The Rangers are who we thought they were. They are a team that can put up huge goal totals in one game and fail to finish in the next. They are a team that does not handle momentum type wins very well as they destroyed a nemesis on Sunday and came out tonight and put in an awful effort in a 5-2 loss to the Ducks. They were outhustled and out skilled all night by Anaheim in one the worst performances this team has put on all season. Tonight you really saw the difference between the Rangers as a team that tries to grind out everything and rely on committee offense versus a team that truly has elite skill. The line of Ryan, Getzlaf, and Perry dominated the Rangers all night long combining for three goals, five assists and a plus 10, while the Rangers line of Dubinsky, Anisimov, Callahan had one goal and were a minus 10.
The first period started very well with an excellent opening five minutes. The Rangers struck first with Brandon Dubinsky netting his 20th goal on the season just 3:30 into the game. The play was a beautiful setup by Ryan Callahan that saw Dubinsky walk in all alone on a busted defensive play by Cam Fowler and he finished it off. Things went straight downhill from there.
The Ducks tallied three goals before the end of the first and each one was off a Rangers player. Corey Perry would get the first 7:34 in when he threw the puck toward the crease and it banked off the skate of Dan Girardi. Next up was Lubomir Visnovsky firing one from the point off Marc Staal’s arm and in to give the Ducks the lead. Visnovsky was not done as he got another deflected goal late in the first. This time off Artem Anisimov’s stick turning it into a knuckle puck that bounced off the ice and over Lundqvist’s shoulder.
The Rangers were dominated again in the second period, but there were no goals. The third period was a combination of Rangers failures and Anaheim showing how finishing is done by top players in this league. Brandon Dubinsky had a wide open net to shoot at early in the third but instead of burying the chance he shot it back across the net into Dan Ellis paddle. Of course the Ducks would take the puck the other way on a two-on-one and show the Rangers how it is done with Bobby Ryan burying the chance to turn what could have been a 3-2 deficit immediately into a 4-1 hole. On the play Girardi did not take away the shot or the pass and Perry found Ryan for the finish.
Marian Gaborik scored a meaningless power play goal 5:31 into the third after being invisible for the first two plus periods of action. With the score still 4-2 Gaborik would have a similar chance with at least three feet of the net to work with and he too shot it back across into Ellis instead of burying it and making it a game.
Anaheim would cap it with just over five minutes remaining when Bobby Ryan walked around Dan Girardi, who once again dove on the ice and got nothing, and fed the puck across to Corey Perry who made it 5-2.
- Marian Gaborik getting a meaningless goal for me was nothing more than stat padding and I don’t take it as any sort of sign that he is headed in the right direction. His invisibility when the game was even in question was ridiculous.
- Dan Girardi was abysmal tonight