Rangers fall in a fiesty loss to the Blue Jackets; Duclair records first NHL points
The Rangers were defeated in a tough battle against Columbus by a score of 5-1, with one of those goals being an empty netter from Cam Atkinson. The Rangers started out really slow, and wound up playing catch up for the rest of the night.
Cam Talbot had a rough net in net, with 21 saves on 25 shots. Talbot let up the first goal of the night on the third shot he faced, and allowed two goals in in first six shots Columbus put on net. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the night, as the Blue Jackets held onto the lead for the remainder of the game.
Talbot also seemed to have a lot of trouble controlling the rebound, which Columbus capitalized on throughout the night.
Columbus came out strong, dominating the most of the first period, especially the first half. Former New York Ranger Artem Anisimov scored the first goal of the game 6:24 into the period. The goal came on a strong slap shot from in front of the blue line after a nice pass from Scott Hartnell.
As expected, tonight’s game was a very aggressive. With all of the hitting and fighting between the teams, it felt like a Rangers versus Flyers matchup. In the first period, after Lee Stempniak threw a shot on net, he was hit up high by Scott Hartnell, which caused a pushing and shoving match behind the net. Hartnell was not called on the play.
Columbus would score again in the period with less than three minutes to go. Nick Foligno drove to the net and followed up his first shot with a diving play to poke it past Talbot.
The Rangers would actually outshoot Columbus this period, 10 to 7, but Columbus got the better results in the period. Bobrovsky was very sharp this period, and would finish with 24 saves on the night.
With New York trailing 2-0, the Rangers finally managed to get on the board with Lee Stempniak’s first goal as a Ranger. Duclair picked up the puck along the boards and made a great pass to Stempniak heading towards the net, and he promptly fired a wrister past Bobrovsky on the glove side. This also marked Duclair’s first career point in the NHL.
Anthony Duclair nearly scored his first career goal three minutes later, after he shot the puck past Bobrovsky but rang it off the post.
The Jackets would regain their two goal lead shortly after Stempniak’s goal. Ryan Johansen threw the puck on net and Cam Atkinson was right in front to tap the puck in.
In the second period, there were also a lot of penalty minutes handed out. It is never right to blame the loss on officiating, and the Rangers certainly did enough themselves to lose, but the officiating was questionable in the game. First
Hartnell was not called for his high hit on Stempniak after the play. Tanner Glass received a penalty for roughing after both teams came together at the benches. And after one of the Blue Jackets made an open ice hit on an unaware Zuccarello, who was nowhere near the puck, Chris Kreider dropped the gloves with Jack Skille to stick up for his teammate.
Afterwards, Kreider received 5 minutes for fighting, 2 minutes for instigator, and a 10 minute game misconduct for instigator. This took one of New York’s best scorers off of the ice in an important part of the game.
The Rangers put a lot of pressure on Bobrovsky, but he remained strong in the net. The key save of the night came late in the second period, after Nash sent a pass across ice to St. Louis, who was stopped by the right pad of Bobrovsky in a fantastic save.
In the third period, Duclair had another chance to score his first career goal. After making an interception in Columbus’ zone, Duclair charged towards the net, showing off his tremendous speed, but lost control of the puck before he could get a shot off.
This period was pretty evenly matched, with lots of chances coming from both teams.
Columbus would manage to score again, with Marko Dano scoring his first career goal off of a Talbot rebound, making the score 4-1
But the Rangers answered back immediately. Anthony Duclair forced another turnover in Columbus’ zone, and brought it to the front of the net. Avoiding Bobrovsky’s stick, Duclair dished it off to Rick Nash, who snapped home his third goal of the season. Duclair picked up his second assist of the night.
After Vigneault pulled Cam Talbot with about 2:30 remaining, a move that is becoming increasingly more common in the game, Cam Atkinson scored an empty netter to seal the victory for Columbus by a score of 5-2.
Duclair and Stempniak really stood out in tonight’s loss. Stempniak played well in the season opener, but flourished against Columbus, where he scored his first goal of the season and was all over the ice, getting shots on net, playing physical, and helping out on the power play.
But nobody looked better than Anthony Duclair tonight. Duclair had a pair of assists on two great passes as well as hitting the crossbar on a shot. Duclair showed off his passing skills, especially on Rick Nash’s goal. Duclair found himself in front of the net, and rather than panic and throw a quick shot at Bobrovsky, he found Nash to his right and connected on a great pass where Nash had a wide open net.
Duclair seems to be more and more comfortable with every shift he takes, and his speed and vision on the ice were easy to spot. He also made two great defensive plays that lead to turnovers, and ultimately, Ranger goals. “The Duke” nearly scored his first career goal, and now it is only a matter time until he finds the back of the net.
Matt Hunwick made his Ranger debut, and had a relatively quiet night. He made the plays he had to, apart from one defensive miscue that led to a Jack Skille breakaway, on which John Moore made a nice defensive play to take away his chance.
Zuccarello also appeared to be injured in the first period, and was shown walking to the locker room. He was back for the second period and played for the rest of the game, and he was not discussed in the post game interviews, so he seems to be okay.
Another thing to take note of is the changes on the New York’s powerplay. With Dan Boyle missing, Martin St. Louis was playing up top alongside Ryan McDonagh. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of St. Louis up top. It’s not that I don’t think he can handle the role, because he can. It’s just that I’d much rather have St. Louis’ wicked wrist shot and one timer available down low where he is in a prime scoring area. I would love to see Vigneault have Zuccarello play the point, where his excellent passing skills can find people like St. Louis open on the side.
The Rangers will look to rebound in their home opener tomorrow night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 PM. The Maple Leafs have lost both of their games this season, losing by a score of 4-3 to Montreal, and losing 5-2 to Pittsburgh on Saturday.
After getting the night off, Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net to face the Maple Leafs.
I will be at Madison Square Garden for the home opener tomorrow, and I will post pictures from my seats. If there is anything else you would like to see, please leave a comment below.
1) Anthony Duclair; 2 Assists, +2 rating, 14:09 TOI
2) Rick Nash; 1 Goal, 4 SOG
3) Marc Staal; 2 Blocked Shots, 2 Hits, 19:04 TOI
Posted on October 12, 2014, in Game Recaps and tagged Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Dan Girardi, Derick Brassard, Henrik Lundqvist, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, MSG, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, NYR Season Opener, Rangers Season Opener, Rangersnation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, St. Louis Blues, The Duke, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.