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Rangers vs Canucks: Too Little, Too Late As Blueshirts Drop Fourth Game In A Row

Vancouver Canucks v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It was too little, too late for the New York Rangers as they dropped their fourth game in a row. The Vancouver Canucks scored three goals in the first period, and the Rangers were unable to tie things up in the third period despite putting on a good showing late vs. a Vancouver team playing the second game in a back-to-back.

The Canucks were able to get on the board first after Libor Hajek was called for hooking in the first five minutes of the game. Elias Pettersson put the puck into Bo Horvat’s skates in the slot, but Horvat had enough time to get off a quick shot to beat Lundqvist and give Vancouver the 1-0 lead.

Under eight minutes later, the Canucks’ broke through at even strength. A costly error — a fanned pass — in the defensive zone by Brendan Smith created a fire that Marc Staal was unable to put out, resulting in a scoring chance for Brock Boeser. Boeser’s shot went off of Lundqvist’s glove and flubbed into the net, giving the visiting team a 2-0 lead. It was a goal that Hank definitely wanted back.

Shortly thereafter, Tyler Myers was sent to the box giving the Rangers an opportunity to make their own mark on the power play. However, the Rangers were unable to get anything cooking on the man advantage and were left deflated after Jay Beagle scooped up a loose puck and rushed up the ice to score a shorthanded goal to give the Canucks the 3-0 edge towards the end of the first. At the end of the period, the Canucks had a 20-13 lead over the Rangers in shots.

The second period was more of the same for the Rangers, as the Canucks controlled most of the play. The Blueshirts did find a way to get on the board as Jesper Fast made a few tremendous plays. The Rangers’ veteran forward dumped the puck into the zone, won a battle along the board, and got back to the front of the net to tip in a shot fired on goal by Jacob Trouba to give the Rangers their first goal of the game.

That would be the team’s only goal of the game, and the period ended with Vancouver holding the edge in shots 17-10, and 37-23 through two periods of play.

The third period was the Rangers’ best of the game, although it should be taken with a grain of salt. The team looked faster and more engaged, but they were playing a Canucks team that held a two-goal lead, and was in the second game of a back-to-back. This is not to discredit the way the Rangers’ played to end the game, but I wouldn’t look at this as a “turnaround moment” for a team that has now lost four straight games.

The Blueshirts scored their second goal of the game, and once again Fast was in the middle of the action. Both Fast and Zibanejad won battles along the boards behind the net, and eventually Fast got the puck to a wide open Artemiy Panarin who buried his fourth goal of the season.

New York pressed, and pressed for the remainder of the period, but were unable to tie things up. A few players stood out late outside of the top guns, and that includes Kaapo Kakko and Pavel Buchnevich. Kakko was on for a really good shift late in the third, and he was able to keep the puck moving, and it resulted in a few chances.

Buchnevich was also in the thick of things, with this sequence toward the end of the period being most notable, as he stopped an empty-net chance on one end before driving hard to the net on a play in which no penalty was called.

Although he picked up the loss, Lundqvist overall had a strong game stopping 40 of the 43 shots that came his way. He will regret the second and third goals against, but he was under siege all night and received little help in front of him.

In terms of fancy stats, here’s a look at how the two teams fared 5v5 (h/t Shayna).

And here’s a look at time-on-ice deployment.

The Rangers are now 2-4-0 to start their season, and will be in action again on Tuesday at MSG vs. the Arizona Coyotes.