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Rangers end road trip with a defeat after losing goalie battle

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rangers merely bought goalied on this recreation towards the Ducks, from their aspect of the ice and the opposite.

Jaroslav Halak remains to be looking for his first win in a pink, white and blue jersey after permitting a couple gentle targets that put the Rangers behind the eight ball of their 3-2 loss to the Pacific Division-trailing Ducks on Thursday night time at Honda Center. It put a damper on what was in any other case a profitable road trip out west wherein the Rangers compiled a 2-1-1 document.

Ducks netminder John Gibson, like within the two groups’ first meeting earlier this season, curbed a number of grade-A possibilities from the Rangers all through the night time earlier than ending with 41 saves in whole. From reaching his stick out to dam a Mika Zibanejad shot on the facility play, stonewalling Kaapo Kakko on a clear breakaway out of the penalty field and every thing in between, Gibson gave each Rangers matches from contained in the blue crease.

At the opposite end of the ice, Halak was on and off — however the Ducks capitalized every time he was off. The second interval was significantly in all places for Halak, who’s now 0-5-1 after the loss. He denied Anaheim across the crease every time visitors constructed up, along with stopping one-time Blueshirt Frank Vatrano on a shorthanded breakaway.

John Gibson makes a save on Mika Zibanejad’s shot throughout the Rangers’ 3-2 loss to the Ducks.
AP

By giving up a pair of weak targets within the center body, nevertheless, Halak had the Rangers chasing for the remainder of the sport.

From the boards, Ducks defenseman Dmitry Kulikov flung the puck on the Rangers internet and it one way or the other trickled behind Halak 39 seconds into the second interval. Less than 5 minutes later, Troy Terry sniped one high nook on Halak to increase the Ducks’ result in two targets.

The 37-year-old Halak has proven flashes of play that make a robust backup goalie, however there additionally has been some vital gaffs in a majority of his six begins which have value the Rangers. As an NHL veteran and one who has served in a No. 2 function earlier than, Halak has acknowledged how troublesome it’s to bounce again from powerful video games when his taking part in time is so restricted.

Braden Schneider scored his second aim in as many video games to tug the Rangers inside one on the end of the second interval, however the guests couldn’t internet the equalizer within the third regardless of outshooting the Ducks 17-2 within the ultimate 20 minutes. Vincent Trocheck even whiffed on a free puck off a rebound on a wide-open internet so as to add to the Rangers’ troubles.

Jaroslav Halak defends the net as the Ducks' Jakob Silfverberg skates with the puck during the Rangers' loss.
Jaroslav Halak defends the web because the Ducks’ Jakob Silfverberg skates with the puck throughout the Rangers’ loss.
Getty Images

The Rangers might have wanted to modify up coasts to progress towards rediscovering their offensive groove, but it surely’s nonetheless not fairly there. Plus, the facility play hasn’t executed them any favors as of late.

The Rangers’ energy play has gone 0-for-7 within the final two video games they’ve earned the man-advantage, together with a 0-for-4 exhibiting Thursday night time. Opponents are anticipating that Mika Zibanejad slap shot within the faceoff circle. They expect the no-look cross from Adam Fox. It’s made what is meant to be one of many Rangers’ best strengths that a lot simpler to defend.

The puck nonetheless isn’t bouncing the Rangers manner, however good groups can flip that round. The Rangers have to show that a lot.

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