Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rangers Drop Second Straight With 2-1 Loss To Panthers

The New York Rangers didn’t find the sense of urgency they needed following their 4-0 loss Saturday and it cost them again as they fell 2-1 in Florida Wednesday night.  The lack of offense was obvious, but the Rangers are back to the utter lack of energy and effort that was plaguing them to start the season as well.  If that does not change quickly, then the positive of the seven game win streak will disappear in the standings very quickly as the competition level is only increasing and the schedule getting more compact.

Florida outskated the Rangers for the entire first period with Jason Garrison making them pay on the power play at 10:06.  Garrison was left all alone for a bomb from the point scoring his league leading eighth goal by a defenseman.  That didn’t wake New York up as they let Kris Versteeg put them in a 2-0 whole in the opening seconds of the second period.  Tomas Fleischmann completely undressed Artem Anisimov before finding a wide-open Versteeg in front of the net.

Derek Stepan gave the Rangers a sense of hope when he scored 4:18 into the second period to cut the deficit in half.  Marian Gaborik made the goal happen after taking a Ryan McDonagh pass, dancing into the offensive zone and cutting to the middle until finding Stepan for the goal.

The Rangers generated some chances late in the third period, but Jose Theodore made some huge saves to preserve the game.  It should not even have been that close if not for the work for Henrik Lundqvist who made 36 saves on the night.  Lundqvist’s brightest stretch of the night was while killing the 5-minute major to Andre Deveaux. During the kill the Rangers got trapped in their own zone for long stretches, but Lundqvist saved them making seven stops during the kill.

The 5-minute major to Deveaux was from a ridiculously foolish play elbowing Tomas Fleischman in the head.  Deveaux was assessed a 5-minute major and given a match penalty for the hit.  He should receive a significant suspension and likely sends him back to the minors for how stupid and selfish the play was. 
  • Stralman made no difference on the power play
  • Boyle, Prust, and Fedotenko all seem lost out there right now and are bringing little to the table