by Patrick Hoffman on 04/21/12 at 11:55 PM ET
Being that the New York Rangers were shutout 2-0 tonight by Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators in Game 5, that could be the understatement of the season.
The Rangers did a much better job tonight of getting pucks on net and crashing for rebounds but Anderson turned away all 41 shots that were thrown at him for his second career shutout. The Rangers are now just one loss away from elimination in what would be an extremely disappointing end to the Blueshirts’ season.
It is clear that the Blueshirts are struggling to score goals when it matters in this series. While Brad Richards had more than a handful of shots on goal, he was not able to put the puck in the net when the team needed him the most. Guys like Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Brandon Dubinsky were all kept quiet and for a team that needs other players to step up and score goals, that is not a good thing.
The team’s power play also struggled tonight. While this is nothing new for the Rangers, the team’s power play was given a chance to succeed late in the third period but the club failed to generate a quality scoring chance and were not able to tie the game up and finished 0-4 on the night.
With that said, a lot of credit should be given to Anderson. He was the story of the game and did a good job of fighting through traffic to see pucks, swallowing up rebounds and making the big saves when his club was being dominated at times.
Because of tonight’s loss, the Blueshirts are now in an extremely vulnerable position heading into Monday night’s Game 6 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. The Rangers will be playing for their playoff lives while the Senators will be looking to advance to the second round.
Heading into the series, not many knew what to expect given how good the Senators were against the Rangers in the regular season. Well, now everyone knows that the Senators have come to play and are a team not to be taken lightly.
In just two nights, the Senators could be showing how dangerous they are if they manage to beat the Rangers to win the series. The Rangers are in serious trouble because not only is the pressure on them given that they were the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but also because they face the chance of going home way too early.
The Rangers are in an “uh oh” moment right now. How will they respond on Monday night?
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, craig+anderson, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko
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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.