It was not a good performance in Ottawa as the Rangers were soundly beaten by the Senators 6-2. This was as bad a game as the Blueshirts have played this season, and a few performances like this on the season now should be raising some alarm bells around the fanbase. There’s no need to be concerned with where the team is at, but they’ve really stunk the joint out in a few losses this season.
Ottawa took an early lead in this game as the Senators got the puck back to the point. A blast from the blue line was tipped out in front, and the Rangers were chasing the game halfway through the first period courtesy of the Senators’ captain Brady Tkachuk. Trying to get back onto level footing in the Canadian capital would be difficult. This Sens team has the firepower to blow teams away when they start chasing the game.
Former Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux was able to tap the puck home after Tkachuk beat Trouba in a board battle to get the puck back to the blue line. Giroux picked the puck up behind the net and beat Igor Shesterkin on a wraparound to make it a 2-0 Senators lead. New York’s poor start to the game was being punished, and at the first intermission, they were going to be trailing.
Barclay Goodrow took a high hit that left his bloody mouthguard on the ice as the Rangers’ injury concerns continued to mount. In any other sport, this would sound psychotic, but it’s almost always better if it’s a cut or a contact injury because those can be fixed quickly. Those bone, ligament, and muscle injuries are the parts that really cannot be helped. It’s a weird sport, but Goodrow continued to leave it all on the ice before going down the tunnel.
New York would get on the board early in the second on the powerplay. Adam Fox finds a pass to Artemi Panarin at the point, who loads up and fires. It may have hit Vincent Trocheck out in front, but it might not have. Either way, it was a 2-1 game, and the Rangers were alive in this game in Ottawa. It was almost an ideal response to the message Peter Laviolette gave his team at the first intermission.
However, that did not remain the case. With a little more than five minutes gone in the second, the Rangers turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Former Ranger Vladimir Tarasenko picked the puck up in the offensive zone and beat his former teammate Igor Shesterkin to restore the multigoal lead for the Senators. New York was back in a deep hole, chasing the game.
Less than a minute later, the Rangers hot line got in on the forecheck. Panarin got the puck back for a shot that went over the net. However, eventually, the puck would work its way back to the Breadman, and the Rangers hottest player would find the streaking K’Andre Miller, who buried the puck to make it a 3-2 game and pull the Rangers to within a goal. It was starting to feel like a basketball game with how end-to-end it was.
This back-and-forth favored the Senators, as we saw when the Sens were able to break. Tarasenko again took a shot on the rush caused by a Ryan Lindgren pinch. Shesterkin has no choice but to kick it out, and Drake Batherson puts the rebound back into the cage, making it a 4-2 lead. Another multi-goal lead for the Senators was a bad sign for the Rangers looking to get something from their effort on the night.
It would be 5-2 before long as Tkachuk continues to haint the Rangers. Giroux wins the board battle to get the puck back to the point. A defenseman-to-defenseman pass leads to a point show that goes high and wide, but Tkachuk wins the race for the rebound and tucks it home to make it a three-goal Senators lead. At this point, it felt like the Rangers were not going to get anything from this game.
The Senators would make it 6-2 on the empty net, and the Rangers fall short in Ottawa as they are unable to continue to build upon their recent success and as the final horn goes in Ottawa, we are forced to understand the poor performance the Rangers had against a team they really should have beaten. With a few performances like this recently, perhaps the Bluesgirts are in some turmoil.