The Rangers were home for a matinee matchup yesterday against the Sharks, who came in battling the Ducks for top position in the Pacific Division. The Rangers were fresh off a win against Winnipeg which featured Carl Hagelin’s first career hat trick and Henrik Lundqvist’s 301st career win, which tied him with Mike Richter for the lead on the Rangers’ all time list.
The first period opened with an onslaught of offensive pressure from the Rangers. Despite 14 shots in the first 11 minutes of the game, Antti Niemi was on point enough that the Sharks were able to capitalize on only their 4th shot of the game. To add insult to injury, this goal was a shorthanded breakaway goal that was scored by Logan Couture as he deked and put a backhand shot over Lundqvist’s outstretched glove. This unfortunately was the only goal of the game, so let’s go over some points to take from it.
- Marty St. Louis has now gone 7 games without a goal in a Rangers sweater.
- Ryan McDonagh had an outstanding game, putting 6 shots on net and blocking 3 shots in 27:18 minutes of ice time. He also nearly tied the game after Dan Carcillo fed McDonagh a beautiful cross ice pass that was only thwarted by the stick of Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
- While they generated some chances, the Rangers were unable to capitalize on their three powerplays. Their powerplay has been very inconsistent lately, looking rushed and disorganized.
- The Carl Hagelin non-goal should not be discussed, and here’s why: at the end of the day, though we all saw one angle that kinda sorta showed it going in, there was no conclusive evidence of this being a goal scored. Furthermore, the Rangers needed more than one goal to win this game, which they never got.
- Although he gave up Couture’s shorthanded goal, Lundqvist was superb as he kept the Rangers in the game despite many phenomenal chances from the Sharks including their first shot of the game, a one timer in the slot from Patrick Marleau.
- The Rangers will need much more from Nash, St. Louis and Richards if they expect to make the playoffs as they are now in a precarious spot holding onto the second wild card spot.
The Rangers will have tomorrow off before starting a road trip that they will need to do well on in order to solidify their hold on a playoff spot. The road trip kicks off against a struggling Ottawa team on Tuesday night at 7:30. Let’s hope their shower situation winds up better this time.