Special Teams Stuggles Have New York Rangers Sliding Down Standings

By Jonathan Katje
Henrik Lundqvist Rangers
Bruce Fedyck – USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks ago, the New York Rangers were in the middle of a four-game win streak and were having no problem scoring goals. The Rangers won four out of their first five games to start the month of March, helped along by solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron, as well as scoring depth and a successful power play. Now, the Rangers find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture, as the power play has stalled and the penalty kill continues to struggle.

The Pittsburgh Penguins held the Rangers without a goal on two power play chances in Saturday’s game, and scored a power play goal of their own on the way to a 3-0 shutout victory. The Rangers also failed to convert with the man-advantage in a Thursday loss to the Winnipeg Jets and a Tuesday loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Their power play has now fallen to near the bottom of the league in efficiency, and they somehow still have a top ten penalty kill despite allowing goals while on the kill in four of their last seven games.

Lundqvist continues to give the Rangers a chance to win every night, and has a 2.30 goals-against average this season. The Rangers have fifth-lowest goals-against as a team, and need to return to their high-scoring ways to make the most of Lundqvist’s strong play. The Rangers will play four of their next seven games on the road, where they have struggled this season. Their 4-7-1 road mark is quite the contrast to a 9-5-1 mark at home.

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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