Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Seven Minutes of Poor Play leads to 4-3 Shootout loss for Blueshirts

Had it not been for a terrible span of seven minutes in the second period, the New York Rangers may have never lost 4-3 to the New York Islanders in a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

After going up 2-0 in the first period, the Rangers stopped skating and allowed the Islanders to skate all over them for the first seven minutes. The result was three quick goals and the loss of a lead that the team should have built on.

The Rangers were able to tie the game at three when Carl Hagelin knocked a loose puck in the crease past Islanders' netminder Evgeni Nabokov. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, the team was unable to get another one and the Islanders' first two shooters in the shootout did all the rest to spoil the Rangers' three game winning streak.

As always, the Rangers' power play struggled tonight. Yes, the team did manage to get one goal with the man advantage but other than that, they struggled to get pucks on the net, move the puck cleanly and even find good lanes to get a shot on Nabokov.

As I mentioned in my blog a little while ago, Brad Richards was just one of the reasons why the team could not do much on the man advantage tonight. His poor play on the power play actually caused team head coach John Tortorella to bench him for much of the third period. 

The team certainly started the game with the right mindset and the right effort. The club crashed the net, fired puck after puck on Nabokov and were able to put the puck in the net while also playing good, solid defensive hockey.

It should also be pointed out that besides the third goal he allowed to Islanders' forward Brad Boyes, Rangers' backup netminder Martin Biron played a solid game tonight. Biron stopped 28 of 31 Islanders' shots and was one of the main reasons why the Rangers' escaped tonight's game with a point.

With the shootout loss, the team is now 7-5-1 on the season with 15 points. It is certainly not terrible but at the same time, the team is much better than what their record says. It is just a matter of putting it all together.

The Blueshirts will be back in action on Sunday night at MSG when they take on the Washington Capitals. The Capitals may not be playing well this year but they have managed to win three games. 

In those three games, the Capitals have scored 14 goals so their club's offense is starting to get it together. For the Rangers, this means that they will need a solid performance on defense and will also need to get great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who appears to be back on track after a slow start.

For now, the Rangers' will take the point and hopefully continue to work on what has been plaguing them all season long - lapses in play and a bad power play.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brad+boyes, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, evgeni+nabokov, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

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About Goal Line Report

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 patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.