Recap: Rangers Fall Short To Canucks Flashy Offense 

Recap: Rangers Fall Short To Canucks Flashy Offense 
Jan 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) and Vancouver Canucks left wing Nils Hoglander (21) battle for control of the puck in the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

It was the battle of two of the league’s best, however the Rangers were far from their best as they had a real rough outing defensively and in between the pipes. For the second time in the last four games, the Rangers allowed six goals as the Canucks bested them in a 6-3 win to even up the season series between the teams. In their last meeting, the Rangers came out on top in a 4-3 overtime win. This time around, things were not as close.

1st Period:

The Rangers would get an early advantage to start the night as Nils Aman took an offensive zone penalty, tripping up Ryan Lindgren behind the goal line. The top power play unit took the ice for the Blueshirts and about a minute in, found the back of the net. Adam Fox let a shot go from the point that created a bunch of mayhem in front of Thatcher Demko as the puck bounced out and off a bunch of traffic near the net.

Mika Zibanejad ended up with the rebound on the side of the net and threw it back towards the crease which led to Chris Kreider hacking at the loose puck. Artemiy Panarin then picked it up and chipped it over to Vincent Trocheck who sent it over to Zibanejad who then faked a shot and sent it back to Trocheck to put it into the wide open net to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Quite the pinball type of sequence.

Just 53 seconds after the Rangers took the lead, former friend JT Miller killed the momentum by letting a perfectly executed one timer go from right in the slot to beat Igor Shesterkin knotting the game right back up, 1-1.

Just a couple of minutes later, the Rangers got a bit lost in their own zone which allowed Vancouver to enter the zone, moving the puck extremely well. Nils Aman fed a pass over to Nils Hoglander who let a quick shot go very similar to Miller’s to beat Igor on the glove side, making it a 2-1 game.

Play slowed down a bit from there but things were leaning more towards Vancouver’s direction for the most part. The puck was sort of bouncing all over the place as neither team was really generating much at either end but the Rangers were turning the puck over a ton. The Rangers offense picked it up in the final minutes of the period but Thatcher Demko put on quite the show to turn away all of their big chances.

With 16 seconds left in the period, Elias Pettersson slipped the puck ahead to Brock Boeser who sped past everyone on the ice, including Shesterkin as he snuck a backhander to the back of the net, extending Vancouver’s lead to 3-1.

At the end of the first, shots were 13-7 in favor of New York but it was Vancouver with the two goal lead. A pretty sloppy period in terms of all around play as the Rangers certainly had some areas to clean things up heading into intermission. Turnovers and lackadaisical plays without the puck really cost them but the bright sides were that the offense was there and the power play was able to get going after going without a goal in Montreal Saturday Night.

2nd Period:

It’s been a while, but the second period brought along some line juggling for the Rangers. Alexis Lafrenière saw some reps with Kreider and Zibanejad with Blake Wheeler moving down to a line with Barclay Goodrow and Nick Bonino. As the period went on, the juggling continued with Panarin and Lafrenière getting double shifted on that top line while Brennan Othmann, Jimmy Vesey and Jonny Brodzinski didn’t see much ice time at all.

The Rangers offense kept getting chances but Demko continued to shut them down. Finally as we approached the games midway point, Artemiy Panarin patiently held onto the puck and waited for Demko to move before ripping a shot past him on the glove side.

Goalie Guru Steve Valiquette mentioned towards the end of the first intermission report that Igor Shesterkin needed a big save to keep his confidence and sure enough, as the team’s exchanged chances around the ten minute mark, Shesterkin came up with a big glove save to keep his team within one.


The pace really picked up around the midway point of the game and especially after the big saves from Shesterkin, it felt like the Rangers were on the brink of turning this game around. Unfortunately, the momentum would take a massive hit as Elias Pettersson pulled off an incredible individual effort to move the puck around Shesterkin regaining a two goal lead for the Canucks to make it 4-2.

Things escalated quickly as just over a minute later, Nils Hoglander picked up his second of the night on a beautiful touch and go move that Igor will definitely wish we could have back.

Vibes were not high in the Garden as the horn sounded for the second intermission. It was a perfect storm of the Rangers playing badly defensively and the Canucks forwards putting on an absolute clinic, showcasing their skills every chance they got. Shots were now 27-20 in favor of New York but it was Vancouver really making the most of their chances with Demko having the better night in net.

3rd Period:

Just over three minutes into the final period of regulation, Vincent Trocheck woke the Rangers up with his second of the night on a clean shot down the left wing side of the ice, bringing his team back within two, 5-3.

Chris Kreider nearly brought the Rangers back within one as he let a shot go from the same side that went off of Demko and off the top of the net. Closer to the halfway point of the third, Alexis Lafrenière drew a slashing penalty on Filip Hronek as he cut to the slot in the Canucks zone. This gave the Rangers power play unit their second chance of the night but they wouldn’t be able to get anything going this time around.

Things quieted down significantly from there as the Canucks were doing their best to just run out the clock as the chances for the Rangers were becoming fewer and further between. With two minutes to go, the Rangers pulled Shesterkin for the extra attacker and went to work in attempts to claw their way back in this one. It wouldn’t amount to much as Elias Pettersson picked up his second of the night on an empty netter with 91 seconds to go.

A frustrating showing on home ice as the Rangers got off to a great start, capitalizing on their early power play chance just to give up three consecutive goals in the first period to eventually fall to the Canucks 6-3. The Rangers will have a pair of days in between games before taking on the Blues over in St. Louis on Thursday Night for an 8pm puck drop.