Well, except for the desperate, urgent, third period, that’s not the way to kick off a four-game homestand: A 4-3 loss to Winnipeg.
Naturally, after their fourth straight defeat (0-3-1)---this one to a team that they had beaten all four games last season---the Blueshirts tried to stay upbeat.
“It’s something we have to realize here, when you’re not getting wins and bounces,” said Ryan Callahan, the no-doubt-about-it star of the game for the Rangers, with seven shots and five hits and led all forwards with 26:02. “It’s easy to put it on yourself and get down. There are a lot of good things we can take out of this game and once we get rolling here, if we keep playing that way, we will start to win some games... I thought our confidence was coming.”
Here’s Marc Staal: “I thought we grew, we made more plays, were more confident with the puck, more patient. Guys were making nice plays tape-to-tape. We were buzzing around their net.”
To be sure, the third period was their best of the three, with a 14-6 shot advantage. But 0-2 overall on the PP didn’t help. The 3-3 PK was good. Brad Richards won 11 of 17 faceoffs. Carl Hagelin also had seven shots.
On the down side, Brian Boyle had a bad penalty and no shots in 9:55. Chris Kreider was given just 4:33 of time, and Brandon Mashinter was a minus-2 in 3:30. “It’s a tough spot for them,” said coach John Tortorella after the game. “Chris and Mash, there is a bit of a struggle there a couple times, but this is what happens when you have some injuries (Rick Nash, Arron Asham). You have the kids. You get really worried that you put them in a spot they are just not ready for yet.”
Anton Stralman (23:51) had a goal and assist in the third; Marc Staal, Marian Gaborik, and Richards, Dan Girardi and Steve Eminger (his first point of the season and 20:33 of ice time) had assists to go with Taylor Pyatt’s and Callahan’s goals. So eight Rangers had points and the three goals were equal to the output of the last three games.