Rangers Watch: CAR 4, NYR 0
There weren't a lot of positives in tonight's shutout loss to the Hurricanes. Marty Straka laid a couple nice open ice checks, but other than that the Rangers' top line was their most dangerous and not in a good way. Straka and Brandon Dubinsky were a minus four and Jaromir Jagr a minus three. However, only the stat sheet has Colton Orr as the other forward with a minus. A stickless Jagr's failure to play a puck near the bench lead to David Tanabe's goal, Carolina's third.
In fact, the HBO line (Ryan Hollweg-Blair Betts-Orr) was New York's best. Their forecheck matched Carolina's and were able to generate chances. If they were able to convert, it surely would have been a different game. Instead, the Blueshirts suffered their largest defeat of the season, which is still better than the 8-1 loss Carolina suffered in Buffalo on Saturday.
It's always tough to play a team the game after a drubbing. Pride is a big motivator. The Canes were quick tonight and kept the Rangers at bay with a strong effort on the fore and backcheck. When New York was able to get possession in Carolina's zone, they effectively collapsed around Cam Ward. The Rangers adjusted and started using their points more, but they still weren't able to weave the puck through a sea of white jerseys.
Loses happen. The Rangers still hold onto first in the Atlantic. This defeat doesn't hurt as much as the game in Atlanta, but I'd still like to wash my brain of tonight's poor show.
Recaps: Y!/AP, TSN Broadband