Rangers lose Ryan Lindgren and game to Vegas
Any hope the bad taste of their West Coast road trip were left in California were dashed in a New York minute Friday night for the Rangers.
Two goals 46 seconds apart in the second period, including the first of three by Jonathan Marchessault, and Vegas never looked back thanks on its way to a 5-2 victory at The Garden.
The loss was the Rangers’ four in its last five games, and second against the Golden Knights in eight days.
To add insult to injury, the Rangers lost defenseman Ryan Lindgren to an upper-body injury in the first period just hours after Filip Chytil reportedly suffered a setback in his return from an alleged concussion.
Vegas Golden Knights 5 vs New York Rangers 2
It was the same old story on two fronts for the Rangers: shoddy goaltending and allowing goals in quick succession. Both instances came in what turned into a lifeless period for the Blueshirts.
Keegan Kolesar’s goal over Shesterkin’s glove from about 40 feet out broke the deadlock, and Marchessault’s goal just seconds later was too much for the currently offensively challenged Rangers to overcome.
It was the ninth time this season the Rangers allowed two goals in less than 60 seconds, trailing just Columbus and San Jose for tops in the NHL.
Marchessault scored twice in the third period, including an empty net goal, to complete the hat trick. He has nine goals in 18 career games against the Rangers.
Shesterkin’s version of Dry January continued, as he the netminder allowed four goals or more for the fifth time in 2024, and 12th time overall. He finished with 14 saves on just 18 shots.
New York actually had the edge in play over the opening 20 minutes, but had little to show for it as Sheldon Rempal and Blake Wheeler traded goals. But the two quick goals early in the middle stanza led to a lifeless period overall for the hosts.
The Rangers generated little on Adin Hill, who was making just his second start since Nov. 30. After peppering Hill with 15 shots in the opening 20 minutes, the Rangers mustered just seven in second.
A meaningless goal by Kaapo Kakko with 1:05 remaining was all New York generated over the final 40 minutes in a forgettable homecoming that marked the eighth time in January the Rangers scored two goals or fewer; they’ve lost seven of them.
It’s was also the 11th loss of the season by three or more goals.
The Rangers hop on a plane tonight and face the Senators in Ottawa tomorrow night in the final game before the All Star game next weekend in Toronto.