The New York Rangers lost 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks in an ugly, badly officiated and extremely frustrating game.
The New York Rangers have now lost the first two games of their western road trip with the NHL’s third best team waiting for them in Calgary. They lost this game when they took two consecutive five minute major penalties in the second period.
The Rangers played a solid road first period against Vancouver. They were outshot 8-7, but the opportunities were even and the game was even. It looked like it was going to be another close game that would cost the Rangers in the lottery standings.
It all unraveled in the second period.
At about four minutes into the period, Chris Kreider took an ill-advised elbowing penalty against Elias Pettersson. Kreider clearly elbowed Pettersson in the face and he was tossed from the game and was given a five minute major penalty. It was another example of an undisciplined penalty taken by Kreider and although they were able to kill of almost the first two minutes, Brock Boeser got the Canucks on the board with a snap shot over Lundqvist’s glove.
The Rangers killed the remainder of the penalty and then the craziness began. One second after the penalty ended, Tyler Motte scored. Alex Edler made a nice pass to spring Motte for a breakway.
Ten seconds later, Antoine Roussel crashed the net and tripped after losing the puck, colliding with Brendan Lemieux. Simultaneously, Tyler Motte got to the puck and took a slapshot that eluded Lundqvist. Somehow, the four officials felt that it was a headshot by Lemieux who was given a match penalty and a five minute major. Somehow Lemieux was thrown out of the game for being in the way of Roussel as he fell. Look at it and you decide:
The Rangers killed off the second major penalty, but lost all momentum as they spent half the period killing penalties with two forwards out of their lineup. Somehow, they ended the second period down 3-0.
Despite being down Kreider and Lemieux, the Rangers have no excuses for their absolute inept power play in the third period. They were gifted a 1:33 two man advantage, but could do absolutely nothing with it. They maintained possession in the Vancouver zone almost the entire time, but didn’t get a single shot on goal.
With less than ten minutes left, they finally broke through on a power play goal by Buchnevich off a nice feed from Mika Zibanejad, but it was too little too late.
They pulled Lundqvist with two and a half minutes left and there were some close calls as they swarmed the Canucks net, but an empty net goal sealed the win for Vancouver.
It would be easy to blame the officiating for the loss, but they were already down by two goals when the second major was called. In the third period, the Canucks literally kicked a puck into the stands from their zone and no penalty was called.
However, the loss should be blamed on the Kreider major penalty and the awful Ranger power play.