Too little too late for Rangers in loss to Canucks

The Rangers desperately needed a win today, and they nearly got it. But it took the Blueshirts until late in the second period to get into the game, allowing three first-period goals to the Vancouver Canucks in a 3-2 defeat at MSG.

Jesper Fast – The alternate captain has always played the right way – never giving up on a puck, using the body in the corners, and playing until the whistle. Fast displayed those attributes on the first Rangers goal late in the second. The Swede chipped the puck into the corner, won the board battle with the Vancouver defenseman, sent the puck to the point, and got to the front of the net to redirect Jacob Trouba’s shot and cut the deficit to 3-1.

In the ever-changing world that is the Rangers rebuild, Jesper Fast’s work ethic and desire have been a constant. If the youngsters within the organization can learn from the example Fast sets on the ice, the Rangers future will be in a very good place.

Artemiy Panarin – The BreadMan showcased his rocket of a shot to bring the Rangers within one in the third period. After a very long shift, in which the aforementioned Fast replaced Kreider with the Rangers controlling the puck in the offensive zone, the Blueshirts went to work. Fast, along with Mika Zibanejad, won the board battle, came behind the net and found Panarin in front for a one-time goal in the third.

Just as Rangers fans hoped when the team signed Artemiy Panarin over the summer, he and Zibanejad have been lethal when they’re on the ice. It’s safe to say the Rangers have found that game-changing offensive threat.

A Rough Start – You’ll always hear coaches and players talking about getting off to a good start. And had the Rangers done that in this one, perhaps they end their losing streak, which now sits at four games. The Blueshirts surrendered three first period goals, including a shorthanded goal and a powerplay goal, while the Canucks peppered Henrik Lundqvist with 20 shots in the opening frame. As mentioned earlier, the Rangers finally got their legs going with about eight minutes left in the second, but “starting on-time” is crucial in this league, and the Rangers learned that lesson today.

Too Little Too Late – Once the Rangers got into the game, they completely took it over. The third period saw the Blueshirts register 17 shots against Jacob Markström, who made a handful of miraculous saves to preserve the win for the Canucks.

Henrik Lundqvist – The Rangers netminder made 40 saves to keep his team in the game and give them a chance to tie it up. His teammates didn’t help him much early on, with the PPG to give Vancouver the lead, which was followed by a series of turnovers by Brendan Smith and Marc Staal before Brock Boeser’s goal that clipped the glove of Lundqvist. The shorthanded goal, which proved to be the game-winner for Vancouver, came after Mika Zibanejad’s attempt to tie up Jay Beagle’s stick failed and the Canucks forward was able to fire the puck behind Lundqvist.

Next Game: The Rangers will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday night when they host the Coyotes at The Garden. Puck drops at 7!


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