The pucks didn't bounce in the way of the New York Rangers and the Blueshirts were defeated 3-0 Thursday night by the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.
Pittsburgh improves to 4-3-0 while the Rangers drop to 3-4-0.
It was New York's first game without captain Ryan Callahan, after the winger suffered a partially torn dislocated shoulder Tuesday night, and the team looked lost.
Every line was juggled a little bit with head coach John Tortorella looking for a spark, but the Rangers weren't able to find the back of the net. A place a did find, however, and rather frequently was the penalty box.
The team took seven penalties in this one, so the score actually could've been worse. Pittsburgh was only able to capitalize on one of their seven power play opportunities, but the one really took the life out of the building.
Right at the start of the third period, Sidney Crosby gathered the puck at the point and fired a shot low toward Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist. James Neal was in front and deflected the puck, sending it over Lundqvist's shoulder and into the back of the net. The goal made it 2-0 Pittsburgh, which seemed like an insurmountable lead for New York's struggling offense.
The Rangers were able to put 28 shots on net, but Tomas Vokoun was able to stop every one. There were two that New York was able to slip past him in the third period, but the both hit the post. First, Marc Stall ripped a shot on goal that Marian Gaborik redirected past Vokoun's stick side. The puck hit the right iron and came back into play.
The next one was more costly for the Rangers as Anton Stralman's shot hit the post and came all the way out to center ice. Pittsburgh's Simon Despres was getting out of the penalty box and ended up all alone on Lundqvist and beat the goalie — who made 26 saves — to his glove side. This was the goal that took the life out of Madison Square Garden, making it 3-0 Pittsburgh with about 10 minutes left in the game.
The Penguins first goal came less than two minutes into the game when Evgeni Malkin's one-timer beat Lundqvist near side. The goal took the energy out of the building really early, and the fact that the Rangers had trouble generating any offense only quieted the crowd even more — except when they were booing the Blueshirts.
This was one for the Rangers to put in the rearview mirror, as better games lie ahead.Tags: Anton Stralman, Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, James Neal, John Tortorella, Marc Stall, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Callahan, Sidney Crosby, Simon Despres, Tomas Vokoun