Jan 3, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Brian Gibbons (49) battle to control the puck during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After the Horn: Rangers vs Penguins

FINAL SCORE: Pittsburgh Penguins:5 – New York Rangers:2

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

First Period:

The Rangers came out slow, as we have seen them do many a time this season, but they managed to get past the first ten minutes and seemed ready to pick their game up. Well, I was wrong to assume that, because at 8:49 left in the period Rick Nash took a stupid, unnecessary, penalty and put the Penguins number one power play to work. On that power play with two seconds to go Chris Kunitz opens the scoring for the Penguins and makes it 1-0. Then at the end of the period, with 1:20 remaining, a defensive let down that found both of the Rangers defense men behind the net, Jussi Jokinen scores a nice goal just above the right shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist and makes it 2-0.

Second period:

Coming into the second period, only down by two, I thought that if the Rangers just came out and had a good start they might be able to turn the game around. Well, let me just start off by saying it’s a good thing I’m not a betting man because I would have lost some money on that bet. The Rangers, only 1:10 into the second period have yet another defensive lapse and Jokinen scores his second in a row to make it 3-0 for Pittsburgh. What we saw after that from the Rangers was more than disappointing, Sidney Crosby, going against four, FOUR Rangers players, scores off a backhander after his opposing defenders fall all over each other in an extremely disgraceful fashion.

Third period:

The Rangers started off the third period on the power play and surprisingly took the momentum from there. However, it seemed as though Mats Zuccarello was the only player who came to play in the third period. Zuccarello scored one goal with about 12 minutes left in the period, and notched an assist on the second goal; scored by Ryan McDonagh. However, to make sure their fans that a Rangers comeback was not coming, Crosby and Kunitz went to work, Crosby outworked three Rangers behind the net and gave it to Kunitz who scored and crushed any hopes of a comeback by the Rangers.

My ONE Rangers star for the game is Mats Zuccarello as he attempted to single-highhandedly spark a Rangers comeback in the third period. The Rangers are right back at it again tomorrow night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

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Tags: Mats Zuccarello New York Rangers Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan McDonagh

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