The final score wasn't nearly that bad thanks to Henrik Lundqvist, but the New York Rangers were unable to muster up any sort of offensive pressure, and were defeated 3-1 by the Edmonton Oilers. Henrik Lundqvist gave the Rangers every opportunity to jump back into this game and take control, but unfortunately the offense never got going again after clawing back from the 1-0 deficit.
The Oilers wound up jumping out to an early lead in this one, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins beat Henrik Lundqvist just 3:19 into the first period. The trio of Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ran a clinic on the Rangers just prior to Pouliot finding Nugent-Hopkins wide open in front for the tap in. Following the goal, the Rangers appeared to find their legs a little bit, and just a few minutes later, they broke through with the tying goal.
Carl Hagelin was the recipient of the goal, after his powerful wrist shot found a way through the arm of Viktor Fasth and into the net to knot the game up at 1-1. Kevin Hayes deserves a ton of credit for this goal, as he was able to fight off two defenders right before he curled up, and created a wide open lane to the net for Hagelin. Speaking of Hayes, he was easily the Rangers most visible forward tonight, and seemed to be one of a few, if not the only player creating chances in the offensive zone.
The Rangers were able to finish out the period unscathed, largely in part to Henrik Lundqvist, and headed into the second period locked up at 1-1. While the Rangers were lucky to be tied, things finally broke loose early in the second, and the Oilers took their second lead of the evening. This time it was Benoit Pouliot, who received a perfect pass from Nugent-Hopkins, which sprung him in on a partial breakaway. Without hesitation, Pouliot quickly ripped a hard, low wrist shot that wound up beating Lundqvist cleanly through the five hole for the 2-1 lead.
From that point on, the wheels pretty much fell off, and nothing went right for the Rangers moving forward. The Oilers were able to lock down any sort of offensive attack, and they continued to cause fits in the Rangers defensive zone for the final 30 minute or so. Finally, with a little under two minutes remaining, the Oilers capped off the scoring with an empty net goal from Teddy Purcell to make it a 3-1 game.
Tomorrow will be an off day for the Rangers, as they prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. A lot will have to change if the Rangers plan on doing anything against them.