Rangers win streak ends with loss to Canucks; Buchnevich scores again

Alexandra Russo


Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The New York Rangers (10-4-0) had their win streak broken at five as well as their home-ice winning streak. The Vancouver Canucks (5-8-1) snapped a nine game losing streak and scored a season high five goals, the most the Rangers have given up this season.

Usually, teams take penalties quite often when they are being pressured for extended periods of time. And that is exactly what the Canucks did. However, it didn’t cost them because the Rangers couldn’t seem to sustain any consistent zone time. Credit Vancouver for blocking some shots and passes, but the Rangers could have still done a better job with their playmaking. Maybe they needed some practice on the power play after not having one in the previous game against Boston.

Arguably the best chance of the first period came from the Rangers when Jimmy Vesey and Derek Stepan went racing down the ice on a two on one. Vesey waited just a little too long to make a pass, and Stepan wasn’t able to control it enough to get a shot off.

Zuccarello made a great play on the Canucks’ power play to allow the game to remain scoreless. He stole the puck from between the circles, played it off the boards to himself and dumped it down the ice. His team would finish the night two for two on the penalty kill.

While the first period didn’t see much action, the second period saw a little more with the Rangers making an impact first. They still were unable to convert on their second power play, but it looked better than before and allowed them to get their speed game going. Just over five minutes into the second period the Rangers had a missed opportunity on another two on one, this time with Zibanejad and Kreider. However, it also led to a goal shortly thereafter that extended Pavel Buchnevich’s goal scoring streak to three games and Brady Skjei’s point scoring streak to six games. Buchnevich received a pass in front of the net that he tapped in for the one-goal advantage.

The best chance for Vancouver came when Eriksson received a pass in front of the net that a sprawled Raanta wasn’t able to stop. Eriksson waited just long enough before putting it on his backhand to tie the game up at one late in the middle period.

With just under three minutes to go in the second, the home team went on the power play for the third time in the game, but the opposition did a great job blocking them from entering in the zone. This is why they were held to only one shot on goal on this power play. Keep in mind that the Blueshirts lead the NHL in goals scored in the second period (26) this season. That should go to show the good defensive play of the Canucks.

Henrik Sedin took a penalty for high-sticking Nash less than a minute into the final period of play, but he ended up flying out of the penalty box and scoring as he was all alone. He beat Raanta short side for his team’s first lead of the game.

On a goalie interference call, the Blueshirts finally capitalized on their fifth power play of the night. This one was especially great because it was Rick Nash’s 400th NHL career goal that he slid behind the goaltender.

Antti Raanta suddenly left the game, removed by one of the league’s concussion spotters, and Henrik Lundqvist came in his relief. Shortly after, Alexander Burrows scored his first goal of the season. The initial shot was blocked in front, but Lundqvist couldn’t reach across in time to keep the loose puck from finding its way in. Baertschi, soon after his team’s power play ended, scored as he was fed the puck in front of Lundqvist.

Antti Raanta came in the game after getting briefly checked out by trainers. On six shots, Lundqvist gave up goals, and his frustration was very evident as he went back to the bench. Raanta wasn’t too happy to see the scoreboard either as he took the net, again. With just over three minutes to go in the period, the Rangers pulled Raanta, but Eriksson found the empty net that sealed away the game for the Canucks.

Mika Zibanejad had the final word in the game, as he ended his scoring drought with a snap shot in front of the Canuck’s goaltender.

It was mentioned in the post-game that teams should be allowed to warm up their goaltender when the starter is pulled out. For concussion protocol, Raanta left the game, and he said that last season when he had the concussion, the symptoms were much different, so he knew it wasn’t as bad as last year.

Either way, the Rangers lost this game partially because of the mess with their goaltenders in the third period, but also because Vancouver did a great job of limiting their chances. They broke up plays in the neutral zone, stopped passing jobs on the power play, and restricted the natural speed of the team. They did this by clogging neutral ice and having patience with the puck.

In order to learn from this mistake, the Rangers must realize that patience is key. When they weren’t able to get their goal-scoring game going, they seemed to freeze up a little. There was barely any offensive pressure, and everyone knows how capable this team is of scoring. It just happened to be a bad night, compounded by the goaltender situation.

The Rangers look to start up another winning streak as they hit the road on a western Canada trip. Their next game is Saturday at 10 p.m. against the Calgary Flames.

Posted on November 9, 2016, in Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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