Game 8: Rangers Stink Up New MSG, Fall 4-2 to Leafs

Dreadful. After a blazing start at the first game at the semi-new Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers fell back into their old ways of creating zero offense, and ultimately lost, 4-2, to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Rangers opened the scoring when Dan Girardi scored his first goal of the season at 6:23 of the first period. The play was created by Marian Gaborik driving to the net. Girardi blasted home a rolling loose puck, and it squeaked past Toronto’s Jonas Gustavsson.

The Rangers scored two more goals in the first period, but both were waved off because of goaltender interference. The team finished with 16 shots in the first and controlled play.That changed in the second period, which was all Maple Leafs. Matthew Lombardi scored his second of the season to knot the game at one. The score could have been worse but Henrik Lundqvist stopped Phil Kessel on two breakaways.

The third was more of the same for the Rangers. Joffery Lupul scored his fifth goal of the season at 2:11 of the third. Four minutes later, Clarke MacArthur’s slapshot made it 3-1, and Mike Brown put the game away seven minutes later. Michael Del Zotto scored his first of the season, but it was too little too late.

  • The first disallowed goal was a bad call, plain and simple. With that said, it’s no excuse for the Rangers’ play in the second and third periods. It’s still just eight games into the year, but this team just doesn’t really show any life. Could it be the long travel? Maybe, but that’s over now and you have to snap out of it.
  • The Lombardi and MacArthur goals have to be stopped by Lundqvist. He very rarely allows bad goals, but those two (especially Lombari’s to tie the game at 1) must be stopped. After the game he said he lost his concentration midway through the game. What gives?
  • The Rangers are just getting no offense. Brandon Dubinsky, Derek Stepan, and Artem Anisimov have zero goals. Brad Richards-although more of an assist man- has just one, as does Brian Boyle. Ryan Callahan has just two, including a fluke. There is just nothing going on in terms of offense going on with this team.
  • Can John Tortorella stop juggling the lines for a bit? I know it’s his thing, but how can anyone generate any chemistry when each shift is with different line mates. Stepan played very well with Gaborik and Richards, but since they had one poor game, you have to break them up. He did the same thing last season with Gaborik and Sean Avery.
  • Speaking of Avery, I personally loved the “We Want Avery” chants. Readers of the blog know I’m a big Avery supporter, and still believe there is no reason he should not be on this team.
  • Continuing with that, anyone else think Erik Christensen on with the goalie pulled was a spiteful move by Torts to stick it the fans?
  • The power play continues to be awful, and when you’re not scoring at 5-on-5, you need the power play to be clicking. The Rangers went 0-for-3 tonight, with two being dreadful.
  • The shot problem must end. After registering 16 in the first period, the Rangers followed it up with seven each in the final two periods. I’ve never seen that.
  • Lastly, MSG looks great but boy were those intros bad. It seemed like they were rushing through them. Poor job by MSG, who usually does everything top-notch.
Rangers: Girardi (1), Del Zotto (1)
Maple Leafs: Lombardi (2), Lupul (5), MacArthur (1), Brown (1)
Rangers: Lundqvist (L), 32 saves
Maple Leafs: Gustavsson (W) 28 saves
Next Game: vs. Ottawa Senators, Saturday 3 p.m.
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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