The Rangers seem to have a Henrik Lundqvist problem this year, the same way the Mets had a Jacob DeGrom problem this year. Much like how the Mets couldn’t score for Degrom ever, the Rangers seem to be unable to score with Lundqvist in net. DeGrom would’ve gone something like 32-1 if the Mets could score three runs with him on the mound. The Rangers are starting to have that issue with Hank, where they just can’t score with him in net.
The Rangers and Hawks played a close game with a good amount of back and forth action. The Hawks scored thrice (plus an empty netter), and the Rangers just once. Such is life sometimes. That said, the Rangers only put up one shot on goal in the third, which is simply not going to cut it. Here are some positives before getting into the goals:
- The Rangers played very well in this one. They only managed one goal, but the defensive lapses were few and far between, and they generated some good chances on Corey Crawford.
- Henrik Lundqvist was again spectacular, but if the club won’t score for him, there’s nothing he can do.
- Neal Pionk had a strong game. He must have read the post yesterday.
- Brett Howden is really good. I think we all overlooked him because of Chyilmania and Anderssonhype. But Howden is really making that McDonagh deal look better.
- The first two periods were fun to watch until the offense died in the third.
On to the goals.
Hawks 1, Rangers 0
Rangers 1, Hawks 1
Pavel Buchnevich was offscreen here at the bad angle, but he was able to one-time the rebound right into the yawning net. That’s an under appreciated skill there, being able to one-time a fast moving puck with as much force and accuracy that Buchnevich did on that goal.
Hawks 2, Rangers 1
This was an unfortunate play for Brendan Smith here. He broke his stick, and was forced to cover in front without a stick. Alexandre Fortin read this and got in a better position to accept a pass by swapping to the back door. Smith followed, and was all over Fortin, but without a stick he could not stop the pass from Nick Schmaltz.
Hawks 3, Rangers 1
This goal began with a blind backhand pass from Chris Kreider that was picked off in the slot in the offensive zone. Alex DeBrincat got a shot off the rush and then chased his rebound to the corner with Neal Pionk and Mats Zuccarello. Brendan Smith was charged with covering the man in the slot, but Vlad Namestnikov missed the trailer at the weak side, giving Artem Anisimov a prime chance. His chance was stopped, but Patrick Kane was crashing the net, having gotten body position on Smith to tuck it into the net.
Hawks 4, Rangers 1
DeBrincat empty netter.
And that’s a wrap folks. The score doesn’t really show how well the Rangers played through the first two periods. But the third period really did them in. It was a period they needed a goal, and they got a shot. Just one. That won’t cut it. On to California for the west coast swing.