by Patrick Hoffman on 03/15/12 at 11:54 PM ET
Going into the game without starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman Michael Del Zotto and team captain Ryan Callahan, one knew tonight’s game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden was going to be tough for the New York Rangers.
It was certainly tough for the Blueshirts as the team lost by a score of 5-2. The club did not have the depth to match what the Penguins were throwing out on the ice and unfortunately, it hurt them in the end.
Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain and arguably the best hockey player in the world, Sidney Crosby, had himself a solid first game back. Crosby picked-up an assist, was a +3 and had 16:00 minutes of ice time. He was also smart enough not to put himself into dangerous areas as to avoid getting hit too hard or being too vulnerable.
The Rangers were not terrible tonight but they certainly were not great. Defensive lapses early on in the second period really hurt the club as the Penguins were able to score two goals with the first 2:30 of the frame to go up by a score of 3-1.
The Blueshirts were able to cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal by Marian Gaborik but that would be the last time the team would find the back of the net tonight.
Looking at the positives, the Rangers got another solid performance out of the Gaborik (1 goal and 1 assist), Brad Richards (2 assists) and Carl Hagelin (1 goal and 1 assist) line. The trio combined for six points, was even +/- wise and took 13 shots on Penguins’ netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
Other than that, this game was not much to write home about for the Blueshirts. The loss allowed the Penguins, who have now won 10 straight games, to pull within two points of both the Atlantic Division- and Eastern Conference-lead and showed the Rangers that the Stanley Cup might run through them come playoff time.
The Rangers will be back in action on Saturday night at MSG to take on the Colorado Avalanche. Hopefully, the team will be healthier and will get back on the winning track before big games against the New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings, and Buffalo Sabres next week.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: and+buffalo+sabres., brad+richards, carl+hagelin, colorado+avalanche, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.