In football terms, the New York Rangers fell to the long-feared trap game.
Pavel Buchnevich had three points, but it wasn’t enough to stop a comeback effort by the Vancouver Canucks, who ended their nine game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Rangers (10-4-0) who lost their first game by multiple goals this season.
After a listless first period from both teams, Buchnevich opened the scoring with his third goal of the season, putting one in net for the third consecutive game. Vancouver struck back with a goal by Loui Eriksson, his first of the season, with the Sedin brothers Daniel and Henrik assisting. Early in the third period, Henrik ended tallying a goal of his own, putting Vancouver up 2-1.
Just under two minutes later, Markus Granlund went to the penalty box for a hard hit on Rangers goalie Antti Raanta. Raanta, who had hit his head on the ice in his fall, was briefly analyzed by Rangers trainer Jim Ramsey for a concussion, but remained in the game. In the ensuing penalty, Rick Nash not only tied the game with a power play goal, but tallied the 400th of his career. 111 of those goals have come with the Rangers.
However, minutes later, Ramsey again reentered the ice to administer to a visually frustrated Raanta, telling the league mandated he must go to the locker room for further evaluation. Under new player safety rules, the league has a representative observing each game, and can mandate that a player leave the game for further evaluation for a head injury.
Forced to put in a cold Henrik Lundqvist in net, the game got away from the Rangers.
Lundqvist made some solid saves in facing six shots in relief, but shots by Alex
Burrows and Sven Baertschi beat the unprepared Lundqvist, who wound up being charged with the loss. Raanta would later reenter the game, but by then it was too late. Burrows put in an empty netter, and while Mika Zibanejad’s first goal since October 19 made it a little closer, the Rangers fell to 9-2-0 at MSG this season, falling in a 5-3 final.
For the Vancouver (5-8-1) goals, Burrows, Baertschi and Eriksson all scored their first goals of the season. Despite Buchnevich being involved in all three goals, the Rangers saw a streak in which they scored at least five goals in six consecutive games come to an end.
With their stretch of 10 of their first 14 games at home over, the Rangers now hit the road, beginning a weekend trip through Western Canada underway with a match against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night (10:00, MSG+).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490