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Rangers vs Flames: Rangers Drop Second Straight Game in Calgary

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New York Rangers v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers started off 2020 in the loss column as they were defeated 4-3 by the Calgary Flames and dropped their second game of the Western Canada road trip. The Rangers quickly fell behind in this game 2-0, but a pair of power play goals brought New York right back into the game. Henrik Lundqvist got the nod in goal tonight for the Rangers and made 25 saves in a losing effort.

1st Period

Johnny Gaudreau (11) - Unassisted - 4:15 1st Period

Just a couple of minutes into regulation, the Rangers quickly found themselves down by a goal after a fortunate bounce led to a breakaway for Johnny Gaudreau. An attempted pass by Artemiy Panarin wound up slipping past two Rangers, and slid all the way out of the zone. Johnny Gaudreau turned on the jets, beat the Rangers to the puck, and slipped the puck under Henrik Lundqvist.

Mikael Backlund (6) SHG - Unassisted - 7:16 1st Period

This is where the mental mistakes started to creep into the Rangers’ game, and they gave up a shorthanded goal while on a 5-on-3 power play. Tony DeAngelo tried to make a cross-ice feed with Mikael Backlund standing right in the lane and essentially gifted him a free breakaway. Backlund was able to pick the pass off cleanly and beat Lundqvist under the glove hand to give Calgary an early 2-0 lead.

Jacob Trouba (6) PPG - Pavel Buchnevich (16) & Adam Fox (15) - 7:42 1st Period

The Rangers finally went back to the extreme basics on the power play, and wound up scoring a goal by making the simple play. Jacob Trouba picked up his sixth goal of the season on the power play, and wired a wrist shot past Cam Talbot on the glove side. The goal brought New York back within a goal, and finally gave the power play some life.

Filip Chytil (10) PPG - Kaapo Kakko (9) & Adam Fox (16) - 8:07 1st Period

A little over 30 seconds later, the Rangers scored for the second time on the power play and clawed their way back into the game. Another simple play by putting the puck on net resulted in a big rebound in front of Cam Talbot, and Filip Chytil slammed home the loose puck.

Derek Ryan (7) - Dillon Dube (5) - 13:18 1st Period

Unfortunately for the Rangers, all of their hard work to get back into the game was quickly erased as Derek Ryan put the Flames back in front. This goal was more of an unfortunate bounce rather than a defensive breakdown, and the Rangers found themselves down by a goal once again. Derek Ryan’s wrist shot wound up redirecting off of Brady Skjei’s leg off to the right of the net, and deflected back on Henrik Lundqvist in the opposite direction.

2nd Period

Kaapo Kakko (7) - Adam Fox (17) & Brett Howden (6) - 5:46 2nd Period

For the second time during the game, the Rangers found the tying goal as Kaapo Kakko finally snapped his extended goal-less drought. Kaapo Kaako clearly gained some confidence after picking up an assist earlier in the game because you tell he was much more confident with the puck. That was also evident on his goal as he maneuvered his way to open ice and fired a shot through the legs of Cam Talbot from the high slot.

Sean Monahan (14) - Noah Hanifin (7) & Johnny Gaudreau (22) - 8:22 2nd Period

Another defensive miscue wound up costing the Rangers a little under three minutes later as Calgary took their third lead of the evening. The Rangers had plenty of bodies back to defend the rush, but a cross-ice feed by Johnny Gaudreau sent the Rangers into disarray. Both Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund were able to slip behind the defensemen, and Monahan buried his 14th of the season to close out the scoring.

3rd Period

No scoring.

For the Rangers, it was much more of the same that we saw in Edmonton. Way too many egregious turnovers in their own end, and just simple mental mistakes that wound up in the back of their own net. The Rangers showed their comeback efforts again tonight, but they just haven’t been able to get out of their own way lately on the defensive side of the game. Following tonight’s loss, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before closing out their road trip on Saturday evening against the Vancouver Canucks.