The New York Rangers traveled to Minneapolis on Saturday to play the Wild. The Rangers have so far gone winless on their four-game road trip, including a five to one loss on Friday in Calgary.
The Rangers threatened early when Chris Kreider used his speed to create a breakaway just under three minutes into the game. Devan Dubnyk swallowed this up with his pad, and then made another save seconds later when Kreider passed to Pavel Buchnevich on a three on two. With 15:20 left in the period Ryan Donato got the scoring started when he beat Henrik Lundqvist on the near post. Donato came down the left wing on a two on one and took the shot himself following a Neal Pionk turnover. Just a minute later, Dubnyk misplayed a puck and was late getting back to the net, allowing Mika Zibanejad to fire a puck from behind the goal that hit Dubnyk’s leg and deflected in. With four minutes to go, Jason Zucker broke through for a breakaway but was stuffed by Hank. Seconds later Filip Chytil turned it over behind the net, letting Zucker feed Luke Kunin in the slot. Kunin shot the puck and Donato tipped it under Hank’s glove for his second goal. Both teams pressed hard to end the period, but nothing went in. Pionk made a great line clearance on one end, while Dubnyk robbed Kreider with the glove on the other.
With 15:09 left in the second period Eric Staal came down the right wing in a two on one. Staal drove the net and attempted to pass across the crease. Pionk, who was laying on the ice, whipped his stick around behind his back and hit the puck into the Rangers net. The second strange goal of the night. The Wild dominated the next ten minutes, leaving the Rangers to defend and rely on Hank. With 6:36 left in the period Brendan Smith drew a tripping penalty to alleviate the pressure. Despite keeping the puck, the Rangers couldn’t manage to get a shot on target. Later, Anthony DeAngelo took his second minor of the game, but the Wild couldn’t convert.
The Wild came out in the third and continued their domination, but Kevin Shattenkirk had the first chance when his shot from the slot was saved by Dubnyk with the upper shaft of his stick. On the next shift, Kunin broke past the defense to get in alone where he was slashed by Brett Howden. On the ensuing powerplay the Wild broke through as Jared Spurgeon fired home a one timer off a cross-ice pass. After a scrum where both teams received minors, Pavel Buchnevich was sprung on a breakaway via DeAngelo and beat Dubnyk in the four on four. Despite a powerplay and a two on one led by Brendan Lemieux, the Rangers couldn’t beat Dubnyk again and eventually gave up an empty net goal to J.T. Brown with 2:35 left.
The five to two defeat means the Rangers took a total of one point from the four-game road trip, giving up ten goals in the past two nights. The Rangers are next in action at home against Detroit as they hope to turn around their poor form that has seen them lose ten of their last eleven.