The Rangers stuck to the all too familiar spring storyline—close, but no cigar. Or better yet, make that too close for comfort, no cigar. With the Buffalo Sabres breathing down their neck in eighth place and the Carolina Hurricanes on the outside in ninth place clamoring to enter the playoff ranks, the Rangers needed two points tonight. They left Buffalo with none.
The untimely loss drops the Blueshirts to eighth place tied now with the Sabres at 87 points. The Hurricanes handy defeat of the Canadiens, now puts them just three points behind the Rangers.
Henrik Lundqvist locked the net down –as usual–making 34 saves. But the Rangers offense couldn’t squeeze out a single goal to match the Sabres’ Tim Connolly who beat Lundqvist on the powerplay.
Had the Rangers shown the fight and desperation they displayed in the final minutes of the third period, for a whole sixty minutes, the outcome would have been different.
With only three goals in their last four games, the offense has once again gone missing and awry. The Rangers couldn’t beat Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth. The rookie filled in for Ryan Miller after he unexpectedly couldn’t play due to an upper body injury.
Enroth’s shutout bid was aided by the fact that the Rangers overshoot the net like a yellow angry bird flies over a green piggy. The missed opportunities are maddening, especially in a tight game.
Artem Anisimov’s goal was waved off in the first period due to Ryan Callahan’s incidental contact with the goalie, unnecessarily invading the crease.
On the plus side, Marian Gaborik had five shots on goal and noticeably attacked the net in the third period.
Wojtek Wolski continues to be highly impressive at being unimpressive. He along with Christensen caught most of the ice from the bench in the third period. For two forwards with crafty hands, their consistent lack of ability to generate any kind of energy on offense is surprising.
There are only five games left in the regular season, which means plenty of time for Ranger fans to bite their nails down and sit on the edge of their seats as they crunch the numbers. As the Blueshirts face the rival Islanders tomorrow night two buzz words will be ringing in their ears: urgency and desperation.
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)