With a pretty Brandon Dubinsky goal just 4:15 into last night’s Rangers game — one of a couple solid scoring chances in the early going — it appeared for a moment that the Rangers might snap out of the mini scoring slump they’ve been mired in lately — one, to be fair, they’ve been winning games during. (They’ve scored two goals or fewer in six of their last seven games, but they’re 4-2-1 in that stretch.) But alas, they wouldn’t score again against Montreal backup Alex Auld, and this time, the lack of goals would cost them in a 2–1 loss at the Garden that ended their three-game winning streak.
The deciding goal in this one came off the stick of Benoit Pouliot — a bad-angle goal, to be sure, but also one that required a perfect shot to get past Henrik Lundqvist, who had an otherwise strong night. (He also extended his points streak to three games, which is frankly hard to believe.) The Rangers created their fair share of opportunities, which in the long run is encouraging, even if they couldn’t find the net. (The most notable chance: newcomer Wojtek Wolski hitting the post late in the third period with a chance to tie the game. Wolski had a solid debut, actually, displaying some chemistry with Marian Gaborik, who, more than anyone else, needs to start scoring.) Less than encouraging, though: a power play that’s 1–22 in the last six games, and midway through the first period, actually slowed down what had been a strong start to the game for the Rangers.
These two teams, by the way, play again Saturday night in Montreal, and though these things don’t always play out as you’d expect, note that a bit of bad blood developed in this one, thanks to this non-call on P.K. Subban, just feet from the referee.