It certainly wasn't for a lack of effort, and for much of the night the Rangers seemed to carry the play only to be stonewalled by Frederik Andersen as he turned aside 32 of the 33 shots he faced to earn his fourth win in as many starts for the Ducks.
For about 57 minutes you could argue that the Rangers had the upper hand. Just look at the Fenwick (unblocked shot attempts at 5-on-5) chart, via Extra Skater.
Late in the second period the Rangers really to kick it up a notch and seemed to be on the verge of breaking through.
And then the final three minutes happened.
That's when New York even had a prime opportunity to tie the game in the closing minutes when they received a couple of power plays that included a brief nine-second two-man advantage with 3:26 to play thanks to a slashing penalty on Ryan Getzlaf.
They not only failed to tie the game, they were also outshot by a 5-0 margin over the remainder of the game, attempting just one shot of their own (it was blocked), and struggled to pull goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for the extra attacker.
Even worse, they finished the game killing a two-man disadvantage of their own.
How in the heck does a game get turned upside down in such a short window?
Expecting the Rangers to capitalize on the two-man advantage in just nine seconds was probably expecting too much, but they were still set up with 1:51 of 5-on-4 play after that initial penalty expires, and it seemed like a prime opportunity to pull the goalie to recapture the two-man advantage in the form of a 6-on-4.
The Rangers did not do that until there were just 30 seconds remaining on the penalty.
At that point, Rangers forward Benoit Pouliot was penalized for high-sticking Andrew Cogliano. Lundqvist had to return to the net for the ensuing face-off in front of the Rangers' net, and Anaheim eventually found itself on a power play after Getzlaf's penalty expired. Four Anaheim shots later, the Rangers finally cleared the zone which should have given then an opportunity to get Lundqvist to the bench to at least make it a 5-on-5 game game. But even then it was a struggle and it ended with the Rangers taking a too-many-men on the ice penalty, all but ending whatever slim chance the Rangers may have had.
It's still worth asking why the Rangers weren't a little more aggressive in pulling Lundqvist when they still had the 5-on-4 and instead waited until the power play was almost over. You only get that opportunity so many times, and the Rangers didn't take advantage of it.