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Rangers drop hard fought game to Blues

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Rangers dropped their second straight game for the first time in a while, losing to the St. Louis Blues by a score of 2-1. This is not one of those games –like Tuesday night’s game– where the Rangers failed to show up. This was a very hard fought game where both teams had to fight for every inch of space out there. The Blue capitalized on a turnover and a powerplay, while the Rangers were only able to capitalize on one turnover.

Henrik Lundqvist was solid in net. Rick Nash played a strong game, notching a goal in his fourth straight contest. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a Ranger that really had a bad game. Sure, the Rangers lost, but they showed that their early season struggles against the cream of the crop in the Western Conference are a thing of the past. They can skate with these teams.

On to the goals:

Blues 1, Rangers 0

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Dan Girardi made an ill-advised pass across the blue line in the offensive zone that Alex Steen easily picked off, sending the Blues on the offensive. Eventually Jaden Schwartz wound up with the puck in the corner as Steen was creeping out from behind the net uncovered. Schwartz hit Steen with the pass (well, hit his skate) before Chris Kreider could get there for the coverage. The deflected puck slid through Hank for the goal.

Rangers 1, Blues 1

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Jay Bouwmeester had his outlet pass picked off by Ryan McDonagh in the neutral zone, putting the Rangers in a position to transition. McDonagh and Derek Stepan worked the puck behind the net as Nash moved to the open ice at the top of the circle. Stepan hit Nash for the one-timer before Vladimir Sobotka could get there.

Blues 2, Rangers 1

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This was just one of those good fundamental goals. The Blues won the face off to begin their powerplay, and got Hank’s feet moving by moving the play to the near side of the ice. Eventually Kevin Shattenkirk let go a blast from the point with David Backes screening Hank in front (note the position of the defenseman: No longer fronting). Hockey happens. Hank couldn’t see the shot.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

The Rangers had the puck possession edge in this game at even strength (52% Corsi, 56% Fenwick), at 5v5 close (53.5% Corsi, 57% Fenwick), and at 5v5 tied (64% Corsi, 64% Fenwick). Unfortunately puck possession doesn’t always lead to wins, just ask the Devils. It was one of those games where they couldn’t solve Jaroslav Halak more than once, and the Blues made it very difficult to get quality scoring chances.

It would have been nice to see the Rangers win, but you can’t really be upset with the effort last night. They played hard, they just got beat by a solid team that is headed to the playoffs. Even with the two losses in a row, the Rangers are 7-4-1 in January with six games (Devils, Islanders x 2, Colorado, Edmonton, Pittsburgh) left until the Olympic break. All of those games are winnable games, and only the Penguins are a playoff team. They got beat last night, but they certainly weren’t sloppy like they were against the Islanders.

34 Responses to “Rangers drop hard fought game to Blues”

  1. F says:

    Colorado is a playoff team-pretty good one too

    • Dave says:

      I forgot they are in the playoffs, but I’m not sold on them. Unsustainable goaltending.

      • Chris.C says:

        Wow, I cant believe you are saying that Dave. The Blues are 33-11-5 and Halak alone is 21-7 with a line of .912 and 2.28.
        Not saying there win the Stanley Cup but there in the running.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        Not for nothing but the Rangers had opportunities to score but either didn’t get a shot off or on a few occasions they passed the puck back instead of driving to the net. I think they tried to be a little cute on a few prime chances. They wanted to keep it simple here but on a few chances they gave the Blues a get out of jail free card. IMO this could have been a 4-2 NYR win.

  2. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    The Rangers really need to finish strong before the Olympic break. The schedule gets much harder after. The division is really tightening up.

    • Dave says:

      Yea, they can’t let up off the gas pedal after that great run. They have a big opportunity to go 4-2 or 5-1 in that run. They need the points.

  3. Walt says:

    The team played hard, we lost, and I hate saying this but I’m not that upset. We gave a very good effert, and got beat by their PP, so be it. Had we not shown up, then you get pissed off, but tonight they played hard!!!!!

    Kline looked decent out there, and in time, when he is comfortable with the system, he will be a very sound d-man!!!

