New York Rangers
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The New York Rangers continue to struggle in December with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday afternoon.

Frank Curto

If the New York Rangers keep playing undisciplined hockey, as they did on Sunday afternoon, everyone but Henrik Lundqvist will receive coal in their stockings come Christmas morning.

The Blueshirts were defeated by the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday afternoon on Junior Kids day at the Garden.

The shootout loss of 4-3 was not indicative have just how bad the Rangers played in this contest. If not for the heroics of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (37 saves), the final score could as well have been 10-3.

Lundqvist was forced to make save after incredible save due to some horrendous play by the defense that stands before him. Glaring turnovers, missed assignments, along with defenseman standing around at times, all led for the need to have Lundqvist stand on his head attempting to stop high-quality shots all afternoon.

The Rangers were lucky to find themselves tied after one period of play with a score of 1-1. Brady Skjei scored just 1:13 into the first period putting away a cross-ice pass from Pavel Buchnevich before the fans were sitting down for the national anthem.

The Rangers penalty killing unit failed again, minus Jesper Fast, as Reilly Smith scored a backhander on the power play to even the game up. The fluke goal was a result of a high shot by Colin Miller which hit the backboards, came back over the net and was tapped in by Smith. It was a bad break for Lundqvist as he had no shot to keep the puck from entering the net.

The teams traded early in the second period and then William Carter scored with over six and a half minutes left in the stanza. By the end of the second period, the Knights were outshooting the Rangers 28-17—a result of poor defensive coverage along with very little puck possession by the Blueshirts. The Rangers were lucky to be down only one goal as they entered the third period.

The King was the one and only reason the Rangers were remotely still only a goal away from tying the game up.

The Rangers Chris Kreider scored the tieing goal just 3:29 onto the third period off a pass from Mr. Reliable Kevin Hayes. This period was played much more evenly in the shots department as the ranges outshot the Knights 21-13, yet the high-scoring chances remained on the side of Vegas.

The overtime period saw Alex Tuch score just 2:11 in the extra session as he showed patience on a two on one with Paul Stasny. Tuch took the pass and skated down the right side of Lundqvist, waiting until he almost reached the goal line then wristed a shot over hank for the game-winner.

The King stole a point form the Knights, but it was another lost point for the Blueshirts who have been losing points and leads over the past few games.

On Friday night against the Arizona Coyotes, the New York Rangers wasted a great first period of play along with a 3-0 lead, falling to the Coyotes 4-3 on an overtime goal by former beloved-Ranger Derek Stepan.

The Rangers are long ways from the 10-2-1 run they posted in November. Injuries along with a young team and poor defense have all contributed to the team’s failures this month. The Rangers were expected to struggle through the long season, but the team could not envision how they have lost some of these games in what has been a very light schedule up to this point of the month.

The Rangers have the third game of this three-game homestand ( 0-2-2) as they host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night at the Garden. The Rangers then head to Toronto for a game against the Maple Leafs on Saturday then return for games against Philadelphia Sunday and Columbus on Thursday.

The Blueshirts have to find their winning ways on home ice if they want to get out of the whole they are digging themselves in. The team will end the 2018 calendar year with games in Nashville on Sat. Dec 29 and in St. Louis on New Years Eve.

Plenty of work needs to be done for David Quinn to figure out what is going wrong with the club and get it corrected sooner rather than later.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at