The record was 165-1-9 going into tonight’s game. That’s the Rangers over the past 175 games when leading after two periods in the regular season, dating back to Feb. 6, 2010 against the New Jersey Devils.
It’s a testament to the team’s defense and a testament to of course No. 30 himself Henrik Lundqvist.
But leave it to the Islanders to make that record 165-2-9, after their 2-1 win tonight over the Rangers.
“I thought both teams the first two periods battled real hard,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “In the third, in a four minute span there, made two mistakes that lead to their first goal and took a penalty there. We lost the game.”
Look all good things must come to an end and the Rangers were bound to lose one of these games this way, but to the Isles, well that hurts a little more.
That being said, don’t assume this will become an epidemic. The Rangers held this record even during their slump last month. They still have Lundqvist and the defense seems to be coming around.
And more importantly the King played extremely well tonight, looking to be back in form after leading the slump charge. Lundqvist stopped 29 shots on the night and seemed to be right in form.
“I thought it was a really good hockey game both teams played well,” Lundqvist said. “There were chances both ways. In the end they won with the special teams, that was the difference tonight. That’s gonna be the case of a lot of games moving forward.”
The Rangers are going to need more than Lundqvist. The power play needs to be better, while they need better chances in the offensive zone.
Last night, the Isles were able to defend well the their zone. It limited the chances and ultimately gave the home team a chance to win.
“They did a good job of defending in front (of the net),” said center Derek Stepan. “Any team that gets a lead in the third period at home is gonna do everything they can to defend the front of the net. It’s hard to score on a team like that. We weren’t able to get our looks that we wanted, and when we did get our looks we didn’t bury them. That was the difference tonight.”
Fortunately the Rangers are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. They show signs of playing like they did during the first month of the season. They still have a long way to go, though, but fortunately, the season is only half over and there’s still time for the Blueshirts.