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TimeApr 17, 2017

Canadiens v Rangers Game Three, Ranger Home Woes

Photo: David Hahn/Icon Sportswire

The Ranger left their playoff passion in Montreal as they looked uninterested and uninspired in a game three stinker, extending their home playoff losing streak to a franchise record six games.

The numbers are not pretty either.

Game three contributions were down significantly as compared to the average from the first two games in Montreal.

Overall play-by-play contributions were cut in half. Offense was down by 31% and defensive contributions were overtaken with mistakes, finishing in the red by the end of the game.

Up front in game three,

1. Matt Zucarello led Ranger forwards and was very close to his season average, but his undisciplined penalty in the third led to the eventual game winner. He had a good start to the game but needs to be wary of trying to do too much.

2. Oscar Lindberg doubled up on his regular season contributions and after three games he sits second among Ranger forwards, which is a bright spot for the Rangers but a sign other forwards need to get going.

3. JT Miller and Kevin Hayes were neck and neck in third, but Hayes had both the highest offensive contribution and the worst defensive contribution among Ranger forwards, which is a poor trade off in the playoffs.

After three games, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Micheal Grabner, and Derek Stepan occupy the bottom four contribution spots among Ranger forwards.

On the blue line in game three,

1. Brady Skjei led Ranger defensemen in overall contribution but ended the night in the red defensively.

2. Marc Staal was in second and after three games he is performing 26% above his season average.

3. Dan Girardi was in third and is contributing identical to his regular season average.

Kevin Klein replaced **Nick Holden in the line-up and was the classic high event defenseman. He made several positive plays but also many negative plays, and when the smoke cleared, he ended the night 37% below his regular season average. His performance will keep the Rangers staff guessing as to what six defensemen will give them the best chance to win.

It did not help that Ryan McDonagh did not look sharp early and seemed to be having some skate issues along with some uncharacteristic defensive lapses. Brendan Smith also struggled defensively after two very strong games in Montreal.

Game Four

In the playoffs a team will take a win in any way possible, but to move deep into the playoffs they usually need to respect their strengths and winning formula. The Rangers are best when their forwards are making offensive plays and their defensemen are getting them the puck quickly, with low risk, and playing steady defense.

Oh, and after 6 consecutive losses at home in the playoffs, the Rangers should be moving the team down the halls of MSG to a reserve dressing room. Or throw some rubber flooring down in the walkway with folding chairs. Nothing like a little road trip to get the passion flowing again.

Glen Sather use to be famous for stuff like this.


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