No pain, no gain: Rangers lack fight in lacklustre loss to Habs.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 27: Dryden Hunt #29 of the New York Rangers skates against Jeff Petry #26 and Josh Anderson #17 of the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on April 27, 2022 in New York City. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 27: Dryden Hunt #29 of the New York Rangers skates against Jeff Petry #26 and Josh Anderson #17 of the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on April 27, 2022 in New York City. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

As the final seconds ticked down, MSG was yearning for another Broadway miracle akin to the late comeback their heroes staged against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Except for this time it wasn’t meant to be, as the New York Rangers fell short in another goalie duel, 2-1 to the lowly Montreal Canadiens(18-23-3) on Sunday.

Fortunately, big apple citizens quickly shrugged off this clunker because of the Giants’ 31-24 upset victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL’s wildcard round for their maiden playoff win of the decade. On the flip side is another contest on Monday at the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets(13-27-2) which will give the flu-stricken Blueshirts another chance to beat up on a bad team.

However, we can’t just sweep this one under the rug because all 82 games count the same, so here are my takeaways from a sleepy defeat.

The Shesterkin show:

The goaltender was the only one who effectively showed up.

Igor made 29 saves on 31 shots with a +1.25 Goals Saved Above Expected and was sharp from puck drop.

The reigning Vezina-winner made ten saves in the first period, including saving Adam Fox’s bacon when Cole Caufield dangled him, Shesterkin denied the net front opportunity. It was a rare bad game from Thursday’s OT hero against Dallas, as the Habs outshot the Blueshirts 16-7 when he was on the ice. As the frame wound down, the Canadiens had a golden 2on1 chance, but 2022 NO1 overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky was stonewalled by Shesterkin to keep things scoreless.

As for the goals he did give up, you can hardly blame #31 for those. The first one was on a Canadiens man- advantage following a Ryan Lindgren hooking infraction, as Kirby Dach finished off the three-on-two-odd-man rush to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Rangers would get it back when Artemi Panarin scored on a delayed Montreal penalty. Still, a K’Andre Miller turnover with 8:56 remaining in regulation when he overskated the puck behind the net led to Cole Caufield finding Nick Suzuki for the eventual dagger, giving the Habs a revenge win after the Blueshirts dispatched them in their building 4-1 on January 5th.


All you would have to do is to look at the injury report if you would want to make excuses.

It was reported pregame that Panarin and Lindgren are playing through illness, while Chris Kreider and Julien Gauthier were officially shelved due to injuries sustained in last week’s contests.
In their place came the likes of Ryan Carpenter, who was recalled from Hartford, and Jake Leschyshyn, who the team claimed off of waivers earlier in the week.

Leschyshyn logged 6:47 on the fourth line, while Carpenter was a healthy scratch. Nevertheless, this was an unacceptable defeat to a bottom feeder and set you back in a division that has proven relentless.

Over the weekend, the Devils defeated the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings on Friday and Saturday to open up a four-point lead for second in the Metro, while the Hurricanes’ points lead over the Blueshirts is seven after they nabbed a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. Below New York(55 points), sit the Washington Capitals(23-16-6, 52 points), New York Islanders( 23-18-3, 49 points) and Pittsburg Penguins (21-5-2, 48 points).


The Rangers threw 39 shots at Sam Montembeault’s net, who was playing for a second straight night, but they weren’t of enough quality where they felt like they tested him. “We didn’t have many(quality) chances, Filip Chytil said in his postgame presser. “It was more from the wide part of the ice. We didn’t have many rebounds or many chances that we would be dangerous to their goalie. We need to get better than that.”

There’s another opportunity for that in Columbus on Monday night.


The special teams’ play was the primary difference in this one, and yet again, it didn’t go the Blueshirts’ way. Another scoreless night extended their streak to 11 consecutive powerless plays and saw them drop to 16th in the league with a 22.1% overall conversion rate. Kreider being sidelined paved the way for Alexis Lafreniere, who occupied his slot but didn’t record a shot on goal all evening.

This is supposed to be where the 21-year-old shows what he’s capable of, but he’s done the opposite and followed up his three-turnover performance on Thursday with two more on Sunday. The man-advantage looked complacent with trying to set Zibanejad up for a one-timer, failing to realize they have created on the bench in the forms of Vincent Trocheck, Filip Chytil, and Kaapo Kakko. The Rangers were trying to out-skill Montreal instead of out-willing them and got burned for it, falling to 1-6 in “Liberty jersey games” in the process.

dark. Next. Fox deserves more Norris love