CALGARY, Alberta — David Quinn gave the Rangers the day off here Thursday, and it probably was just as well, given how poorly things went for them the night before in their 4-1 loss in Vancouver.
On Thursday, Chris Kreider, who had been given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for elbowing Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson, was fined $5,000 by the NHL — the maximum allowed under the collective-bargaining agreement.
Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux, who was given a match penalty for allegedly hitting Antoine Roussel in the head, didn’t get his major penalty rescinded, as some thought he might, but he will face no further discipline.
The Rangers had two players ejected, one on a controversial call, against the Canucks. They were forced to kill two five-minute major penalties in the second period, trailed 3-0 after two periods and failed to convert on either end of a five-on-three power play that could have gotten them back in the game early in the third period.
“We were so slow, unsure of what we were going to do, and it doesn’t work,’’ center Mika Zibanejad said of the unsuccessful five-on-three. “We’ve been struggling with the five-on-three. We just have to work at it and get better at it.’’
The Rangers’ next game is Friday against the Flames, whose 93 points are good for second in the Pacific Division and tied with Boston for the third-most in the league.
Although Quinn was unhappy with the match penalty given to Lemieux — he didn’t believe it should have been a penalty of any kind — and while he said after the game that the second-period calls against Lemieux and Kreider put the Rangers “at an incredible disadvantage,’’ Quinn refused to blame them for the loss. He was more annoyed with the Rangers’ defensive play and their failure on the five-on-three power play.
“We gave them two goals. Complete gifts,’’ Quinn said. “The second and third goals are complete gifts. And then we get a five-on-three and we don’t even get a threatening shot. We can talk about the penalties all we want, but the things that we have to get better at and we have to stop doing are things of that nature.
“You can’t gift-wrap goals. You’ve got to make people earn them. And when you get a five-on-three, you’ve got to look threatening. You can’t do what we did.’’
The penalties to Kreider and Lemieux meant the Rangers were forced to kill two five-minute major penalties in the period. They allowed only one power-play goal in those 10 minutes, though Vancouver did score 11 seconds after Kreider’s penalty time was up.
The call against Lemieux was the one that really frustrated all the Rangers. On replay, it appeared that Roussel was looking the other way and turned into Lemieux, who simply stood his ground. The replay didn’t appear to show any contact with Roussel’s head. The Vancouver forward was injured on the play, however, suffering a knee injury that ended his season.