Rangers end 2019 with comeback effort that falls short

The Rangers headed out to Edmonton for the team’s final game of 2019. And in a game that saw the Rangers saw five goals, it would be the Oilers collecting the two points at the end of this one.

Chris Kreider – The veteran winger got the Rangers on the board late in the second period, finishing a great pass from Artemiy Panarin for the one-timer.

The goal was the 145th of Kreider’s career, which ties him with Rick Nash for the most goals since January 1, 2010.

Ryan Strome – The former Oilers forward got the second Rangers goal of the game as he capped off a great passing play with his 11th goal of the year. After Panarin gained the zone, he pulled up and found Adam Fox, who quickly fired over to Strome for the goal.

Marc Staal – The long-time defenseman scored his second of the season, cutting the deficit in half. After leading the rush, Staal left the puck for Panarin and headed for the net. Panarin fed Strome and the shot deflected off of Staal and into the net.

Artemiy Panarin – The Bread Man didn’t just set up the goals in this one, but he also scored his 22nd goal of the year. It was a great individual effort by the first-time All-Star, who rocketed a shot past Koskinen to bring the Blueshirts within two. Panarin’s four-point game was the second of his career as he continues to show that he is worth every penny.

Mika Zibanejad – Number 93 pulled the Rangers within one with just under four minutes left in the third. Zibanejad took the pass from Adam Fox and wired one that was caught by Koskinen. However, the goaltender’s glove was inside the net when he made the catch, giving Zibanejad his 16th of the season.

Never Say Die – Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the festivities at Rogers Place was David Quinn’s squad not quitting when the game was seemingly out of hand. The Rangers were trailing 6-0 late in the second period before they were able to work their way back into the contest. And for a young team, that is definitely a positive trait to have going forward.

A Sluggish Start – It took just 11 seconds for the Rangers to fall behind, and by the eight-minute mark of the opening period, the Oilers had extended their lead to three. The team’s in-zone coverage was atrocious, with the Oilers getting time and space to set up in front of the net and deflect shots behind Alexandar Georgiev. To put it mildly, the Rangers were not ready to start this game, and it ultimately cost them in the end.

Poor Officiating Strikes Again – The Rangers got messed over by the officials once again. After Ryan Lindgren and Jujhar Khaira got into it after the whistle, Lindgren was assessed an extra penalty for a nudge of his stick at Khaira while the referees were breaking up the two players. Edmonton would score on the ensuing power play, and that’s just part one.

Part two comes after the goal, when David Quinn voiced his obvious displeasure with the officiating crew. Quinn was given a bench minor for his “disagreements” with the referees, where the Oilers would once again capitalize on their opportunity. The two goals gave the Oilers a 5-0 lead at the time, and although the Rangers would eventually lose the game 7-5, it’d be hard to argue that those two penalties had a big impact on the end result.

Alexandar Georgiev – It was a rough night for the Bulgarian, who gave up six goals on 24 Edmonton shots. That being said, Georgiev’s teammates didn’t help him much, and the Oilers took advantage of the weak defensive zone coverage by the Rangers. And for the first time in his career, we saw a true expression of negative emotion from Georgiev, who broke his stick against the post following the sixth Oilers goal. Hopefully, Georgiev can put this one behind him before he takes his next start between the pipes.

Next Game: The Rangers start 2020 with the other Alberta team as they face the Calgary Flames on Thursday at Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drops at 9!


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