The New York Rangers started off their Western Canada trip on the wrong foot, and were defeated 2-1 this evening by the Vancouver Canucks. A quick goal by the Canucks in the third period sealed the deal, and the Rangers weren't able to get much going following a wacky turn of events.
After having some extended rest coming into this game, the Rangers came out absolutely flying and took it to the Canucks in the early going. Despite not being able to get one past Ryan Miller, the Rangers controlled the play for a majority of the period, and it took the Canucks over 14 minutes to get their first scoring chance of the game. After 20 minutes, the Rangers held a 15-7 advantage in shots, and were up 26-8 in total shot attempts.
Obviously the Rangers would have liked to get one under the belt with the dominant of a period, but given their recent struggles, the first period was extremely encouraging. Much of the same carried over the second period, although the Canucks started blocking a ton of shots, and didn't give the Rangers a ton of space to work with. The Rangers shots on goal took a slight dip, but overall, they kept their pace from the first period.
Late in the period, the Rangers had two consecutive power play opportunities to get going, but they weren't able to generate much of anything. A combination of sloppy passing and lack of movement haunted the Rangers, and as a result, they went into the second intermission deadlock at a 0-0 tie. That scoreless tie would only last 3:19 into the third period, after the Rangers took two consecutive penalties to hand the Canucks an extended 5-on-3 power play.
Alexander Edler was the recipient of the first goal, after he opened up in the high slot, and ripped a shot under the crossbar. As if the two prior penalties weren't enough, Alain Vigneault went a little to far after the goal, and was handed a bench minor. Shortly after that, Ryan McDonagh and Alexandre Burrows traded minor penalties, and made this a 4-on-3 after it was all said and done.
Thankfully, the Rangers were able to survive the chaos, and kept this a one goal game a little under halfway through the third period. A few moments after everything settled down, things got crazy again after Chris Tanev covered the puck in the crease, and gave the Rangers a penalty shot. Dan Boyle was selected to take the ensuing penalty shot, and capped it off with a beautiful move to knot the game up at 1-1.
After failing on all of their previous opportunities, the Rangers finally got their break and capitalized on it. However, the craziness wouldn't stop just there, and about 30 seconds later, the Canucks regained a one goal lead after a pretty redirection from Daniel Sedin. Dan Girardi was caught puck watching after the puck came out of the corner, and left Sedin all alone off to the side of the net. Alexander Edler saw the wide open passing late, hit Sedin, and just like that it was 2-1 Canucks.
That goal pretty much sealed the deal for the Rangers, and they couldn't get much going for the remainder of the game. The last four minutes was as bad as it could have gone, with the Rangers struggling to even gain the offensive zone. The Rangers eventually ran out of time, and they started off their Western Canada trip with a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
They will look to rebound on Friday night when they head into Rexall Place for a meeting with the Edmonton Oilers.