The Calgary Flames are no longer in playoff contention, but they still gave the New York Rangers plenty of trouble Friday night. The hard-working Flames snapped the Rangers’ five-game winning streak -- despite a three-goal second period for the Blueshirts -- edging New York 4-3.
It wasn’t a pretty start to the Rangers’ four-game road trip that features stops in Edmonton, Vancouver and Colorado. Only one of those teams appears poised to play in the postseason, but the Rangers can’t take any opponents lightly at this point.
Cringe-worthy: The Rangers looked lax in their own end on two plays in particular: Mark Giordano’s first-period marker, in which the captain was given ample space to rip a wrist shot from the slot, and Mike Cammalleri’s go-ahead goal with less than eight seconds remaining in the second period. The Rangers have to tighten up in their defensive zone if they want to lock up home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Fourth-line grind: The Rangers’ fourth line has emerged as one of the team’s secret weapons over the past week, as the trio of Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore and Derek Dorsett has been as effective as any for the Blueshirts. Boyle sparked a three-goal second period with his fifth of the season. Dorsett find the back of the net himself but created some good chances to put pressure on Flames netminder Karri Ramo throughout the game. Scoring depth will be critical for the Rangers if they want to make a deep run into the playoffs. This fourth line is looking promising to that end and was one of the silver linings of an otherwise forgettable game for the Rangers.
Just his luck: Man, things really are not going Martin St. Louis’ way since he arrived in New York at the trade deadline. The 38-year-old has still not scored his first goal as a New York Ranger despite a promising attempt in the first period Friday night. St. Louis thought he scored to tie the game when a puck glanced off his skate for a goal, but it was ultimately called off after a video-review ruling that he made a distinct kicking motion to direct the puck.
Around the East: The Philadelphia Flyers, who entered Friday’s action trailing the Rangers by three points, handed the Toronto Maple Leafs their seventh straight loss and in doing so pulled within a point of the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division standings. The Columbus Blue Jackets squandered a prime opportunity to gain some ground with a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who clinched a playoff spot with the win.