Dive into the drama as the New York Rangers’ dazzling point streak ended at the hands of the radiant Dallas Stars. Was it a setback or a hiccup?
The New York Rangers led Dallas 2-1 despite another poor second-period performance. Again, they had an opportunity to win a game and extend their point streak. Only this time, it wasn’t in the Stars. Exiting American Airlines Arena on Monday with a 6-3 loss, the Blueshirts snapped their 11-game point streak, breaking their regulation loss-free run since October 19 against the Nashville Predators. Artemi Panarin also saw his 15-game point streak and five-tilt multi-point heater end.
It looked promising for over 30 minutes, with the Rangers leading 2-0, courtesy of puck luck.
Vincent Trocheck and Kaapo Kakko got the ball rolling. Trocheck’s goal extended his point streak to six games, finding a puck that bounced off the boards behind the net and
scoring on a wraparound for a power play tally.
Kakko, needing a confidence boost, found an unconventional route to break his 10-game point drought. To thwart Kakko’s move, Stars defenseman Ryan Suter inadvertently deflected the puck past Scott Wedgewood.
After that, Dallas took over. The hosts needed a response after a 3-0 lead against the Colorado Avalanche turned into a 6-3 defeat on Saturday. This time, they were the ones who rallied for six straight goals, with five of them coming in the final period. Despite the stumble, one loss to a quality opponent, who are reigning conference finalists and 12-4-1, isn’t a reason to panic.
The Rangers are still comfortably perched atop the Metropolitan Division standings at 12-3-1. That said, Kreider didn’t view it like that. “The Focus has really been on each individual game, so it’s obviously frustrating right now.”
Blueshirts Dimmed, Stars Sparkle: A Night of Twists and Turns Ends Blueshirts Point Parade:
Dallas got on the board in the second when a Jimmy Vesey pass was intercepted. A three-on-one developed, and Jamie Benn finished it.
In the third, Chris Kreider had a breakaway opportunity, thanks to a quick feed from Mika Zibanejad, but Wedgewood shut the door.
Just 42 seconds later, Joe Pavelski crashed the net and scored off a rebound from Miro Heiskanen to tie it.
New York captain Jacob Trouba, who had two assists, could’ve put the Rangers back in front, but Wedgewood’s glove played spoiler. The veteran backup netminder made 30 saves on 33 shots.
The pivotal moment came with Mason Marchment’s power-play goal, putting the Stars ahead. Igor Shesterkin had trouble corralling a rebound from Johnston, and things started slipping away. Tyler Seguin doubled Dallas’s lead minutes later, shoveling home a net-front scramble.
The Blueshirts had two power play opportunities, but not even Artemi Panarin to Kreider tip-in attempts worked. It was that kind of night. To add salt to the wound, Sam Steel and Roope Hintz slammed in empty netters, locking in the Stars’ victory. Barclay Goodrow padded his stats with 15 seconds to make the final score 6-3.
Despite the loss, there were early bright spots, notably the Panarin-Trocheck-Alexis Lafrenière line’s compelling performance. Lafrenière showcased his aggressiveness and tied for the team lead in shot attempts.
On the flip side, the bottom defensive pair of Zac Jones and Braden Schneider faced a tough night, finishing with a minus-three rating. Shesterkin allowed four goals on 34 shots, a forgettable outing for the elite netminder.
Puck management became a thorn in New York’s side, with 15 turnovers and issues in breakouts and net-front clearance. They struggled to get past Dallas’s 1-2-2 in the neutral zone or defend their motion offense. Defensively, they allowed things to open up too much and gave the Stars room to play Peter Debor’s East-West hockey.
These areas will surely be in focus heading into Wednesday’s game in Pittsburgh against the surging Penguins, who’ve won six of eight.
While Monday was a hiccup, plenty of hockey remains to be played. Clunkers happen, but it’s about how you respond in the next contest. Onwards and upwards, Rangers faithful!