Rangers lose ‘terrible game’ against Penguins

John Tortorella.

The second verse was the same as the first.

All of the improvements the Rangers appeared to make in winning three of their last four games dissipated in a stultifying 3-0 loss to the Penguins Thursday night at the Garden.

“It was a terrible game,” said Henrik Lundqvist. The reigning Vezina winner stopped 26-of-29-shots. “It’s not a lot of action. Five-on-five [and] special teams were key. A lot of time that would be the difference and they won with special teams.”

The loss to the Atlantic Division rivals was their second in as many games this season, and sixth in eight games dating back to last season. Evgeni Malkin’s bomb from the half wall 84 seconds in was all the Penguins would need, although James Neal (26 seconds) and Simon Despres (10:23) added third-period markers.

The three goals lasted because last night’s match was a carbon copy of the 6-3 home opening loss on Jan. 20. The Penguins would not allow the Rangers much in the way of puck possession or zone time, and the Blueshirts could not effectively navigate the neutral zone as Pittsburgh clogged the middle of the ice. All conspired to produce an easy 28-save shutout for Tomas Vokoun.

“They sit in that neutral zone,” Marc Staal said. “They just kind of wait and hang out. We couldn’t really find any speed through the offensive zone or on the rushes”

It did not help their cause that the Rangers gave the Penguins six power plays, while falling to 3-for-28 on the season with the man advantage. Collectively, the Rangers do not believe there is an overemphasis on getting the puck to Rick Nash. However, during his 3:22 of ice time on the power play last night, Nash routinely carried the puck up ice instead of Michael Del Zotto or Brad Richards.

When the Rangers did gain the zone on the power play, Pittsburgh overplayed Nash. Of his three shots on goal, one came on the man advantage.

“I don’t know. I don’t feel that [we are forcing it to Nash]. But maybe it looks like that from up top. I’m not sure. It’s a different view from up there. We’re trying to do the right thing. We’re trying to make a good play to get the guy open,” Dan Girardi said.

“Simple is better, I think. One or two passes and get the puck to the net when there’s two guys in front and bang in some rebounds.”

Neal’s goal — his fifth of the season — came on a power play after the Rangers were penalized for too many men on the ice. It marked the third time in three games an opponent scored a power play goal off of that specific penalty.

“Not paying attention,” head coach John Tortorella said of the too many men on the ice penalty. “It’s fairly easy to know what guy you’re going to take coming off the ice, and it hurts us again tonight.”

Also prevalent through the match was a complete lack of flow and emotion. The former can be attributed to the combined 10 power plays but the later is a cause for concern considering the rivalry between the two franchises. The team would not blame the dispassion on the absence of captain Ryan Callahan, who is out 10-to-14 days with a shoulder subluxation.

“There’s not enough. I can sum it up [with] sloppy. Didn’t make passes. Didn’t make plays. We just didn’t make it too tough on their goalie. That’s why he gets a shutout,” Richards said. “Obviously with [Callahan’s] energy and his hitting and his emotion he brings [it is a loss]. But we can’t pack it in. Every team has injuries and we have to figure out a way to come out better than that.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

Exercising leads to more drinking — and we…

  We’re rewarding ourselves with more than dessert on days we exercise, according to a new study. On days when people exercise more, typically Thursday…

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…