Well, the Rangers got dominated in Pittsburgh today. We can’t even say it was unexpected. The Rangers were absolutely dominated in the first period to the tune of a -24 Corsi (33 shot attempts for Pittsburgh, 9 for the Rangers). It was a miracle that the Rangers were only down a goal in the first, mostly due to the play of Henrik Lundqvist. That said, the entire team –including Hank– was sloppy for a third straight game. This needs to stop. On to the goals.
Penguins 1, Rangers 0
The Rangers attempted to gain the Pittsburgh zone following a face off, and Taylor Pyatt turned the puck over at the blue line instead of getting the puck deep. Roman Hamrlik didn’t win board battle at the Ranger blue line. Anton Stralman got beat, Henrik Lundqvist was off his angle. This goal was all sorts of fail. It was not a good way to start the game. If everyone on the ice could re-do that shift, they would.
Pens 2, Rangers 0
With the Penguins on a powerplay, and Jeff Halpern without a stick, the Pens do a great job cycling the puck. Tyler Kennedy winds up with the puck at the weak side face off circle, and rips it past Hank. Still unsure if Steve Eminger deflected it by accident, but if he didn’t Hank wants that one back.
Pens 3, Rangers 0
The final nail in the coffin came when the Rangers again failed to get the puck deep into the Pittsburgh zone. Brad Richards was the culprit this time, who coughed the puck up at the blue line, then failed to backcheck properly. The appropriate play is for Richards to go after the second man (Pascal Dupuis) on the potential two-on-one. Instead, he makes a lazy stick swipe at the puck carrier (Dustin Jeffrey), who Stralman was already covering. After that, it was a nice pass by Jeffrey to Dupuis who finished strongly.
The Rangers had a chance to steal two points in this game because Hank kept them in it (despite letting in two bad angle goals). The offense was non-existent, the defense had more miscues than I have fingers and toes. This was the third straight sloppy game for the Rangers, and they have scored just twice in three games. There’s still a lot of hockey to be played, but time is running out.