The up and down season continues for the Rangers as they dropped another game to the Penguins, 3-0 at the Garden tonight. This was a frustrating loss, not only because the group’s low scoring ways continued, but because the Rangers did a lot of good things tonight and came up empty handed. Let’s get to the goals…
Pittsburgh 1, Rangers 0
The Pens struck early in this one, just 1:24 into the opening frame. The Rangers got caught running around in their own zone due to some quality puck movement from the Pens. Kris Letang was able to sneak a nice lateral pass down to the back door for Malkin, who ripped a one-timer, short side for the early tally.
Pittsburgh 2, Rangers 0
The Penguins were held in check until the beginning of the third period. With the Rangers shorthanded to start the frame, the Pittsburgh power play went to work. Crosby picked up the puck at the point and fired a half pass/half short toward the nearside post and James Neal put a beautiful tip on it, off the crossbar. Goals of the week stuff.
Pittsburgh 3, Rangers 0
To add insult to injury, this goal happened. The Rangers were on the power play, and just as it was expiring, they hit the post, for the second time in the period. The puck is then cleared and Marc Staal ends up in a footrace with Pascal Dupuis. Staal wins the race but is unable to flip the puck past Dupuis, who intercepts and finds Simon Despres, fresh out the penalty box for a fairly ordinary backhanded breakaway goal. And that’ll do it.
The game was fairly even in most statistical categories. Shots, face-offs, penalty minutes, but the Pens capitalized on their chances. The Rangers did a lot of good things creating offense, but it seems like they are a step too slow or the puck takes one bounce too many. The chances aren’t clean, and they aren’t getting the bounces at the moment. I don’t necessarily have a point to this, but just something I observed.
That makes six games in-a-row that Pittsburgh has taken against the Blueshirts. It’s weird because I definitely had the feeling the Pens had our number, but I had no idea its been that long since we beat them.
Hank was sensational tonight. His performance will be overshadowed by Vokoun’s shutout, but he had some showtime stops. Nothing he could do on any of those goals (well, maybe the third one, but it wasn’t soft by any means).
When will this run of Stanley Cup contenders be over? That’s six of their first seven games against Boston, Pittsburgh and Philly. Looney tunes. Now they get Tampa, who, coincidentally own the league’s second best goal differential.
Hopefully they will be able to find the back of the net in Florida on Saturday. Face-off in St. Pete is scheduled for 7pm.