After two solid outings last week, the New York Rangers couldn't generate much of anything this afternoon, and were defeated 3-0 by the Ottawa Senators. Of course, it didn't help that Rick Nash missed today's game with a knee injury, but the Rangers offense just went dry right in front of our eyes. Thankfully, Henrik Lundqvist had another strong game and kept this game close when the Senators had their early chances, but the Rangers just couldn't find an answer.
Despite holding a 13-12 shot advantage after the first period, the Rangers were thoroughly dominated by the Senators in their own zone. There was zero coverage in front of the net, and they allowed the Senators to tee up shots from all over the ice. Henrik Lundqvist made several key saves in the first period, and somehow kept this game scoreless after 20 minutes.
Much of the same carried over to the second period, and with 20 seconds remaining, the Senators finally broke the scoreless game. Jarden Cowen's initial point shot wound up catching all of the right post, and sat in the crease behind Lundqvist. Before Kevin Klein was able to react, Bobby Ryan slid in and tapped home the loose puck to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.
At that point in the game, this was the worst possible outcome for the Rangers and they found themselves down a goal with 20 minutes remaining. With the Rangers offense already struggling, this was going to take quite a response in order to get back into the game. Unfortunately, just 2:40 into the third period,the Senators doubled up their lead on a 2-on-1 rush back the other way.
Mike Hoffman was able to catch Dan Girardi sliding to block the shot and he ripped a hard shot just over Lundqvist's pad to make it a 2-0 game. The Rangers had a big opportunity late in the game as they went on the power play, but that chance was short-lived. With the goaltender pulled, Ryan McDonagh coughed up the puck at the blue line, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau put the game away with an empty-net goal.
The Rangers couldn't have played any worse than they did today, and it was painful to watch the offense struggle that much. Thankfully, Rick Nash is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow night when the Rangers meetup with the Buffalo Sabres. Hopefully they put up a better performance.