Alain Vigneault may have been overthinking before the Rangers' 4-3 shootout loss to Colorado Thursday night at the Garden. He didn't use either Rick Nash or Martin St. Louis and changed another part of his strategy.
"We knew they were a good shootout team,'' said Vigneault, who chose not to have the Rangers shoot first, a tactic he has used in the past. "Their younger players have come up in the shootout era. Our best player is our goaltender. The last two shootouts we lost by going first, so I decided to switch it up. I guess I made the wrong call.''
Henrik Lundqvist stopped only Matt Duchene's second-round attempt in the three-round shootout. Semyon Varlamov denied Mats Zuccarello and Lee Stempniak in the first and third rounds.
As part of a continuing evaluation, defenseman Tomas Kaberle will report to Hartford for a tryout and play one or two games this weekend for the Wolfpack.
If he impresses the Rangers' brass watching, he could become the team's seventh defenseman, at least in the short term.
"It'll be good to get a game or two," said Kaberle, 36, who played in the Czech Republic last season.
He dressed for two preseason games when he was with the Devils, who later released him.
With Dan Boyle (broken hand) back Thursday night, Michael Kostka was waived with the intention of sending him to Hartford if he clears on Friday. Kostka, 29, played seven games with one assist, averaging about 15 minutes.
Ryan McDonagh, who suffered a shoulder separation Nov. 1, is out until the end of the month, so there's an opening.
"I suggested that it would be better for [Kaberle], and us, if he would be willing to play a couple games, and he had no issues," Vigneault said. Kaberle's "overall decisions and speed [in practices] were fine, but practices and games are two different beasts."
Fast gets start
Right wing Jesper Fast, 22, played for the second game in a row. "His biggest attribute is he's real smart," Vigneault said. "He's got good hockey sense with and without the puck."
Rookie Anthony Duclair was scratched for the second straight game.
Dan Girardi's goal was the first by a Rangers defenseman other than Kevin Klein, who has three . . . The Rangers are 3-1-3 against Western Conference teams . . . Nash's assist gave him 18 points; 12 are goals . . . The Rangers won only 42 percent of the draws, with Derick Brassard winning just five of 19 . . . D John Moore led the Rangers in ice time with 24:38 . . . Tanner Glass and Cody McLeod dropped the gloves 2:19 in.