by Patrick Hoffman on 02/05/13 at 09:51 PM ET
For the New York Rangers, tonight must have seemed familiar as the team was beaten by the strong performances of New Jersey Devils' forward David Clarkson and netminder Martin Brodeur in a 3-1 loss.
Clarkson continues to show that last year was not a fluke as he picked up his sixth and seventh goal of the year by doing something the Rangers have not done often enough this season and that's being in the right position in the slot. On both goals, Clarkson was left open in front of Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist and he made them pay for it.
The Blueshirts also ran into the hot goaltending of Brodeur. Brodeur, who stopped 24 or 25 shots on the night, made several great saves in the first period to keep the Rangers off the board and then made a terrific glove save on Blueshirts' forward Carl Hagelin in the third period to help preserve the victory.
The loss puts the Rangers at 4-5 this season and also shows just how inconsistent the club really is. The team continued to struggle on the power play, played careless defense in front of Lundqvist and did not get the offense they need to win a hockey game.
While it would be very easy to credit the Devils for a game well played, the Rangers also continue to find ways to beat themselves. The team has yet to show offensive depth and if the opponent is able to shut down the likes of Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, more often than not, the opposition will win the hockey game.
Yes, there is still 39 games to play but the Rangers' play through the early going this season has been alarming. The same things that hurt them in the postseason last year are now hurting the team in the regular season and with a shortened schedule, every game being important and every team being competitive, things are not going to get any easier for the Blueshirts.
On Thursday night, the Rangers will be back in action to take on the New York Islanders. The two teams may be separated by just one point in the standings but with the way the Rangers are playing right now, it sure feels like more, doesn't it?
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, david+clarkson, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, rick+nash
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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.