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Rangers Vs. Senators: Lucky To Lose Unluckily

New York Rangers v Ottawa Senators - Game One Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images
  • In a lot of ways, I think that game might be the best thing to happen to the Rangers in this series. It should act as a wake up call, the blaring alarm clock, or, at the very least, a stern reminder that Ottawa will beat the bad side of this Rangers team rather easily. That it happens to come in Game 1 on the road is fortunate. Series are not won or lost by the road team in either of the first two games.
  • This loss feels unlucky, and you have Henrik Lundqvist to thank about that. The score could have easily been 7-1 at the end of the game. Maybe even should have been. But Lundqvist is a real life cheat code. He made the impossible saves look as routine as you or I crossing the street. And he did it early and often. To lose a game like that when your goaltender is standing on his head sucks. To lose it because you didn’t wake up at any point in the 60-minute contest is inexcusable.
  • Lundqvist made 41 saves on the night. I’d argue five of them were beyond anything a mere mortal would produce. I mean, there’s this:

Or this ridiculous secondary save:

I mean, Good Lord:

There are more than enough of those that it would take up the entire site to post them on here. Just know he was extraordinary. By the way, Shayna is joining the site. Follow her on Twitter for gifs and whatnot during the games, and look for her writing here. We’re very excited!

  • Here’s the strange part about that game. As bad as the Rangers were, they still could have blown things wide open for themselves. Michael Grabner missed three glorious scoring opportunities (one of them was a save, he hit the pipe on another, and missed the net on the third). The Rangers blew a few power plays, never really got Craig Anderson too worked up and when they did manage their chances he was there. Anderson will cause as much trouble as Carey Price did (we talked about this on the podcast as well). The Rangers had their chances and they didn’t capitalize. After Ryan McDonagh’s goal I had a gut feeling the Rangers needed another goal before the period ended. Then Ottawa got a power play and scored to tie the game. That was the end of that.
  • I was concerned about Ottawa’s speed causing problems for the Rangers’ defense. That did happen (Dan Girardi and McDonagh were not good and blame falls on both of them) but don’t let the Rangers forwards escape blame here, either. Rick Nash (who I did think was otherwise good) needs to get the puck out of the zone on the game-winning goal. Derek Stepan had a bad night, too.
  • Chris Kreider wasn’t overly active yet again. Neither were Kevin Hayes or J.T. Miller. That’s going to become a really big problem if we’re into game three or four and still waiting for them to show up. I liked Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich was really good (and earned his first playoff point). Mats Zuccarello was active, too.
  • The fourth line was one of the more active lines on offense, which isn’t good. Not that you don’t want them to be, but they can’t be lifting top-six offensive responsibilities and be expected to provide defense, too.
  • The penalty kill was about as bad as it’s been all year. Like, actual disaster, bad. Lundqvist was worked on the penalty kill, and Ottawa moved the puck with ease. It wasn’t even the Erik Karlsson factor. The Rangers were lenient with everyone when they were on the man advantage.
  • I’d love to know how the officials called these two icing plays:
  1. Kreider beats the Senator into the zone and Anderson TOUCHES THE PUCK. Call: icing.
  2. There should be a clear icing against the Senators that’s inexplicably waived off: Call: No icing. Then goal against.

Final thoughts: