The New York Rangers fell to the Anaheim Ducks, 2-1, in a shootout Saturday in Stockholm, Sweden in a penalty-filled, hard-to-watch tilt in which the Blueshirts could muster very few legitimate scoring chances.
It’s just two games, but the Rangers are learning a very valuable lesson: You’re going to have trouble generating positive momentum if you can’t stay out of the penalty box. New York had nine penalties — six in the first period. For a squad looking to improve their first-period effort from a game ago, when you’re constantly penalized, it’s going to be awfully tough to get that quick goal.
The Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano netted the game’s first goal midway through the third period via a pass from the corner from Andrew Gordon. Essentially free in front of the net, it was an easy goal for him, as Derek Stepan got caught in no-man’s land.
The Rangers skated a bit better in this game, but they really failed to their offense going and didn’t win many puck battles down low. When they did get close to the net, a pass didn’t connect or the Ducks blocked it. New York had very few clean chances and managed only 15 shots in the entire game; five in the first, seven in the second and three in the third period. Even more pitiful, they went 0-for-7 on the power play that rarely looked "together."
When the Rangers did get some free space, however, Brad Richards showed off his tremendous ability in the third period. He received a nice feed from Ryan McDonagh from just inside the blueline and lifted the puck top-shelf over Jonas Hiller with just over 2 minutes remaining to salvage at least a point for New York.
No Rangers’ shooters scored in the shootout, though Bobby Ryan was able to beat Henrik Lundqvist, who made 27 saves, as he partially fanned on his shot.