The Rangers got outshot 45-28 against Minnesota last night, and Henrik Lundqvist’s 41 saves couldn’t keep the Rangers afloat in the 5-2 loss. Ryan Donato had a pair of first period goals, the second putting Minnesota up for good. His second also started a string of three straight for the home team. The loss leaves the Rangers with just one win in March.
The good news is that Brady Skjei and Tony DeAngelo led the Rangers in ice time for the defense. Marc Staal and Brendan Smith saw the least amount of ice time for defenders too. On the flip side, Lias Andersson played just 8:25 on 17 shifts. He finished with an even shot differential at even strength, so I’m not quite sure what David Quinn is seeing in his play that warrants such little ice time. But that’s another story for a different day.
Wild 1, Rangers 0
Neal Pionk gave the puck up to Pontus Aberg in the offensive zone, and he turned the odd man rush with Donato. Skjei played the rush well, taking out the pass. Only so much you can do on plays like these.
Rangers 1, Wild 1
Devan Dubnyk let the puck go past him behind the net, but was slow to get back to the net. Mika Zibanejad picked the puck up in the corner and just fired it to the net, knowing Dubnyk was not in position. The puck hit off Dubnyk and in.
Wild 2, Rangers 1
Filip Chytil with the bad giveaway in the corner to Jason Zucker. Fredrik Claesson didn’t circle back to find Luke Kunin at the high slot for the shot, and was in no-man’s land when Chytil lost Donato for the tip. Not a good shift for Chytil here.
Wild 3, Rangers 1
Jimmy Vesey’s shot got blocked and Kevin Fiala instantly turned this into a 2-on-1 for Eric Staal and Zach Parise. Neal Pionk with the snow angel way too early for players that skilled. Staal waited him out, and his pass went off the prone Pionk and in. Pionk actually swung his stick around and basically shot the puck past Hank.
Wild 4, Rangers 1
Fiala made a good play here to draw Brady Skjei to him in the corner and keeping Zibanejad’s attention on the puck, opening a better passing lane to Jared Spurgeon, who read the play and crept in from the point. Hank had no chance on this.
Wild 4, Rangers 2
DeAngelo made a nice backhand pass to a cutting Pavel Buchnevich in the neutral zone with speed, giving him the step on the defense for the break on Dubnyk. Nice move by Buchnevich to bury it.
Wild 5, Rangers 2
JT Brown empty netter.
This is basically what you expect nowadays from the Rangers. Without two of their big offensive weapons, they can’t generate anything sustained on offense. When you can’t generate sustained offense, you wind up hemorrhaging shots on defense. The entire defensive zone is yellow here, with a big area of red right in front.
If not for Hank, this game could have been 10-2, not 5-2. We weren’t expecting much from this team in terms of win, but at least now the losses are in regulation. The Blueshirts now sit in the 7th overall draft slot, and are within two points of being in the top-five. It’s a mad dash to the bottom."Donato's pair lifts Wild over Rangers...in regulation",