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      I agree we played a very good game. We play like that every game the results will be very very good

  4. SalMerc says:

    We have to play a full 60 minutes at the top level against teams like this. I think our top 2 lines did. I think our 3rd & 4th lines played okay, but to beat the best, everyone needs to work harder. Going to Yankee Stadium on Sunday. They better win if I have to stand in the icy cold for 3 hrs.

  5. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Any one notice John Moore was really good last night? He was quite noticeable

    • Walt says:

      Yes he did, that’s because he is on his natural side, and Kline covering any potential mishap. I believe this duo will be solid together!

      • pavel says:

        He really stood out last night. Leading the attack, skating, shooting, making plays, getting back on defense.
        His skills were really on display for the first time this season, I think. More importantly, he was playing with desire and confidence.

    • Dave says:

      Definitely played a strong game. Felt more comfortable knowing he had Klein back there. That’s the #KleinEffect.

    • Chris.C says:

      He looked pretty good both on the rush and in the Dzone. Needs to keep it up. The Kid definitely has all the parts for the Total Package.

  6. Chris F says:

    How about that ridiculous stat regarding the Blues PP.

    Last night’s PP goal was the fifteenth time this season that the Blues have scored within the first 10 seconds of a PP.

    Talk about execution.

    • Dave says:

      All about the face off win. It’s a set play: Move to opposite side, get the shot from the point with the screen.

      • SalMerc says:

        So true

      • Randy says:

        Faceoffs were a major part of last nights game i thought. Teams with faceoff specialists such as Konopka and Sobotka (weird that they have such similar last names) have a real hidden advantage there. That being said, Richie won that last faceoff clean, and Bouwmeester made a great diving block on Nash to win the game. That had the feel of a playoff game, and it is good to see the Rangers are finally able to stay in those grind-it-out type games. However, they still lost, and need to find a way to generate more scoring chances and maintain momentum when they get it, like at the end of the second period.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        The Rangers had there chances on the PP as well. That was the difference in this game. This team has had trouble with the Islanders & Devils. I want to see wins outside against both of them.

    • Chris.C says:

      Didn’t you know that, as soon Sam or Joe said that Stupid Fun Fact – They would get that goal in under 10 secs. Its called the Announcers Curse. Happens in all sports

  7. Sally says:

    It’s just too bad that we didn’t get the let-down game that the Blues had with the Devils.

  8. Chris A says:

    The Blues were pretty impressive last night, they have a fantastic speed/size combo. But the Rangers hung in there all night, so that’s good.

    It is nice to see the Fenwick Chart matches up with what I thought I was seeing, that the Rangers started to take the game over in the second half of the second period.

  9. Chris.C says:

    I was impressed with the team and the game lastnight. They kept Oshie, Backes, Tarasenko and company to the outside all night. Kline looked good going up and down the lines on the PP/PK, Moore looks more relaxed. Except for the PP goal and the Girardi brain fart at the Blue line(saw that coming as soon as he received the puck. I actually thought that was Nash). We could of had at least a point or two.
    Also have you all noticed that the Zucc-Brass-Pouliot line slumping.

    • Ray says:

      The goal numbers say they are. The Corsi numbers say they aren’t. Don’t know which to believe. AV clearly treated them as a third line last night as Brassard took very few face-offs.

    • Todd says:

      I agree with you. It seems like Zucc is cooling of a bit.

      I hope not.

      Not a lot coming out of the Cally-Richards- Haglin combo either…..

  10. Chuck A says:

    If we added up the opposing goalies’ save % of the losses incurred by the Rangers this year, what would the average be? Halak finishes at .971 last night – one of many super-high percentages we’ve seen from opponents this year.

    • Brendan says:

      just goes to show there is a difference between team shooting % vs opponents save %

  11. Centerman21 says:

    Did anyone notice the Rangers have opportunities to score but passed the puck instead of taking the shot. That seemed to be a huge difference with this team this season vs last years Torts run team. Against a big time opponent they didn’t make the big play. This team unlike the Hawks play a real tight game. I still think this team could use a guy that isn’t affraid to play in the crease. Some say the Sabres will move Moulson ($3 mil) by the Olympic break.

  12. melissa says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the post. At-least they tried to do best, anyways! Good luck for the next time.