The New York Rangers suffered another heartbreaking loss Friday night, but it taught us there is so much more for them to learn.
Sure, winning streaks are fun but for the New York Rangers losses like the one in Detroit are more valuable to a young team.
The Rangers held a 2-0 lead entering the third-period following back-to-back power-play goals from Kevin Shattenkirk and Neal Pionk to break what had been a goalie show to start. With the way the team had been playing during their four-game winning streak, the feeling was this game was in the bag. Not so fast.
Detroit went on to score three unanswered goals and win the game 3-2 delivering a big dagger to the Blueshirts. A dagger that put things back into reality, this team is still learning how to win games.
Justin Abdelkader’s goal is the goal head coach David Quinn said started the Blueshirts’ downfall. Watch how Brendan Smith skates himself into trouble leading to a turnover and the eventual goal. While Smith’s play was inexcusable, the game-tying was just as bad if not worse.
Andreas Athanasiou skated his way right through the Rangers’ defense getting by Marc Staal and Pionk and put his moves on Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game.
So, where are the Rangers to go from here? Well, there is a game Saturday so they have to first put this game behind them as quickly as they could. They also can take going on a five-game point streak as a major positive considering where they were a little over two weeks ago.
What has to change though is the mindset. They have to stay on the attack while learning from their mistakes. A goal like Abdelkader’s and Anthansiou’s cannot happen again. They were both plays that could have been prevented, plays that if you ask the Rangers they would want back.
So the Rangers now turn their focus to Columbus, a team who is currently first in the Metropolitan Division with 19 points. The Blueshirts went 1-3-0 against Columbus a season ago and will look to extend their points streak to six games.
For Columbus, they are coming off a 2-1 win over Washington and will also be playing in the second game of a back-to-back. In their last 10 games, the Blue Jackets are 5-4-1.
Puck drop is at 7 PM Saturday night.