New York Rangers fans must be getting tired of the feast or famine play of their NHL team. Once again, they are left wondering just why this Rangers squad has trouble scoring on a power play, and creating opportunities from the point.
In their first meeting since last season’s NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals win over the Ottawa Senators, the Rangers traveled across the border to realize one thing: nothing much has changed. The new-found rivalry has become more fierce, and goals will always be at a premium.
Through the first two periods, the Rangers worked through a complete blackout as they were skating well, defending their posts, but just could not find their way past Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson. After falling behind in the first 1-0 on a short-handed goal by Jakob Silfverberg, it was left to Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist to make spectacular saves in order to keep the game close.
The Rangers power outage continued for the duration of the game, even with excellent opportunities created by players such as Carl Hagelin, Marian Gaborik and Chris Kreider. Rangers coach John Tortorella needs to find answers for why this talented squad can simply not find the back of the net.
With Rick Nash out of the lineup for the second game in a row with a suspected concussion, and Darrol Powe also unavailable due to injury, the frustration mounted through every missed power play opportunity in which the Rangers were 0-3 going into the third period.
A score by Rangers captain Ryan Callahan opened up the scoring with just over nine minutes left, and less than a minute later, Ryan McDonagh added a second score. Two and a half periods of futility followed by a :52 burst of scoring. That is the gist of the Rangers season.
It is evident that the Rangers have plenty of issues still on the power play, and unless their scorers do not open up more chances and get to the net quicker, their woes will continue for the rest of the season. Lundqvist will not always be able to save them in a shootout, as was noticeable tonight in their 3-2 loss. As we head into March and realize that the NHL season is quickly winding down, theses constant power outages much be fixed, or the Rangers will be left to wonder how they went from favorites to onlookers in the playoffs.