Rangers vs. Blue Jackets: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Rangers were shutout for the first time this season as Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves.

  • For the first time this season the New York Rangers were kept off the score sheet for an entire game, as they fell 2-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Rangers have now dropped back-to-back games after previously winning six in a row. #ThatsHockeySuzyn
  • This game was all about goaltending as Henrik Lundqvist stopped 40 of 42 shots while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all 36 shots he faced. The two goals allowed by Lundqvist were a result of improper puck management.
  • On the Blue Jackets’ first goal, Brandon Dubinsky walked all over David Desharnais before throwing a pass that crossed the royal road to Zach Werenski who was wide open./
  • The Royal Road is a line that goes directly through the middle of the ice from one net to the other, and according to Steve Valiquette, a puck crossing this imaginary line immediately preceding a shot increases a scoring opportunity by over 10 times. In the above clip, Lundqvist is square to Dubinsky even as he goes forehand to backhand. Once the pass goes across, Lundqvist slides to square himself with Werenski but doing so opens up space on the stick side, and Hank had no chance.
  • The above goal was scored on a rush that started after a Rangers’ scoring chance at the other end of the ice./
  • Alain Vigneault broke up the KZB line against Columbus to start the third period, and honestly, there really was no reason for that. This was a game in which the Rangers generated a number of quality chances, but they came against the best goalie in the NHL. It was a reactionary move – and not a good one at that.
  • Pavel Buchnevich was the odd man out from the line, and he was benched later in the period after being sent off for a very soft penalty./
  • He had 13:59 in total ice time, but only four shifts in the third for a total of 3:32. Of that time, 1:31 came in two shifts after the penalty was taken.
  • The Blue Jackets scored on that penalty taken by Buchnevich, with a goal that could have been prevented. Kevin Hayes tried to hit Rick Nash on a breakaway on a clearing attempt, but turned the puck over. This resulted in Artemi Panarin being all alone on the other side of the ice; he walked in and blasted a shot past Lundqvist./
  • Panarin has one of the best slapshots in the NHL, and he had enough time to throw his weight into it, so it is hard to get angry at Lundqvist here.
  • This game was Brendan Smith’s first game back in the lineup, and as expected he had the lowest ice time among defenders./
  • Overall the game could have been a lot worse. Per Corsica, the Rangers lost the all situations xGF% battle 63.92% to 36.08%. The Blue Jackets’ expected goals for this game was 4.89, while the Rangers’ expected goals for was 2.76. And one of the better chances of the game actually involved Smith, who was robbed by Bobrovsky./
  • The Rangers are off today and get back to action on Sunday night vs. the Ottawa Senators./