by Patrick Hoffman on 12/06/10 at 11:04 AM ET
How did most New York Rangers’ fans know that a game like last night’s loss to the Ottawa Senators was going to happen?
Unfortunately, they knew because this is how the Blueshirts play sometimes. When a weaker opponent comes into Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will often play down to their level and often either lose or win a close game.
Last night, the Senators came into MSG not having scored in their last nine periods and yet, the team managed to put in three (one empty net goal) against the Rangers in winning the hockey game 3-1.
Early on in the game, one could tell that the Rangers were going to struggle given that they were badly outplayed by a team that had played the night before in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Yet, the Senators were all over the puck in the Rangers’ zone and also played tight, defensive hockey.
What the Senators did was play a perfect road hockey game. They kept the Blueshirt crowd quiet for the most part and did not allow many quality scoring chances and when they did, goaltender Pascal Leclaire was there to make the key save (s).
One positive for the Rangers was the play of the Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust-RuslanFedotenko line. This line did a good job of generating scoring chances, kept the puck deep in the Senators zone and even generated a goal when Brandon Prust scored a shorthanded goal in the second period.
The team has three days to recover before taking on the Senators again in Ottawa on Thursday night. Hopefully for the Blueshirts, they’ll play a better brand of hockey to pick up two points.
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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 email@example.com.