The New York Rangers played sloppy hockey to open the season and lost 3-1 to the Boston Bruins as a result.
It was the first game action since last season for many, and it showed on the ice. There were a plethora of penalties on each side, including two fights in the second period.
No team was able to score on the power play (Boston 0-for-6, New York 0-for-5) but the Bruins dominated in every facet of the game. Maybe it's because they had the most skaters playing abroad during the NHL lockout.
"It really helped with my conditioning," said Johnny Boychuk, who played in Austria and returned to score a goal in the lockout-delayed opener Saturday night. "It's good that a lot of guys went over there and got the feel of game play instead of sitting around doing nothing."
Boston had more shots on goal (34 to 21), won more faceoffs (35 to 23) and as a result won the game.
Milan Lucic got things going for Boston midway through the first period. David Krejci took a low shot that Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist steered aside, but Lucic was in perfect position to slap home the rebound. The Rangers' best chance to score in the period came in the closing seconds when on the power play, the team failed to score despite Boston netminder Tuuka Rask, who had 20 saves in his first win of the season, was out of position.
A little more than eight minutes into the second frame, Daniel Paille tipped Gregory Campbell's shot past Lundqvist to push Boston's lead to 2-0. A few minutes later, the Rangers made it a game with Brad Richards' first goal of the season, and Rick Nash's first point as a Ranger.
That was the long goal the Rangers were able to muster, and Boychuk put the game out of reach with his goal in the third. Lundqvist stopped 31 pucks in the losing effort.
The road won't get any easier for the Rangers as they return to Madison Square Garden for a showdown with division rival Pittsburgh Penguins later today at 7 p.m. In this year's all-out sprint to the playoffs, an 0-2 start is something the Rangers will not be looking for.
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