Senators Stymie Rangers Comeback Attempt as Blueshirts Fall 3-2

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Here is our recap of the Rangers 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Michael Grabner – If I would have told you before the season that Michael Grabner would be mentioned in the same breath as Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov, you would’ve called me crazy. But here we are, and Michael Grabner is tied with Alex Ovechkin with 15 even strength goals with both players only trailing Nikita Kucherov’s 18. Grabner got his 15th in this one, finishing off a great pass from Mats Zuccarello for the goal. Grabner has been heating up as of late, something which the Rangers will certainly welcome with open arms.

Pavel Buchnevich – The young Russian has played well in his sophomore season with the Blueshirts. In 31 games, he has tallied 11 goals and 12 assists, including a goal that brought the Rangers within one early in the third. After Chris Kreider blew past Johnny Oduya, he found Buchnevich across the slot line and fed him for the one-timer. Buchnevich has been real solid for the Rangers this season, and as along as he can stay healthy, his game will only continue to grow.

Brendan Smith – It was a brutal turnover in the second period that gave the Senators a 2-1 lead and forced the Rangers to play from behind. With Bobby Ryan hassling him trying to take away the puck, Ryan succeeded in doing that as well as forcing Smith to lose control of his stick. While Smith’s teammates tried to cover for him, Matt Duchene took the puck and fed Cody Ceci. Smith, trying to make up for his own error, slid to try and block Ceci’s shot and ended up screening Henrik Lundqvist. Smith has had a shaky season, and after signing a four-year contract over the summer, he has not really lived up to his end of the deal.

Good Start, Poor Finish – The Rangers had a much better start to this game even though they finished the first period down 1-0. They were skating, had solid offensive zone time, and got eight shots towards Craig Anderson. However, entering a third period in which the team was trailing by a goal, the Blueshirts had the worst start they could’ve imagined. Just eight seconds into the final frame, Tom Pyatt beats Kevin Shattenkirk to the corner, Brady Skjei goes over as well leaving the front of the net open for Zack Smith to put home the pass from Pyatt. The Rangers are a team in a dogfight for a playoff spot in the Metropolitan division, and they can’t afford to keep letting points slip away.

Henrik Lundqvist – King Henrik had a solid night between the pipes for the Rangers. He made 27 saves on 30 shots and gave his team a chance to come back in this game. But unfortunately for Lundqvist, his teammates did not play well in front of him. Miscommunications, poor coverage, and giveaways all led to the Ottawa goals. Henrik has been much better of late, but if his team starts slipping back into their old ways, his heroics probably won’t be enough to save the Rangers season.

Next Game: The Rangers will look to end this losing skid on Friday when they host the LA Kings. Puck drops at 7!


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