Rangers Dominate, but Luck Eludes Them:
Don’t be deceived by the score – Rangers were in control. Despite some hiccups in the second period, they owned the ice in the final minutes of that frame and throughout the third. The boys were buzzing! They kicked off the third period with a fiery 13-shot barrage and bossed the puck possession.
The comeback seemed possible when Gustafsson’s slick keep-in set up Will Cuylle’s first NHL goal, a laser from the slot that beat Spencer Martin. The Columbus netminder, claimed off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks, stepped in for Merzlikins, who left after the second period due to illness but picked up right where his predecessor left off, making 15 saves and frustrating the Blueshirts’ attack.
It’s one of those nights when you hope the pucks that rang posts or took weird bounces off skates find the net. Sadly, it just wasn’t in the cards. A blocked shot led to the puck making a quick exit from the Jackets zone, resulting in a 2-on-0 break that Justin Danforth cashed in on, sealing the deal with Columbus’s first shot.
On the bright side, a Chris Kreider power play goal injected a little confidence into our special teams.
Despite outshooting the Jackets 42-21, beating them 15-10 in slot chances, and the money puck stats pointing in New York’s favor at 59%, the scoreboard had other plans. Hockey can be a fickle game; sometimes, it doesn’t go as it should.
“I don’t think it was a bad game out of us,” Fox said. “I thought it was just a few cracks in our coverage that gave up a little too many high-end chances. But overall, I thought we were in their zone a lot. I thought we had some good looks. Maybe you want to get a few more shots and a little bit more traffic, but if you give a team enough chances – a breakaway here, an odd-man rush here and there – they’re going to capitalize.”