New York Rangers struggle against the Pittsburgh Penguins without Ryan Callahan

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers offense is struggling. The Pittsburgh Penguins shut down the New York Rangers for the first time through their seven games played. A key part to the Rangers’ struggles is the missing of their second tier right wing, Ryan Callahan.

Callahan has been a key part of the Rangers’ offense since his breakout season in 2008-09. Last season was Callahan’s best as he was a key part of the team’s playoff run where they made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals before being eliminated by the New Jersey Devils. The former fourth round draft pick was essential for the team as he had 10 points which included six goals and four assists.

Even though it took some time for the team to get their chemistry back, they were able to win back-t0-back games before the loss to the Penguins. The second loss was the key one though. Callahan was injured during a fight with Philadelphia Flyers forward, Maxime Talbot. After Talbot was involved in a pile-up, Callahan yanked him up and the two threw their gloves off and fought until Callahan fell in an awkward way which ended the fight almost immediately.

He went for an MRI on Wednesday to find out the injury isn’t too severe and will likely keep him out for roughly two weeks. Callahan was diagnosed with a shoulder subluxation which is basically a dislocation except it’s not permanent which is definitely good news for the Rangers after they couldn’t even score a single goal on 28 shots against the Penguins.

The Rangers replaced Callahan’s roster spot with Matt Gilroy who played just over 10 minutes, but wasn’t really a difference maker against the strong Penguins offense led by Evgeni Malkin’s goal after a minute and a half into the game. Even though Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik appear to be helping the team win a few games, they’re still struggling and must have Callahan available as soon as possible if they want to make a playoff run such as what they did last season.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.

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