In what was described as one of the biggest games of the season, the New York Rangers’ offense came up empty Thursday as its playoff hopes faded in a 4-0 loss to the Islanders. Right from the opening puck drop, the Rangers never got anything going and the Islanders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the game. That trend continued for the remainder of the game, and the Islanders just smothered the Rangers for the remaining 40 minutes of play.
Leo Komarov (1) - Jordan Eberle (17) & Nick Leddy (26) - 6:27
It didn’t take very long for the Islanders to strike first, and they opened the scoring just over six minutes into the game. The Rangers were caught puck watching as Nick Leddy weaved his way through the middle of the ice and entered the offensive zone. Three separate Rangers went to the puck as Jordan Eberle fed a cross-ice feed back across the slot. Leo Komarov was able to collect the puck and rip a hard shot over the shoulder of Igor Shesterkin all in one motion.
Oliver Wahlstrom (10) - Brock Nelson (11) & Josh Bailey (21) PPG - 12:39
About six minutes later, the Islanders were able to double up their lead with a power play goal coming from Oliver Wahlstrom. The Rangers were unable to strip the puck away from Brock Nelson as he entered the zone, and he laid off a quick drop pass to Oliver Wahlstrom. Wahlstrom was able to work his way into a shooting lane and fired a heavy wrist shot through traffic and beat Igor Shesterkin under the crossbar.
Anthony Beauvillier (11) - Scott Mayfield (11) & Brock Nelson (12) - 1:03
With the Rangers thankful to only be down by two-goals entering the second period, a quick goal by Anthony Beauvillier quickly spoiled their hope. Faceoffs were a glaring issue tonight and a clean loss by Ryan Strome lead to a high quality chance against. Scott Mayfield was able to find Anthony Beauvillier wide open on the right side the ice and put a pass right on his tape. The quick turnaround shot by Beauvillier seemed to stun Shesterkin and the Islanders grabbed a 3-0 lead in this game.
Mathew Barzal (14) - Scott Mayfield (12) ENG - 14:26
The Rangers had a late power play chance to do something with and they pulled the goaltender to hopefully get some offense going. However, the Islanders killed off the penalty with relative ease and Mathew Barzal iced the game as he exited the penalty box.
This was probably one of the worst games the Rangers could have played, given the potential playoff implications that were at stake. The Islanders were able to jump out to their early lead and just shut down the Rangers for the remainder of the game. Following tonight’s heartbreaking loss, the Rangers will have a chance at redemption on Saturday night, but as far as the playoffs go, it could be a little too late at this point.