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Rangers blow pair of two goal leads, fall to Isles

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Rangers started this game the way they started every other game during this 11-4-1 swing: By playing strong hockey and capitalizing on early scoring chances. Problem is that despite the pair of two-goal leads, the Islanders were the team dominating puck possession. The Rangers didn’t catch up on puck possession until the Isles took a pair of penalties in the second period, which eventually led to the second two-goal lead.

Cam Talbot was a bit shaky in this one, but the rest of the Rangers were shaky as well. They had a lot of trouble picking up the right man in the defensive zone, and it led to a bunch of miscues that either wound up in the back of the net or under Talbot. Kevin Poulin wasn’t that much better, but he made some big saves when it counted. It was a rough loss, but there’s no use dwelling over it.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Isles 0

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Chris Kreider dumped the puck into the zone and managed to beat both defensemen to the puck in the corner. John Tavares cheated low to keep with Derek Stepan in the slot, even though Calvin de Haan was already covering him in the slot. This allowed Rick Nash to take the inside route on Thomas Vanek to the top of the circle. Kreider hit Nash with the pass, and Nash beat Poulin stick side.

Rangers 2, Isles 0

Kreider again began this goal, this time by forcing Kyle Okposo into an offensive zone turnover. Dan Girardi collected the puck and hit Nash behind the defense for the breakaway. I couldn’t get a clear picture on this one, sorry.

Isles 1, Rangers 2

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Four Rangers were caught watching Okposo and Tavares down low. No one picked up Matt Martin sneaking into the high slot. Tavares just had to get it to his stick for the easy goal.

Rangers 3, Isles 1

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With the Rangers on the powerplay, Derek Stepan collected the puck at the top of the far side circle, skated to the high slot for a better angle, and ripped a shot on goal. Kreider was in front screening Poulin, who never saw the shot. Stepan’s shot hit the post and ricocheted off Poulin’s back, but Kreider was able to get position on de Haan in front and poke it home.

Isles 2, Rangers 3

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The Isles won a face off clean in the defensive zone to begin their breakout, eventually carrying the puck into the zone. Vanek got the puck to Okposo on the far side, and Thomas Hickey was able to free himself as he cut from the corner to the net for a wide open tip-in goal. Hickey was Girardi’s man, and he simply didn’t pick him up.

Isles 3, Rangers 3

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With the Isles on the rush, Marc Staal covered the left side (Colin McDonald) while Michael Del Zotto covered the right side (Tavares). Brad Richards was backchecking hard and eventually caught up tot he play down low. It appeared that MDZ got beat at the bottom of the circle, and Staal vacated his position on the left side to go assist MDZ. This left McDonald wide open in front with all day to bang home the rebound created from Tavares’ shot. Del Zotto didn’t have enough time to cover. You can argue that Staal should’ve stayed with McDonald, and the Rangers should have surrendered the bad angle shot. You can also argue that Richards should have covered McDonald, but that’s a tough sell since the defensive coverage switch didn’t happen until he was already on top of the play.

Isles 4, Rangers 3

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This was a nice play by the Isles to take advantage of the Rangers fronting on the penalty kill coverage. Frans Nielson hit Tavares in the high slot, who tipped the puck to Vanek behind the Rangers defense. Vanek just had to go around Talbot for the eventual winner.

Isles 5, Rangers 3

Empty netter.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

This is the first time in a long time that the Rangers didn’t dominate puck possession in the early going. The chart here may show a pretty even split by the time the game ended, but this chart is for all situations. If we break it down to even strength, the Isles had a 52% Fenwick advantage and 53% Corsi advantage. At 5v5 close (+/- 2 goals), the Isles again had a 52% Corsi advantage (Rangers with a 51% Fenwick advantage). Just one of those games.

This was a tough loss to take. The Rangers were abnormally sloppy, and the Isles took advantage of that from beginning to end. There were a lot of defensive zone breakdowns that led to goals, and the goaltending itself wasn’t all that strong. These losses happen, and hopefully it is a one-off game. Just move on and on to the next one on Thursday against the Blues.

