Two Straight Losses Put New York Rangers On Outside Looking In

By Jonathan Katje
Slumping Rangers Tortorella
Bruce Fedyck – USA TODAY Sports

Consecutive losses to the Buffalo Sabres and the Winnipeg Jets suddenly has the New York Rangers in ninth in the Eastern Conference and at the moment out of the playoff picture. The Jets leapfrogged the Rangers in the standings with their 3-1 win on Thursday night, continuing a strong month. The Rangers have scored just one goal in each of their last two games, despite having two of the most dangerous scoring lines in the conference. Ryan Callahan has been the lone bright spot for the team this week, with two goals and three points in three games.

The Rangers’ power play has failed to score in three of their last four games, which isn’t helping the team break out of its scoring slump. Rick Nash has been held scoreless in the two losses despite having a 10-game point streak before the game against the Sabres. Marian Gaborik’s struggles continue, as the star forward has just one goal in 13 games. Brad Richards has only scored four goals this season and was also a non-factor in the two recent losses. Callahan and Derek Stepan have delivered consistently, but this team has little chance of making the playoffs without more scoring from its top stars.

Henrik Lundqvist has been as good as usual between the pipes, with a 2.27 goals against average and a .920 save percentage that are directly in line with his career averages. Despite that, he has an 11-10-1 record due to a lack of consistent offensive support. After the loss to the Sabres, coach John Tortorella said his team “stunk” and that he “couldn’t be more disgusted” with how his top guys played. Hopefully he can find a way to motivate his team heading in to a crucial Saturday afternoon meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins, or the playoff might not happen this season despite an incredibly talented roster.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL blogger for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JKatje or add him to you network on Google.

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