy realize's that he doesnt have to fight in every game. Can't say enough about the guy.
- Despite feeling "like crap", Marian Gaborik proved he isn't made completely out of glass tonight. He played a ton of minutes and scored the Rangers lone goal.
- Henrik Lundqvist was good, but not great by his standards. The Letang goal in particular he didn't have a shot in hell of saving. As super human as Lundqvist has been since entering the league, the Rangers need to be able to beat good teams when he isn't doing his brick wall impersonation.