Another home game, another loss for the New York Rangers.
The worst part about their latest defeat, a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, wasn't necessarily that Henrik Lundqvist didn't make it out of the first period before he was pulled for giving up three goals, it was that once again the Rangers' offense was a complete non-factor. Actually, it's just bad. Here's just how bad it's been over the last three games: They've scored four goals despite facing goaltenders named Philipp Grubauer, Carter Hutton, Curtis McElhinney and Mike McKenna.
Three of those guys (Grubauer, Hutton, and McKenna, who replaced McElhinney on Thursday night after he was injured) are third string goalie for their respective teams.
And the Rangers still can't score.
Their season-long nine-game home stand is now off to an 0-3-1 start and has dropped their record at the Garden to 5-9-1 for the season.
While the Rangers are struggling to win games in their own building, the Detroit Red Wings can't seem to win games in shootouts, losing another one on Thursday night in Tampa Bay. With their 2-1 loss Detroit has now lost 11 straight shootouts dating back to last season. For a team that has a quality goaltender and a collection of skilled forwards that have excelled in the shootout in the past (with Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi leading the way) that is almost impossible to believe. But it's happening, and after Thursday Red Wings shooters are now 2-for-21 on the season.
A lot of times these things can be completely random where teams are prone to hot and cold stretches, and right now the Red Wings are in the middle of one heck of a cold stretch. And it's costing them valuable points in the standings.
All the NHL Scores
Blue Jackets 4, Rangers 2
Flyers 2, Canadiens 1
Lightning 2, Red Wings 1
Sharks 3, Wild 1
On Thursday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. What will Rick Nash do against his former team?
Not much. The Rangers offense struggled again and Nash was right at the center of that, failing to record a shot on goal in his 23 minutes of ice time. He did attempt five shots, but one of them was blocked while four of them missed the net. He was also a minus-2 in the Rangers' 4-2 loss.
2. How many goals will the Flyers give up against Montreal?
It was a big night for the Flyers defensively and in net as they did a great job shutting down the Canadiens in a 2-1 win. After getting lit up in his previous three appearances Steve Mason came back with a big performance in this one and then found himself in a fight (sort of) after the game ended.
3. How will Toronto's penalty kill perform against the St. Louis power play?
Good news: Toronto's struggling penalty kill was able to shut down the Blues' power play during all three attempts. Bad news: In the end it didn't really matter since Toronto was outscored, 6-3, at even-strength.
4. Will Buffalo score more than two goals?
No. For the 16th time this season (in 32 games) the Sabres were limited to fewer than two goals, losing to Ottawa 2-1. The Sabres are averaging just 1.56 goals per game this season, a pace that would come out to about 127 goals over an 82-game season. That would be the worst mark in NHL history.
5. Will the Sharks end their losing streak?
They did, and it was an impressive performance in their 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. San Jose seemed to take its foot off the gas with a three-goal lead in the third period and still ended up with 39 shots on goal. The Sharks had lost four in a row heading into the Thursday.
The one play or moment from Thursday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
The major changes in Calgary, and just what exactly Brian Burke has in store for the future of the franchise. He wants a general manager who shares his vision for toughness, grit and players who bang people around, and the Flames' roster simply does not have that type of player on it. Whoever takes over is going to have to pick up the pieces that Jay Feaster left behind prior to his dismissal on Thursday morning.
Stat of the Night
San Jose Sharks rookie forward Tomas Hertl was penalized for the first time in his NHL career on Thursday night. It took him until game No. 32 to make a trip to the sin bin, getting two minutes for Jonas Brodin at the 15:07 mark of the second period against the Minnesota Wild. The only other players that had appeared in at least 25 games this season and not recorded a penalty were Marcus Johansson, Ryan O'Reilly, and Daniel Paille.
Post to Post
- Your newest NHL power rankings for the week.
- The Flames perspective on the front office changes that took place on Thursday.
- USA Hockey's Darth Vader jerseys. My goodness these are something..
- Following a Tampa Bay Lightning community hero.