New York Rangers fall 5-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights as concerns continue to mount

Jan 18, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Jonathan Marchessault (81)
Jan 18, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Jonathan Marchessault (81) / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The lead at the top of the Metropolitan Division is still decreasing. With the red hot Carolina Hurricanes continuing to close in on the Blueshirts, the New York Rangers tasted defeat at the hands of the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights, and that lead is shrinking. Another blowout loss for the Blueshirts, it's concerning for a lot of fans right now.

Vegas' first goal came from a zone entry that looked rather controlled. Nicolas Roy carried the puck across the line before dishing it into Jonathan Marchessault. Marchessault gave it back to Roy, who continued to make progress wide to the left of the Ranger net. Roy gave it back to Marchessault, who ripped it home to give the Golden Knights the lead in the first.

Vegas would double the lead as Nicolas Roy recieved a puck fired up the ice by Jonathan Marchessault. He tried to drive the net, but Jacob Trouba did well to crowd the front of the net. Marchessault was able to pick out Ivan Barbashev at the back post, and it was a 2-0 Golden Knight lead. It didn't look like a game that Vegas were going to be blown out in, but it had that eerie feeling.

Ivan Barbashev would make it a 3-0 lead as the older brother of the New York Rangers prospect haunts his brothers team. Mark Stone played catch with Chandler Stephenson, moving the puck from the boards down to the red line. As the Rangers penalty kill started to become stationary, Barbashev was able to fire the puck home from the low slot to make it a 3-0 lead for the reigning Stanley Cup Champions.

Kaedan Korczak made it four Vegas goals less than 29 seconds later. A lead up the ice from Brett Howden allowed the defenseman to step into a shot from the point. Keegan Kolesar was able to deflect the puck past Igor Shesterkin with less than two minutes to go in the frame, and it was now not a competitive game anymore. The Blueshirts knew then that they were defeated in Sin City.

New York would grab the next goal in this game as the powerplay struck. Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox play catch at the point before throwing the puck over to Artemi Panarin. Panarin recieves the pass from Fox, and is able to his Zibanejad on the bad door, and the Rangers get on the board. It was a pretty goal and the powerplay stays dominant, but overall it is like looking for a silverlining in the clouds above a tsunami.

With the empty net, Brett Howden would score into the empty net against his former club. New York will not sweep this road trip, as we have found out tonight. The performances over the last few weeks have not been good enough, and it's starting to raise red flags around the fanbase, for a good reason. It's not good enough. If the Blueshirts desires of playoff hockey are to be reached, it will need to be done in the following weeks before the deadline.