The New York Rangers lost their fourth straight game this evening as they were defeated 5-2 by the Minnesota Wild. The Rangers had kept the game close in the first period, but three straight goals by Minnesota was enough to put the game out of reach. Pavel Buchnevich scored midway through the third period to give the Rangers some hope, but the Wild iced the game a little later in the period.
Ryan Donato (9) - Pontus Aberg (13) - 4:40 1st Period
Minnesota jumped out to a pretty early lead in this game as Ryan Donato picked up his ninth goal of the season at the 4:40 mark. Neal Pionk’s poor decision with the puck led to a 2-on-1 rush back the other way for the Wild, and Donato picked his spot as he flew down the wing. Henrik Lundqvist appeared to cheat ever so slightly for the pass across, and Donato made him pay with a quick wrister on the shortside.
Mika Zibanejad (28) - Kevin Shattekirk (23) - 6:00 1st Period
The Rangers tied things up just 1:20 later as Mika Zibanejad caught Devan Dubnyk on an adventure behind his net, and tied the game up at 1-1. Dubnyk attempted to play the initial dump around by Kevin Shattenkirk and was caught in no man’s land as the puck flew by him. Zibanejad was able to quickly shovel a shot towards the open net and banked the puck in off of Dubnyk’s skate.
Ryan Donato (10) - Luke Kunin (10) & Jason Zucker (18) - 16:05 1st Period
A little later on in the first period, Minnesota took their second lead of the night with Ryan Donato’s second goal of the game. A costly turnover by Filip Chytil behind his own net led to a pass out front by Jason Zucker. Luke Kunin one-timed the pass and just before the puck entered the net, Donato deflected the puck on goal to give Minnesota the one-goal lead.
Eric Staal (20) - Unassisted - 4:51 2nd Period
Minnesota doubled up their lead just 4:51 into the second period with a fortunate bounce in favor of Eric Staal. The Rangers fell victim to yet another odd-man rush into their zone, and once again, it ended up in the back of their net. Neal Pionk slid across to take away the passing lane but wound up deflecting the puck past Henrik Lundqvist and into his own net.
4-1 Wild - PPG
Jared Spurgeon (13) - Kevin Fiala (23) & Zach Parise (32) - 6:06 3rd Period
Minnesota added another insurance marker early in the third period with Jared Spurgeon capitalizing on the power play. Kevin Fiala made an excellent pass out from the right corner, and found Spurgeon all alone in a shooting position. Spurgeon ripped a heavy one-timer and beat Henrik Lunqvist over the shoulder to make it a 4-1 game.
Pavel Buchnevich (17) - Tony DeAngelo (23) & Brady Skjei (15) - 8:56 3rd Period
With the game quickly falling out of reach for the Rangers, Pavel Buchnevich gave a glimmer of hope with his 17th goal of the season. Tony DeAngelo made an excellent read in the neutral zone and hit Buchnevich with a pass to send him in on a breakaway. Despite behind hooked a bit from behind, Buchnevich fought it off and shoveled a shot through the legs of Devan Dubnyk.
J.T. Brown (3) - Marcus Foligno (12) & Eric Fehr (8) - 17:25 3rd Period
Minnesota eventually iced the game with under three minutes to play, and J.T. Brown picked up the empty net goal. Marcus Foligno was credited with the primary assist after passing up a shot attempt and passing the puck over to Brown.
Following tonight’s loss in Minnesota, the Rangers will be off until Tuesday when they welcome the Detroit Red Wings to Madison Square Garden.