The Anaheim Ducks were looking to rebound after blowing a 2-0 lead in consecutive games against the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils. The game against the New York Rangers marked the second half of a back-to-back, and the fourth of six games during the Ducks road trip.
The game did not go as the Anaheim Ducks had hoped that it would, and they found themselves facing the last two games of the road trip on a three-game losing streak. Their promising start to the road trip with the victory over the St. Louis Blues had seemed to disappear and they need something to reinvigorate them moving forward.
Let’s see how this loss in Madison Square Garden broke down period by period.
The first period began with a quick pace that saw both teams trade chances in the first few minutes, but neither goalie was beaten. Rickard Rakell was sent in on a clean breakaway but was stopped by the stick of Henrik Lundqvist as he tried to move the puck to his backhand and elevate it over the blocker of Lundqvist.
The Rangers received the first power play of the game as Andrew Cogliano was sent off for slashing, but the teams would be evened up at four skaters apiece as Mats Zuccarello was called for roughing against Chris Wagner, who had been bothering him for a few seconds before the penalty was called.
Neither team would capitalize on the special teams situation, and with just under a minute to go in the period, the Rangers would be the first to get on the board with a goal in front from Paul Carey. 1-0 Rangers with [time] remaining in the first.
The first period came to a close with the Rangers leading 1-0 in score, but the Ducks (yes, this isn’t a typo) leading in shots on goal by a count of 16-10.
Less than a minute into the period, the Rangers would immediately double their lead through a heck of a wrist shot from Kevin Hayes that just snuck inside the top corner behind Gibson. 2-0 Rangers just 38 seconds into the middle frame. Not ideal.
Midway through the period, the Ducks began to mount some pressure in the New York zone, but were still unable to find a way past Lundqvist, despite the fact that they had 25 shots on goal at the halfway mark in the game.
With exactly seven minutes remaining on the clock in the second period, Paul Carey scored his third goal of the season, and second of the night. The Ducks may have had an advantage in shots, faceoffs, scoring chances, among others, but the score was 3-0 Rangers.
The Rangers would get yet another power play opportunity late in the second period, but luckily for Anaheim, they were unable to capitalize and extend their lead past what it was. The Ducks attempted to mount some late pressure once again in the second, but Henrik Lundqvist continued earning his paycheck, making great save after great save to keep Anaheim off the board.
The Rangers would carry a 3-0 lead into the third period, but the Ducks continued to pile shots onto the scoreboard, now leading the Rangers by a count of 30-22.
Four minutes into the final frame of regulation, the Anaheim Ducks would get their first “full” chance at a power play, as they had only received the abbreviated opportunity earlier in the game after the 4-on-4 situation.
Staying par for the course of this game, however, the Ducks would go on to not only not score on this power play, but also look pretty horrendous on it as well. They were barely able to get into the offensive zone at all, and when they did, it was usually met with an immediate turnover and clear from the Rangers.
Ondrej Kase would finally get the Ducks on the board with 5:17 remaining in regulation. It took Anaheim 36 shots on goal to foil the shutout of Henrik Lundqvist, but the clock was not in favor of the Ducks at that point. 3-1.
The Rangers appeared to have scored with 3:20 to go, and after a very lengthy review, the officiating crew and situation room in Toronto confirmed this, despite a phenomenal diving effort from Rickard Rakell to keep the puck out of the net. 4-1 Rangers.
The Rangers would skate out the remaining minutes of regulation and send the Ducks out of Madison Square Garden with their second consecutive regulation loss and no points to show for a back-to-back for the first time in a long time. Final score, 4-1 New York.
While the Ducks were able to outshoot the Rangers (only the 7th time all season they have accomplished this), they were unable to find ways to get pucks in the net and they paid the price for it.
The Ducks will be back in action on Thursday night when they travel to Brooklyn to continue their road trip against the New York Islanders.