With Winnipeg losing tonight in regulation to the Capitals, the Rangers had a chance to clinch tonight. Unfortunately, the Rangers just couldn’t cash it in despite dominating puck possession (+25 team corsi), out hitting the Panthers and forcing more turnovers.
The Rangers have 52 points with two games left to garner the 2 points needed to solidify a playoff spot. Winterpeg has 51 points, but they only have one game left. The Jets will face off against the Canadiens at home on Thursday, who have dropped two in a row and are 4-6 in their last 10.
Also at the edge of the playoff cliff are the Ottawa Senators who have 52 points as well, but they have three games remaining. On the positive side, should the Rangers win out, they may be able to nab the 6th seed depending on what happens to the Islanders. Lots of variables here.
On to the goals…
Rangers 0, Panthers 1
The Panthers opened the scoring early in the 2nd period. The play starts when the Panthers strip Nash of the puck in the offensive zone. From there they go on a transition rush, but every Ranger backchecks and drops into coverage. The puck gets worked to Filip Kuba at the left point. Kuba fires one into traffic, which gets deflected passed Lundqvist. Cheesey goal.
Rangers 1, Panthers 1
There was a lot to like on this goal. The play starts with Richards making a nice read on the breakout pass in the defensive zone. Richie hits MZA who leads the rush. Just beyond the right wing blueline MZA threads one through three Panthers to find Moore breaking down the left side. Moore cuts to the net (ala Rick Nash) and gets a shot off. As seen in the picture above, Robak (#47) had Pyatt but doesn’t stick with him. Pyatt makes him pay by tapping in Moore’s rebound off of his foot and in.
Rangers 1, Panthers 2
(PPG – GOC)
This is an easy one to breakdown. The Rangers were overloading the half boards on the penalty kill, but still weren’t able to clear the zone. The Panthers moved the puck around and eventually the play comes off the wall (pictured above). With McD in no-mans land and Stepan unable to intercept the pass, Goc is wide open in the slot for the put home.
Rangers 1, Panthers 3
Empty net. No breakdown.
Rangers 2, Panthers 3
Brassard gets one from Richards in the final seconds, but it was too little too late.