Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson stops a shot by New...

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson stops a shot by New York Rangers' Mika Zibanejad during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Credit: Jae C. Hong

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Rangers have had a lot of nights already this season where they left a game feeling they’d played well enough to win, but were foiled by a great goaltending performance or plain bad luck.

This time, with a chance to close out their four-game West Coast trip with a third straight win, they instead were frustrated by Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson, who stopped 41 shots, many of them high-level chances, as the Ducks, the last-place team in the entire National Hockey League, won their first game of the season in regulation time, a 3-2 victory over the Rangers.

“We hit five goalposts and crossbars and lots of opportunities, and Gibson obviously stood on his head,’’ Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “So I can't fault the performance. I’m just disappointed we don't get two points out of it. But we played hard, we played well. If you play like that, you're going to win a lot of those games.’’

The Rangers finished the trip 2-1-1, and fell to 10-7-4 on the season, and goaltender Jaroslav Halak remained winless on the season, falling to 0-5-1.

Gallant opted to start Halak on the second night of the back-to-back set after they’d beaten the Los Angeles Kings, 5-3, on Tuesday with Igor Shesterkin in goal. Halak had last started Nov. 12, in the 2-1 loss to the Predators in Nashville, and Shesterkin had played the next four games.

The Rangers led, 1-0, on a goal by Barclay Goodrow at 8:51 of the first period, but the lead lasted only 31 seconds, before Mason McTavish tied it with a rebound goal at 9:22. Then, Halak, who came into the game with a goals-against average of 3.22 and a save percentage of .883, gave up a bad goal 39 seconds into the second period, a weak wrist shot from the right boards by Dmitry Kulikov that somehow slithered through him to make it 2-1, Ducks.

Troy Terry made it 3-1 at 5:25 with a wicked wrister shot from the top of the right circle that went through a K’Andre Miller screen, off the far post, and in. The Ducks had scored on their first two shots of the period.

Anaheim Ducks celebrate a goal by Troy Terry as New...

Anaheim Ducks celebrate a goal by Troy Terry as New York Rangers' Barclay Goodrow skates past during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Anaheim, Calif. Credit: AP/Jae C. Hong

Halak did seem to find himself and made several stellar saves the rest of the period, including stopping ex-Ranger Frank Vatrano on a shorthanded breakaway midway through the period. But Gibson was brilliant at the other end, making even more big saves.

Braden Schneider, who’d scored the first Ranger goal Tuesday, made it two in two nights when he flipped a wrist shot through a screen by Chris Kreider that got by through Gibson at 18:06 to pull the Rangers within 3-2.

Notes & quotes: Rookie forward Vitali Kravtsov and defenseman Libor Hajek were the two healthy scratches. Kravtsov sat out for the sixth consecutive game, though the first two of those were due to a problem with his tooth that required surgery.

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