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.


Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…


Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…


Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…


China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…


Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…


What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…


Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.


3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.


NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.


Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.


VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…


Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…


Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…