Rangers lose to lowly Oilers in 6,000th game in franchise history

Nail Yakupov
Rookie Nail Yakupov scored the game-winner for Edmonton.
Credit: Getty Images

The Rangers did not want to celebrate the 6,000th regular season game in franchise history this way.

The team dropped a 2-1 decision to the Western Conferece-worst Oilers in a match Thursday night at the Garden.

“We just weren’t as sharp [as needed],” Brad Richards said. “We have to do a better job.”

Even though the Rangers finished with advantages in shots on goal (36-31) and attempted shots (65-51), most came off the rush and were relatively easy stops for Ben Scrivens (35 saves).

“He was good,” Marc Staal said. “We didn’t have a lot of secondary chances, missed some good shots. I think you [have] to get in front of a guy like that. He’s playing well and I don’t think we had enough traffic, causing rebounds and scrambles. He played [well] but I don’t think we did enough consistently to score more [than one goal].”

While Scrivens was putting on a show, Cam Talbot attempted to match the Edmonton netminder save for save.

As good as Talbot and Scrivens were, neither were impregnable. Ryan Smyth gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead 2:56 into the first period with his eighth of the season. Edmonton’s lead lasted until Derick Brassard scored 22 seconds into the second period.

The game remained tied after Brassard’s goal until Nail Yakupov ripped a slapshot from the slot with 1:38 left in regulation.

On the play to set up Yakupov’s game-winner, the Oilers forecheck would not allow the Rangers to leave the defensive zone and Sam Gagner found the 2012 first-overall pick with a no-look pass from along the goal line for the one-timer.

“The winning goal was five guys on the ice getting beat to loose pucks and [the Oilers] protecting the puck and finding an open man all alone in the slot,” head coach Alain Vigneault said. “We were trying to block the shot and it goes off our stick and in. There were five puck battles and we lost them and it ends up in the back of our net.”

There is no time for the loss to marinate as the Rangers meet the Eastern Confernce-leading Penguins Friday night in Pittsburgh for their last game before the two-week Olympic break. The Rangers will send seven players to Sochi: Rick Nash (Canada), Carl Hagelin and Henrik Lundqvist (Sweden), Mats Zuccarello (Norway) and Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan (United States).

“It’s a big game,” Staal said of the game in Pittsburgh. “They are a good team and we have to move by this and learn from it. We have to be better and try to get a win.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…


Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…


Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…


Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…


Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.


PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…


Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.


Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…


Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.


Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.


Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.


Belinda Bencic leads crop of young stars serving…

Belinda Bencic, a 17-year-old Swiss Miss, beat two Top-10 players before suffering a disappointing loss Tuesday in the quarterfinals.


In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.


Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…


Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…


These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…