Rangers Fall to Canucks, 2-1

The Rangers started a three-game Western road trip with a loss, falling to the Canucks 2-1 Wednesday night in Vancouver. Daniel Sedin and Alexander Edler each had a goal and an assist in the third period to lead the Canucks to the win.

The Rangers are now 2-5-1 in their last 8 games.

The Blueshirts came out like gang-busters. They had 27 shots during a scoreless 1st period; Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller made 15 saves, 6 were blocked by the defense, and 6 were off the mark.

After a scoreless 2nd period, the goals began to come in the 3rd period. The Rangers were well into killing a two-minute hooking penalty on Dominic Moore [at 1:32 of the 3rd], when Jarret Stoll was whistled for delay of game at 2:57, giving Vancouver a 5-on-3 advantage for 35 seconds. The Canucks scored 22 seconds later, at 3:19, on a slapshot by Edler to take a 1-0 lead.

The Blueshirts tied the game at 8:54. A Rick Nash shot was deflected by defenseman Christopher Tanev and stopped by Miller, but then Tanev fell on the loose puck in the crease. The officials awarded the Rangers a penalty shot, and Dan Boyle converted, sliding the puck past Miller at the last possible moment, and the game was 1-1.

The Canucks came right back and regained the lead, just 40 seconds later. Daniel Sedin re-directed Edler’s pass past Henrik Lundqvist for a goal and the 2-1 lead. It was Sedin’s 13th goal of the season.

Miller made 32 saves in the win. Lundqvist had 23 saves. The Rangers power play was 0-for-5.

The Rangers [now 18-8-3, 39 pts] continue their road trip Friday night in Edmonton.

Brassard Scores 2 as Rangers Top Ottawa, 4-1

Derick Brassard, who had scored only one goal in his last 9 games, scored twice, and team captain Ryan McDonagh added a goal and two assists, as the Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators at The Garden Sunday night, 4-1.

The Rangers, who have benefitted from hot goaltending all season, got it again Sunday, as Henrik Lundqvist looked particularly sharp, making 23 saves in the win.

The Blueshirts got two power play goals in the game for the second time in the last four games. McDonagh scored one 8:40 into the 1st period, after an interference penalty on Mika Zibanejad of Ottawa, to make it 1-0.

Then Brassard added a power play goal about five minutes later, after a penalty by Mike Hoffman, to make it 2-0.

Ottawa cut the lead to 2-1 at 6:01 of the 2nd period when Marc Methot whistled a shot that deflected off Marc Staal and past Lundqvist for his 2nd goal of the season.

At 10:08 of the 3rd, Brassard took a great pass from McDonagh and skated in on Craig Anderson and scored to make it 3-1. It was Brassard’s 9th of the season.

Jesper Fast added an empty-net goal at 18:29 for the final margin.

The Rangers [now 18-7-3, 39 pts] begin a three-game Western road trip Wednesday night in Vancouver.


Avalanche Top Slumping Rangers, 2-1

One night after a tense, emotional game against their cross-borough rivals, the Islanders, the Rangers looked flat and more than a little out-of-sync Thursday night at The Garden, and lost to the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1. The Blueshirts are now 1-4-1 in their last six games, after a stretch that saw them win 13 of 15.

Chris Wagner [at 13:21 of the 2nd period] and Matt Duchene [at 17:37 of the 2nd] found the net for Colorado.

Oscar Lindberg finally got the Rangers on the board with just 0:50 to play in the game, after the Blueshirts had pulled goalie Antti Raanta for an extra attacker. It was Lindberg’s 10th goal of the season.

Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves for Colorado. Raanta made 16.

The Rangers [now 17-7-3, 37 pts] have a couple of days off to regroup before hosting Ottawa Sunday night at The Garden.

Islanders Top Rangers in Shootout

The Rangers and the Islanders, two old rivals, met Wednesday night, in a new location for their battles, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The game was indicative of their previous meetings, filled with strong defense with superb goaltending. But, in the end, the Islanders beat the Rangers in a shootout to win, 2-1, when Dan Boyle‘s shot in the 3rd round of a shootout failed to find the net.

The Rangers are now 1-3-1 in their last 5 games, and 3-4-1 in the stretch that has followed their nine-game winning streak.

After a scoreless 1st period, the Islanders took a 1-0 lead midway through the 2nd period, thanks to Rangers penalties. The Rangers were more than a minute into killing off a Keith Yandle hooking penalty at 10:58 when Dan Girardi was called for delay of game at 12:05, giving the Islanders a 5-on-3 power play for 53 seconds.

The Islanders capitalized, with John Tavares scoring a power play goal at 12:22, beating Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist shot  for his 12th goal of the season. It was also Tavares’ 7th goal in his team’s last 11 games.

The Blueshirts tied it with 1:23 to play in the period when Viktor Stalberg redirected a Marc Staal shot past Jaroslav Halak to make it 1-1.

Neither team scored in the 3rd period, but both goalies were sharp. Lundqvist stopped Tavares with 1:41 to play, moments after Tavares left the penalty box following an Rangers power play.

In the five-minute overtime, Lundqvist made a terrific save on a Frans Nielsen shot with :02 to play, sending the game to a shootout.

In the shootout, Kyle Okposo scored for the Islanders, but Rick Nash, Nielsen, Mats Zuccarello, and Tavares could not, setting up Boyle’s final attempt.

Both goalies were repeatedly tested. Lundqvist made 36 saves on the night. Halal made 33.

The Rangers [now 17-6-3, 37 pts] are right back in action Thursday night, when they host Colorado at The Garden.

Rangers Recall Tanner Glass

The Rangers recalled forward Tanner Glass from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL this morning. With Derek Stepan out for 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the team only had 12 healthy forwards on the roster, and with a busy schedule ahead – including a three-game West Coast road trip next week – coach Alain Vigneault and the Blueshirts thought it was time to call up Glass.

Glass had a goal and 5 assists in 66 games in 2014-15. In the post-season, he had one assist in 19 games.

The Rangers [17-6-2, 36 pts] play the Islanders in Brooklyn tonight.

Klein Out 2-3 Weeks

On the heels of the Derek Stepan injury news comes word that defenseman Kevin Klein will miss 2-3 weeks with a strained oblique muscle. Klein was injured in the 1st period of Monday night’s win over Carolina, and missed the remainder of the game.

In 25 games, Klein had 3 goals and 3 assists.

Clearly this means more playing time for Dylan McIlrath. The team will now consider adding a 7th defenseman, perhaps from the Hartford minor league team.