Although the Rangers won the puck possession game with 60 even strength Corsi events (shots+missed shots+attempts blocked) to Edmonton’s 46, they just couldn’t find a way to win. The Rangers also had way too many giveaways — 15 to be exact — to a team they should have had a better time managing the puck against.
On the positive side, Captain Callahan had another solid game with 8 hits, 2 blocked shots and several grade A chances, including a breakaway that just wouldn’t go. I know, I’m starting to sound like Doc.
And a shotttttttttttt!
Anyway, on to the goals:
Rangers 0, Oilers 1
After an Oiler dump-in, Talbot collected the puck behind the net and passed it into the corner to Klein, who made his first big turnover as a Ranger. Instead of putting the puck on his forehand and delivering a short tape-to-tape pass to Boyle, Klein backhanded a pass off of Brian’s skate (see above image).
The puck redirected to Ryan Smyth, who came streaking into the high slot (off screen in the photo) and put one on net. Talbot got a piece of it, but the puck kinda knuckled onto the goal line. Smyth followed up on his shot and just buried his own rebound.
Aside from the breakdown, I was surprised AV and Arniel matched up our 4th line against Smyth and Perron. Usually it’s 4th line to 4th line. Odd.
Rangers 1, Oilers 1
The Rangers answered back at the start of the second period with a great shift by the third line (Pouliot-Brass-MZA). The boys were getting pucks deep and pressuring the Oilers defense, which they weren’t doing in the first period.
On the play, Andrew Ference tried to clear the zone, sending the puck up the leftwing half wall. Eberle kinda high sticked the puck out of the air and batted it right back to Pouliot. MZA read the play and headed towards Pouliot for support.
Perron and Gagner are clearly thinking offense here and are both looking to fly the zone early (see above image). Pouliot is able to pass it to MZA, who feeds a wide-open Brassard just inside the right face-off circle. Brass finishes with a hard one-timer under the glove of a sprawling Scrivens. Great goal.
Rangers 1, Oilers 2
The game winner was a tough one to swallow. Kreider got caught on an extended shift and was clearly gassed. Richie, McDonagh, and Stralman all lost puck battles with their respective checks. Nail ‘Another Enigmatic Russian Said Canadians’ Yakupov was left wide-open in the high slot for the game winner. Just goes to show what can happen to a game with one bad shift.
I wasn’t able to get a good screen shot on this one, plus there were too many breakdowns to capture anyway. Additionally, Eakins did a good job juggling his lines a little bit and deploying his scorers at opportunes times, which we didn’t really have an answer for. Oh well. On to the next game. Hopefully the Rangers finish strong against the Pens.