Sloppy First Period Leads To New York Rangers' Loss

By Steven Carollo
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a game where the New York Rangers could have clinched a playoff spot with just one point, they of course pick up none at home to the visiting Ottawa Senators — a team that had nothing to play for.

This is a Senators team who just played the night before and after leading 3-0 over the Montreal Canadiens, gave up 7 unanswered goals to lose that game, but just one day later they were able to get over that loss and play spoiler to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

What did the Rangers in last night was the incredibly sloppy first period they had against the Senators. Give away after give away in all three zones on the ice, failure to clear their own zone time and time again, and poor defensive coverage led to not one, but two Senators’ goals before the conclusion of the first period.

In the second and third periods the Rangers would claw their way back into the game but just did not do enough to ever tie it and force overtime. Even if they would have lost in OT, they would have gained the one point they needed to clinch a playoff spot.

I don’t know about you, but I just cannot understand how a team like the Rangers, who only needs one point in the standings to clinch a playoff spot, are home against a Senators team with nothing to play for, end up losing in regulation. It just never ceases to amaze me how low the Rangers sink to play down to their opponents, even when the playoffs are on the line.

The pressure is now on, and if the Rangers drop their next game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes, and the New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals keep on winning, then the pressure will keep on building and building as the Rangers try to avoid an end-of-season collapse.

Steven Carollo is a New York Rangers and sports writer for Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn, and join his Google network.

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