CALGARY, Alberta — The Rangers attempted to make a dramatic comeback for the second time in as many games, and like in their last rally, they also took an overtime penalty, but it cost them this time around.
With Adam Fox in the box for high-sticking, Mikael Backlund scored 1:28 into the extra period on the power play to hand the Rangers a 3-2 loss, ending the club’s seven-game winning streak Saturday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“Going into this road trip, if you were to say we get seven out of eight [points], we’re going to be happy with that,” Ryan Lindgren told The Post after the loss. “Obviously, right now, you’d like eight of eight. But we played some good teams, played some good hockey and just gotta keep building off of that.”
Alexis Lafreniere scored with two seconds left on the power play with 7:12 left in regulation to tie the score at 2-2.
Though the goals haven’t piled up as much as Lafreniere and the Rangers likely want them to this season, the youngster is in the midst of playing some of his best hockey since he joined the club three years ago.
The Rangers, whose legs looked heavier than usual on the second night of a back-to-back after Friday night’s emotional shootout win, seemed not to be ready to play when the puck dropped Saturday night.
“I don’t think tonight was the same as last night,” Vincent Trocheck said. “I thought we were playing well in the first period. Tonight, I don’t think we played very well and that’s why scored too quick ones. It was just the same mentality. When you go down two, you have 40 minutes after the first to get back into the game and we couldn’t really dwell on what was done in the first half, just focus on the next.”
In the matter of 46 seconds, The Rangers were trailing 2-0 as the Flames came out flying. With the rough-and-rowdy matchup earlier this month, when the Rangers won 5-4 in overtime at the Garden, clearly on their minds, Calgary took it to the visitors right away behind goals from Andrew Mangiapane and Nazem Kadri.
After Gerard Gallant began juggling the lines midway through the second period, as the head coach often does when offense is lacking, the Rangers were able to get on the board. Vladimir Tarasenko dropped to the right wing of the second unit next to Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, which promptly resulted in a goal that cut the Rangers’ deficit to 2-1 at 16:53 of the middle frame.
The Rangers got off to slow start for the second time in as many games. Friday night saw the Rangers fall behind 4-1 to the Oilers, while Saturday night saw them give up two goals in less than a minute to the Flames.
Mangiapane took a stretch pass and split Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller before backhanding one past Halak. A mere eight seconds later, Adam Fox turned the puck over right off the faceoff and allowed the Flames to crash the zone, where Kadri’s one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle made it a 2-0 game.
Despite settling down after that and beginning to generating some chances, which included hitting the post on two occasions, the Rangers were still charged with a whopping 16 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
It may not have been as big of a deficit as they were facing Friday night in Edmonton, but the Rangers kept pace with the Flames. But in the end it was only enough for one point for the Blueshirts who still are playing good hockey.
“It’s going to be a tough stretch to finish the season before the playoffs,” Trocheck said. “But I think late in the season is a good time to get rolling.”
Read the full article here
Discussion about this post