Recap: Rangers Point Streak Falls to the Stars

Recap: Rangers Point Streak Falls to the Stars
Nov 20, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars center Sam Steel (18) and New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) battle for control of the puck during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off a busy holiday week consisting of four games, the Rangers took on one of the Western Conference powerhouses, the Dallas Stars. Going into this game, the Stars sat atop the Central Division standings with a record of 11-4-1 as they came off a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. The Rangers would look to keep their streak going following their big win in New Jersey that same night but six unanswered goals led to the Stars putting an end to that.

1st Period:

The Rangers again got off to a good pace with a team that matched that energy real well. Both teams were playing strong north-south hockey, skating well and exchanging odd man rush opportunities. Alexis Lafrenière in particular not only had a couple of chances throughout the start of the game but really seemed to be skating smoothly and confidently. Jimmy Vesey came close to continuing his hot streak as he pulled off a beautiful move, ripping a shot off the post. Not long after, Lafrenière found himself on a breakaway where he picked up his third shot on goal through the first ten minutes of the game but wouldn’t be able to beat Scott Wedgewood.

Just over the midway point of the period, Matt Duchane threw a reverse hit on Tyler Pitlick with the puck well ahead of them to draw the first penalty of the game. The Rangers top power play unit took the ice but struggled to get anything set up. Power Play 2 would end up getting the bulk of the chances but the strong penalty killing from Dallas kept the score locked at zero.

Right after time on the Rangers man advantage expired, the Rangers got caught with too-many men on the ice which gave Dallas their first power play of the night. The Rangers returned the favor with a valiant effort on the penalty kill, keeping Dallas without a shot on goal for the full two minutes. The power play chances continued to go back and forth as Vincent Trocheck was tripped up by Sam Steel with four minutes to go, sending the Rangers top unit right back out there.

After losing the face-off, the Rangers were forced to regroup in their own end just as they had throughout the first man advantage. After re-entering Dallas’ zone, Vincent Trocheck gave Chris Kreider a perfect pass which Kreider sent wide of the net. This worked out in their favor as Trocheck was able to wrap the rebound around the net to catch Wedgewood off guard to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

In the last six games, Trocheck has put up four goals and seven assists for a total of eleven points. Seems to be clicking extremely well in the middle of Lafrenière and Artemiy Panarin.

The Rangers would take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission as they out-shot the Stars 16-6. Not only were the Rangers flying out there but they were defending extremely well, taking the slot away from Dallas’ offense anytime they attempted to get anything going. As a result, the Rangers had seven blocked shots throughout the game’s first twenty.

2nd Period:

After a couple early looks for the Rangers, Dallas began to sustain much more offense than they had through the first. Lafrenière and his linemates continued to lead the charge as he added on to his already significant shots on goal tally. While it remained to be a pretty even keeled game, the Stars had a couple spurts where they were spending more time than usual in the Rangers zone. There was about a three minute stretch around the games midway point where the Rangers top line was caught out there with the Schneider-Jones pairing for close to three minutes before finally able to get a change.

Not long after that shift, Kaapo Kakko and Nick Bonino were moving the puck back and forth down low. While Kakko tried getting the puck back over to Bonino, the puck bounced off the stick of Stars Defender Ryan Suter and ended up in the back of the net to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

While it wouldn’t be the prettiest goal, it was definitely a much needed one for Kaapo Kakko who hadn’t scored in the last ten games. Nick Bonino also picks up his first point as a New York Ranger with the primary assist.

Immediately after the Rangers took the two goal lead, a rough turnover from K’Andre Miller led to a 3-on-1 for the Stars. Roope Hintz sent it over to Joe Pavelski in the middle who fed Jamie Benn perfectly on the right side to send the puck right past a sprawling Igor Shesterkin.

With both team’s picking up a goal in the second, the Rangers preserved the lead by a score of 2-1 heading into the second intermission. The Stars offense was much more active in the second which brought the shots on goal tally to 23-17 in the Rangers favor. Despite the resurgence in Dallas’ game, the Rangers continued to get in front of many shots, with a total of 16 blocked shots through two.

3rd Period:

Chris Kreider had a great chance right out of the gate off a beautiful pass from Mika Zibanejad that found him all alone in the slot. Wedgewood was able to shut him down as play went the other way. Just over a minute in, Roope Hintz won an offensive zone face-off and let a couple of hard shots go from the point. The latter of which went right off the pad of Shesterkin onto the stick of Joe Pavelski who put the rebound away to tie the game up at two early in the third period.

With 14 and a half to go in regulation, Barclay Goodrow wasn’t paying attention and got his stick caught in the face of Mason Marchment on the way to the Rangers bench which gave the Stars their second power play chance of the night. About halfway through the man advantage, Shesterkin came up with the save off a one timer and Mason Marchment hacked at the puck that was between the pads of Shesterkin. For a brief moment in time, the Rangers caught a break as the officials initially waved off the goal saying that Shesterkin was interfered with but after a coaches challenge from Dallas, it was reviewed that there was no interference and it was a good goal.

Things went from bad to worse just over a minute later as a loose puck that followed a rebound was tapped in beneath a sprawled out Shesterkin. Peter Laviolette opted to use his coaches challenge which honestly, wasn’t the worst decision in the world. Sure enough, there was no goaltender interference on the play and the Rangers were assigned a delay of game penalty sending Dallas right back to the power play.

Down by two, Laviolette began juggling the lines a bit, giving Zibanejad a shift with Panarin and Lafrenière and eventually putting Kakko back on the top line in place of Blake Wheeler. Kakko would end up drawing a holding penalty against Evgenii Dadonov. With the Rangers back on the power play, Kreider set up Trocheck perfectly at the back door but the puck would deflect out of play. Zibanejad would have a couple of good chances on the power play but continues to not be able to buy one. Time eventually ran out on the man advantage but the increase in offensive zone pressure from the Rangers led to them drawing another penalty against the Stars.

This time around, the Rangers pulled Shesterkin for the extra attacker to make it a 6-on-4 with four minutes to go. A good idea in theory but after coughing the puck up at the blue line, Sam Steel fired it down to the empty net to extend the Stars lead to 5-2. The Rangers pulled Shesterkin again once obtaining possession in the offensive zone but again, the Stars found the puck and Roope Hintz sent it down to the empty net, 6-2. Despite how it might sound, the Rangers were still getting chances down the stretch on the power play with the empty nets, it just wasn’t in the stars.. No pun intended.

Barclay Goodrow would pick up a garbage time goal in the final seconds of the game which unfortunately, doesn’t really make up for his penalty that led to this one really getting away from the Rangers. After allowing six unanswered goals, the Rangers picked up their first regulation loss in a month and a day. The final score would be 6-3 and the final shots on goal tally would be 36-33 in favor of Dallas. Not only does the point streak for the team come to an end but Artemiy Panarin’s impressive streak to start the season comes to an end at 15 games.

A tough one for the Rangers to let fall out of their hands but with how strong of a start they’ve had to this season, it’s hard to be super critical of the one loss. From here, they’ll head to Pittsburgh as they have no time to waste in preparing for a divisional rival matchup against the Penguins on Wednesday Night where they’ll look to get back on track.