Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rangers Stymied By Blues In 4-1 Loss

The New York Rangers were stymied by the St. Louis Blues defense for almost the entire 60 minutes giving them little ability to generate anything offensively in a 4-1 defeat Thursday night.  The Rangers went long stretches unable to even generate a shot on goal and that just will not get it done against quality opposition. 
Against a team that plays the defensive game that St. Louis does the last thing you can afford to do is fall behind early and the Rangers were down 2-0 just 11 minutes in.  Patrik Berglund got the Blues going 7:06 in when the Rangers allowed him to walk off the wall and into the faceoff circle beating Lundqvist with a wrister.  St. Louis added to in when David Perron was left alone in the slot for a beautiful tip goal 3:57 later.  The Fedotenko, Richards, Callahan line was on for both goals against and it resulted in both Richards and Fedotenko being benched for the rest of the period.
The Rangers showed life late in the second period and capitalized on an odd-man rush with Del Zotto finishing at 16:18.  Callahan led the rush, fed Dubinsky on the right side and he found the cutting Del Zotto for a pretty finish.  The goal gave the Rangers hope that after being dominated for the better part of two periods that they were only down one goal heading to the final period.
The hope was drained just 61 seconds into third period when Alex Steen scored a whacky goal which bounced off Girardi, Steen and then Lundqvist’s back and into the net.  Following that goal the Rangers never generated a real threat to Brian Elliot and the Blues before Jason Arnott put in the empty-netter to close the scoring.
  • Carl Hagelin was the lone bright spot up front tonight as he played with energy and effort that was not there for far too many forwards.
  • Anton Stralman was very solid defensively tonight and appears to be gaining confidence in his play.
  • Ryan McDonagh learned the hard way that while he is an excellent young player with good strength, players like David Backes can make you look foolish if you aren’t ready for that kind of contact.
  • Brad Richards has been struggling of late.
  • Dubinsky, Boyle, Fedotenko and Prust are all key players that the Rangers need to produce and they are not doing it right now.