Good Morning
Good Morning

Henrik Lundqvist off his game as Rangers are blanked by Canucks

Henrik Lundqvist grimaces in pain from his left

Henrik Lundqvist grimaces in pain from his left arm after making a save late in the third period against the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at TD Garden in Boston. (May 19, 2013) Credit: Getty

VANCOUVER -- In coach Alain Vigneault's first game back after being hired by the Rangers last summer -- and John Tortorella's first against his former troops -- the Canucks outscored the Blueshirts, 5-0, in a preseason game Thursday night.

Henrik Sedin scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist did not look sharp, allowing five goals on 17 shots through 40 minutes before being replaced by Martin Biron at the start of the third period.

The third period meant little; the Canucks led 2-0 after the first and 5-0 after the second, with two of the scores on the power play.

Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo made 41 saves and Vigneault said the Rangers "saw a goaltender who was real sharp and some bounces that didn't go our way. They were able to get a break on their second goal [Frank Corrado's long knuckler from the right point], I think Hank would like to have that one back."

Vigneault said there was a good chance that Lundqvist would get minutes against the Kings in Las Vegas in the preseason finale on Friday night.

"It was a game where the puck didn't bounce our way," said Lundqvist, echoing his coach after the Rangers fell to 1-4 in the preseason. "Obviously you want to have a better result. I could have better reads on some of the deflections maybe; the one positive thing is that it's preseason. I have some work to do and I think as a team we have some work to do to get structure in our game. You want to get a good feeling, more than the result. It's always good to win, but that's what we have to focus on Friday."

Rick Nash and Brad Richards continued to struggle offensively, and the top defensive pairing of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh was on ice for all five goals.

Vigneault, meanwhile, must make a decision on which youngsters might make the opening-night roster.

"There are a lot of players right now that are close, but haven't really shown to me that they can play at this level on a consistent basis," he said. "A couple of young guys will get a chance [Friday], but they're definitely going to have to do better."

Defenseman John Moore, one of the better Rangers on the ice at Rogers Arena, said that "no matter what time of year, you're going in to win the game. We did some good things offensively. We're looking for a solid effort [Friday]. We just need to tighten up defensively."

One bit of good news for the Rangers in addition to center Derek Stepan signing a two-year contract worth $6.15 million and set to practice with the club on Sunday in New York: Captain Ryan Callahan, who has been skating and shooting while rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery, was cleared for contact. But Vigneault said he wouldn't be ready for opening night in Phoenix on Oct. 3.

New York Sports