The Senators handed the Rangers a 5-3 loss on Thursday, raining on their parade after their recent parade down the Canyon of Heroes. The Rangers appeared disconnected and struggled to defend their net, allowing Ottawa to score four goals before adding an empty-netter.
This marks the Blue shirts’ fifth loss in their last seven games, leaving them feeling out of sorts. They have been playing short-handed for three of the past four games due to new additions to the team and injuries, which has caused a steep learning curve for some players. However, they hope to get on the same page soon and iron out any grey areas.
The Rangers played with one defense man down after the NHL denied emergency status to a player. They also lost a forward after Tyler Motte received an elbow in the face from Austin Watson in the first period.
Watson was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit. Despite having several chances on the power play, the first and second units appeared wooden and struggled to operate on instinct. They went 0-for-4 in their power-play attempts, holding the man-advantage for 11 minutes.
Patrick Kane, who played his first game since Feb. 22, was on the right with Artemi Panarin on the left and Vincent Trocheck in the middle. Kane appeared to be playing by numbers rather than by instinct, but he is hopeful he will find his groove with the Rangers.
He received an ovation from fans during warm-up and when announced as part of the starting lineup. Panarin, who last played alongside Kane in 2017, also received a warm reception.
Despite the difficult circumstances, the Rangers hope to find their structure soon. Head coach Gerard Gallant believes that in a week or two, they will look back on this time and realize a lot was happening. Chris Kreider, who scored a goal during the game, believes that the Rangers need to be on the same page to avoid any gray areas. Despite everything, the team is hopeful and determined to improve.