21 Responses to “Rangers blow pair of two goal leads, fall to Isles”

  1. Centerman21 says:

    They had better be ready. IMO this St. Louis team and not the Ducks are the best team in the NHL. They have a solid team structure on both sides of the puck. This will be a measuring stick game again. The Rangers had the Blues beat if Biron could stop a beach ball from getting by him. The Rangers can’t play that way like last night and beat the best.

  2. SalMerc says:

    Very sloppy game. Seemed like they thought they could turn it on when they wanted and the end result was going to be positive. So much for that. The Isles are a mediocre team at best. If they could capitalize on our mistakes, what will the good teams do? I actually think McD had a poor game (one of his few).

    • Chris F says:

      The Isles are mediocre because of their D and goaltending, not because of their forward corps.

      They can capitalize on mistakes and make you pay just as well as anyone in the League, especially when Vanek-Tavares-Okposo are on the ice.

      I’m so sick of this mentality that the Rangers should breeze through the Islanders.

      They have potent offensive talent and they come to battle every time they face the Rangers. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

      • SalMerc says:

        Could it be that the Islanders are LAST in our division and good teams beat up on last place teams in their building!

        • Chris F says:

          Could it be that standings are sometimes overrated (see Capitals, Washington, 2013).

        • Centerman21 says:

          The Islanders are 4 wins behind the Rangers. The Islanders are a good hockey club. If they had a goalie, they’d be right next to the Rangers.

  3. Walt says:

    Let’s give credit where it’s due, we were out played, and it showed on the score board!!!!!

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Well said Walt. The Islanders out hustled and out  worked the Rangers all game. This was a bad lose. This team isn’t good enough to look ahead or take a nite off. Nash has 2stay hot. Kreider is a beast. All 3goals because of Kreiders  hard work.

  4. Centerman21 says:

    I think the Rangers should trade Boyle and/or DZ. They have Moore and when Dorsett returns, someone will have to sit. they can both kill penalties in Boyles place. I’m a big fan of his but the Rangers could use a right handed D like Wideman, or even Dan Boyle. Boyle has some worth in this league but it seems AV is weening off of Boyle. His mins are way down now. I like a Carcillo-Moore-Dorsett line. It’s a balanced line with 2 lefties & a Right handed RW. Boyle is misused as a LW. Get what you can for him now or when Dorsett returns. Sather got calls on him so there’s interest.

    • paulronty says:

      Another stinker against the Isles, hard to take.  MDZ was a draft mistake and I like the idea of trading him and Boyle in a package deal.  I really like Boyler but it’s time to ship he & MDZ out.

  5. Chris F says:

    If you guys want to see a mediocre team, a true paper tiger, then look no further than the Capitals.

    These overhyped imposters have the least amount of Regulation/OT Wins in the Metropolitan, with a measly 14 (Rangers have 24).

    Caps are riding points off 8 shootout wins and another 8 OT/SO losses.

    Their season has been a mirage, and it’s catching up to them as they plummet to the bottom of the division.

    Islanders are on fire and they will soon be much more in the race than the Caps.

    Rangers will get payback in the Bronx!

    • Chris A says:

      Shocking that the Caps leaving the Southwest division would hurt their W-L record.
       
      Great point about Washington’s ROW column, every time I see it I do a double-take and think it’s a typo

      • Chris F says:

        All season long the Rangers have actually been the true #2 in the division based on ROW.

        There are a lot of unearned points floating around out there, and yet the Rangers have secured second place with only 3 OT losses and 3 SO wins. That’s 6 points. Capitals have 16 of those type of points.

        It will all come crashing down, and when it the dust settles, I guarantee the Rangers will sit unquestionably in the Metro ‘ s top 3.

  6. tpetrillo says:

    When is everyone going to realize that Boyle is one of the best defensive forwards in the league and isn’t going anywhere?

  7. PopsTwitTar says:

    You underplayed how awesome Tavares was on that first Islanders goal.  He made a quick change of direction to lose Girardi behind the net, and pulled McDonagh out of position to try for a poke check, and then slid it to Martin.  He’s fun to watch.

    • Walt says:

      Too bad we couldn’t have traded MDZ for him!!  That’s a joke folks, John is a terrific player, and is living up to his first round draft pick potential!!!!!