Rangers lose to NHL’s worst team in penultimate home game

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The Rangers faced the Ottawa Senators in another matchup of teams living in the NHL’s basement. And while this is a game you might expect the Rangers to win, the team from Canada’s capital would be the ones celebrating after sixty minutes with a 4-1 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Lias Andersson – The lone goal from the Rangers came from the Swedish rookie, scoring a shorthanded beauty to get the Rangers within two of Ottawa. Andersson faked to his backhand before sliding the puck to his forehand and tucking it behind fellow countryman Anders Nilsson for his second goal of the season.

It’s been a rough season for Andersson, who is trying to prove that he is an NHL caliber player. It’s a little too late for Andersson to do much that will change the coaches opinions of the 20-year-old, but at least he can try and enter the offseason on a positive note.

Mika Zibanejad – The team’s leader in offensive production was chosen as the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner. The award, which is voted on by the fans, goes to the player that “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” And in a season that was marked for failure from day one, Zibanejad has been the brightest light for the Broadway Blueshirts. Zibanejad enters the final weekend of the season with career highs in goals, assists, and points, (32-40-72) and should be in some serious consideration for the captaincy next season.

Special Teams – The story of this one was the special teams play, and Ottawa made the most of their chances in those situations. The Senators scored two power play goals, including one during a 5v3, and added a shorthanded goal on a give-and-go between Magnus Paajarvi and Zack Smith.

Henrik Lundqvist – King Henrik’s teammates didn’t do much to help him out, as three shots on special teams and another one following a ghastly Neal Pionk turnover would get behind the long-time Rangers netminder. Lundqvist has struggled this season, who is in the final years of both his contract, and likely his NHL career. It’s been tough on Lundqvist this year, a guy who has never been on a team expected to lose as much as the Rangers have this season. Henrik has said repeatedly that he wants to finish out his career wearing the colors of the team he’s called his own since he was drafted in 2000. Hopefully that will be the case, and Lundqvist can retire with the Rangers as one of the greatest to ever to stand between the pipes.

Next Game: The Rangers play their final game at Madison Square Garden on Friday night when they host the Columbus able Jackets. Puck drops at 7!


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