The Rangers came into Minnesota last night looking to extend their winning streak to three games. For the most part, they played well. They generated a good amount of chances, and outscored the Wild for the final 54 minutes or so. The problem was they had a three minute stretch in the first where they forgot they were playing a hockey game. Boneheaded plays, turnovers, and some bad luck all combined for three goals in a span of three minutes and change for the Wild to grab a 3-0 lead, something they would not relinquish.
Neal Pionk and John Gilmour had strong games. It was nice to see some kids showing they can play at this level, even if it is just a two or three game sample so far. There wasn’t much else to say about this game. Devan Dubnyk was tested throughout and played well. Henrik Lundqvist was hung out to dry for those three minutes. He wasn’t really tested much though. It seems odd to say, since this game appeared to be, for the most part, controlled by the Rangers. That said, Minnesota did a good job of shutting the Rangers down in the third, really limiting their chances.
On to the goals:
Wild 1, Rangers 0
Wild 2, Rangers 0
Rick Nash scored on the wrong net here.
Wild 3, Rangers 0
Brady Skjei over skated the puck, allowing the puck to free up to get to Marcus Foligno in the high slot for the easy goal.
Wild 3, Rangers 1
Vinny Lettieri forced a turnover low on the powerplay, and got support from Kevin Hayes to get the puck up to the point. Tony DeAngelo collected the pass while John Gilmour slid down to get to a position to shoot. DeAngelo’s pass was perfect, and Gilmour fired an absolute howitzer by Dubnyk.
Wild 3, Rangers 2
Starts with Pionk's block, ends with the puck in the back of the net from Hayes pic.twitter.com/gfwuVc2mKh
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 14, 2018
Neal Pionk blocked a shot as Nash came out of the box, and then flipped the puck out of the zone to Michael Grabner. Grabner got the puck to Hayes, who had his shot deflected as he took it. The deflection fooled Dubnyk.
Score Adjusted Corsi (even strength)
It’s amazing what turnovers and bad plays can do. The Rangers, except for those three minutes and change, played somewhat well this game. But those three minutes in the first where they forgot how to play really hurt them. I’m not overly pleased with that stint in the third where Minnesota controlled play, but they are a good team, after all.
Scoring Chances (even strength)
The ratio of shot attempts to scoring chances really isn’t that good here. We expected that three minute stretch to be rough, but the Rangers actually allowed a good number of chances to Minnesota. I guess that should be expected, all things considered.
The kids looked good in this game, so that’s the main takeaway for me from this one. Pionk and Gilmour looked steady. They make good decisions with the puck in their own end. They haven’t really had many gaffes either. Tony DeAngelo is a great passer as well. On to the next."Three minutes in the first doom Rangers in Minnesota",