New York Rangers comeback bid falls short against Dallas Stars (Highlights)
Jan 17, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Patrick Eaves (18) celebrates scoring a goal on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers defensive play didn’t do Henrik Lundqvist any favors as they were defeated at home by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

  • New York Rangers 6 (28-16-1, 57 pts)
  • Dallas Stars 7 (19-19-8, 46 pts)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Anybody with half a hockey brain, or who’s listened to us over the last two months, could have seen this one coming a mile away.

Your 2016-17 New York Rangers play a terrible brand of defense.

After disappointing fans last Friday on Steven McDonald night and allowing the Montreal Canadiens to score three goals in 62 seconds over the weekend, the now healthy Blueshirts took to the Madison Square Garden ice on Tuesday night with Mika Zibanejad. It would mark the first time the first-year Rangers had played hockey since his broken leg close to two months ago.

Zibs or not, the defense still showed up as awful and despite a raging comeback bid, the Rangers lost to the Dallas Stars by the final of 7-6.

New York literally left starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist out to dry all night long. Hank, who was pulled after the second period and received multiple mock cheers from the Garden faithful, could only stop 20 of the 27 shots he was tasked with. Most of the scoring chances against were unstoppable as New York’s defense looked confused and befuddled.

Dallas scored three goals in the first and four in the second. The first moment of hope the Blueshirts showcased was when Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich each scored within a 2:10 span to cut the Stars lead to just one goal (4-3).

Before the fans at home could even blink, Dallas forward Patrick Sharp made the Rangers defense and Lundqvist both look foolish by scoring an easy one. The Stars then scored two more before the second period ended.

Just when you thought the game was over at 7-3, the Rangers come out firing by scoring three goals within the first 7:26 of the third period. Zibanajed collected his second of the game while Derek Stepan did the same thing (two goals) and Chris Kreider snagged his 18th of the year. 

Unfortunately, after Lindy Ruff called a timeout and pulled starter Antti Niemi in favor of Kari Lehtonen, the Stars held the Rangers scoreless the rest of the way.

Magnus Hellberg, the youngster who took Lundqvist’s spot in the third period, stopped all four shots he faced. While the count was low, he came up with a couple beauties (one with the glove on a two-on-one and another moving left-to-right).

Buchnevich led the offense in points with a goal and assist. Rick Nash added two assists himself. Both Ryan McDonagh and Jesper Fast briefly left the bench via injury but later returned. For Dallas, Sharp finished with two goals.

Now, losers of three straight, New York and its porous defense will set its sights on the Toronto Maple Leafs in Canada on Thursday night.

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