New York Rangers players react to their 4-2 loss on opening night.
Opening night is always a big night. It’s even bigger when the New York Rangers open at Madison Square Garden. The lights of MSG shine brightly, the players are welcomed back with open arms, and the place is rocking! It’s the world’s most famous arena for a reason. Not only has it played host to some of the greatest battles in sports history, but when it’s rocking, it’s the place to be!
Unfortunately it wasn’t the place to be when the final horn sounded. Two early goals were just too much to overcome, though the Rangers did tie the game, and they lost by a final of 4-2. Mika Zibanejad did add two goals on the power play but it simply wasn’t enough. They entered the third period down 3-2 and a late goal put the game out of reach.
Both goals came on the power play which was impressive to goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who put up 22 saves in the loss. He felt there were some good things to take from this one:
"“Of course you want to start the season the right way, starting with a win.” He said. “I think we did a lot of good things – things that we should bring for the next game and really build on. The result was not what we were looking for, but a lot of good things to build on.”"
It is good to see the power play get off on the right foot. I remember last year when the Rangers had difficulty with special teams down the stretch. Being able to capitalize with the man advantage can make the difference in games and later on in a playoff series. They may not have one but the power play sure came out a winner.
Kevin Shattenkirk always wanted to be a Ranger. So much so that after he signed his deal he talked about it in an article he wrote for the Player’s Tribune. Even with the loss, this was a big night for him:
"“I think the result still stings right now,” he said. “When I look back on it a long time from now it will obviously be a great moment for me. It’s still a special night in my career. But right now I think I am just a little upset with the result and some plays out there that I felt like I could have had a better effect on the game and helped our team out a little bit more.”"
Isn’t that the type of fire we want to see?
The season is a long one. It’s hard to get too concerned with one loss on opening night. The power play going well is a good sign. We have seen too many times when the Rangers have needed a power play goal and couldn’t buy one. They will be just fine.