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Rangers Shut out By Devils, Now Winless in 5 Straight

 

 

After losing to the New Jersey Devils 3-0 Monday night, the New York Rangers are now 0-4-1 in their last five games. A team that started the season on a torrid pace and had aspirations of a deep push into the playoffs now has to reevaluate themselves to ensure they even hold on to make it into the postseason. They have dropped into the 6 th position in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of the current 7 th seed Buffalo Sabres.

One of the worst power plays in the NHL came back to haunt the Rangers once again on Monday night. Five power plays for the game were wasted, including four in the first period. Not that the Rangers didn’t create some scoring opportunities, as Scott Clemmensen turned back 27 shots in registering his first shutout win since 2003-2004.

It was ironic that the presence of a man the Rangers are clearly missing this season helped the Devils win the game. Brendan Shanahan assisted on Bobby Holik’s goal eight minutes into the second period. Shanahan was left unsigned through much of this year, an opportunity that the Rangers refused to seize. Just 90 seconds later, Zach Parise scored on the power play. After 30 minutes of largely even hockey, the score was 2-0 and the game was effectively over.

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The Rangers did not seem energized during the game and are struggling to find themselves, as well as their scoring. This is the third time in just seven games that the Rangers have been shut out by their opponents. For the season, they have been outscored by 14 goals, one of the worst marks in the league for a team with a winning record.

Besides not resigning Brendan Shanahan, a move team officials have to regret not only for his scoring but for his veteran leadership that could help turn a team in a slide such as this around, the team lost other scorers in the postseason. Jarmoir Jagr was the biggest name on the list, but Sean Avery has been garnering the biggest headlines. And now Avery is back in the Rangers organization, currently with their AHL affiliate, undoubtedly there to serve a brief sentence and show he can still play, and that he can play nice enough to be accepted back into the locker room.

In their next three games, the Rangers face two rivals on home ice, as the Capitals come into town on Wednesday night and the Flyers will head to MSG for a Sunday afternoon game. Sandwiched in between is a trip to Florida to face the Panthers. It could be a crucial three game stretch to either correct the team’s course or slide further into what is becoming dangerously reminiscent of unsalvageable territory.

 

By: Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer

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