Fortunate to come away with a point. The bigger issue here is that the Rangers were basically up against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Baby Penguins and failed to take advantage of the glaring deficiencies at the bottom of the Pittsburgh lineup. Give credit to the Rangers though for not giving up and clawing back to tie and send the game to OT.
Nice to see Hagelin respond to the 4th line demotion with a goal to tie the game before the end of the first period. Hagelin's lightning quick speed after a defensive zone faceoff win enabled him to get past two Penguin defenders and snuck the puck between Fleury's legs.
Fleury is going to want the Rangers second goal back. A simple wrister from John Moore squeaks through and Zuccarello wins the race to the net with the puck sitting in the crease.
Heck of a shot by Brassard to tie the game on the power play after Pouliot's shot missed wide and found Brassard sniped a shot beneath the crossbar from the bottom of the left circle. Incredibly difficult for a left handed shot to make that play.
How to properly defend on the PK:
Note the Rangers diamond setup that effectively takes away shooting lanes and keeps the puck to the outside.
How to NOT properly defend on the PK:
The Rangers diamond defense turns into an arrowhead. Del Zotto vacates the low slot allowing Jussi Jokinen to creep into the spot Del Zotto just vacated. DZ was also slow to react to the pass to Jokinen and was never close to picking up Kunitz who had free reign to hack away at Lundqvist until the puck was in the net.
On Pittsburgh's second goal, McDonagh's stick that broke behind the net began the sequence of a couple cross ice passes that Dupuis finished on. Kunitz lost McDonagh behind him, who setup Crosby for Dupuis and Lundqvist was never able to get his glove on the puck. Ranger defenders basically watched Pittsburgh pass with sticks off the ice and just overly slow to react.
Pittsburgh's third goal… Del Zotto 1 on 1 with Brandon Sutter, allows the forward to deke him to the middle of the ice and roof a backhander past Lundqvist just 1:01 after making it 2-1. Hockey 101, guys and gals… never allow an opponent an inside route to the net.
With the holiday roster freeze set for midnight Thursday night, it'll be interesting to see if the Rangers try something desperate before the season starts slipping away. Just a bad roster right now if the effort we saw tonight was the best the Rangers can muster against a top team riddled with injuries to its top players.
Del Zotto had just 3 more shifts over the final 19 minutes of the third and OT.
Would've figured Nash would dominate against extremely favorable matchups. Instead, he played down to the opposition and looked lost defensively, especially on Pittsburgh's second goal where it looked like he didn't know which man was his.
Hopefully Lundqvist is ok after Kunitz ran him in OT. The Rangers did the right thing by not taking a retaliation penalty immediately after. Besides, after the failed Ranger power play, Pouliot had his way with Simon Despres once Despres got close to Lundqvist. The best revenge is beating them on the scoreboard.
And come on NBCSN, how can that possibly be defended. Kunitz had time to move out of the way or brake. He didn't.
The Rangers have just 3 games left on the 9 game homestand and have just 3 points to show thus far. As the Rangers continue to fall out of the playoff picture it won't be difficult to find where this season went awry if the mediocrity continues into the spring.
Game 7 of the homestand continues Friday night against the Islanders.
Tweet of the Night:
Hey let's call Michael Del Zotto MZ instead of MDZ because clearly there's no D in his game whatsoever
— Jill (@Jill_Pino) December 19, 2013
Follow me on twitter: @NYRblogneill
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