This was an absolute abomination of a game.
In the Rangers’ 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators not a single thing went right for the team.
The trouble started early — as it often has this season.
1:03 into the game — on Ottawa’s first shot — former-Ranger Derick Brassard found Mark Stone alone in the slot. And Stone ripped his shot past Henrik Lundqvist; giving the Senators the 1-0 lead.
A recurring theme this season has been the Rangers’ skaters getting caught puck-watching. And it was no different against Ottawa.
11 minutes later, Johnny Oduya took advantage of an overshift by the Rangers’ forwards; wiring the puck past Lundqvist for the 2-0 lead.
The visitors briefly mounted a comeback, when Michael Grabner got to the loose puck. His shot trickled through Craig Anderson; bringing the Blueshirts within 2-1.
Ottawa clamped down to start the second, but that changed midway through the period.
Matt Duchene redirected a Cody Ceci shot — from the point — and it was 3-1 Ottawa. And the line of Jimmy Vesey-David Desharnais-Jesper Fast was directly responsible; combined they were minus-nine.
The Blueshirts again attempted a comeback when Mika Zibanejad took advantage of a weak poke check by Anderson to score a power-play goal; cutting their deficit to 3-2.
And then Ottawa took control of the game.
Brassard redirected a pass past Lundqvist and it was 4-2 Ottawa heading into the second intermission.
The third period was more of the same.
Thomas Chabot scored on a wraparound to increase Ottawa’s lead to 5-2. And that was all for Lundqvist.
Alain Vigneault pulled Lundqvist for the fourth time in nine starts; bringing in Brandon Halverson for mop-up duty.
Henrik very clearly did not want to come out of the game and his stare down with Vigneault as he left the ice spoke volumes about the situation.
Lundqvist, rather than sit on the bench, went straight to the locker room and did not return to the bench for the duration of the game.
Michael Grabner tried to bring his team back from the dead with his second goal of the game, but to no avail.
Magnus Paajarvi wrapped up the scoring with a goal that many felt was clearly a goaltender interference penalty.
The 6-3 loss to Ottawa keeps the Rangers five point back of a playoff spot.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
THIRD-LINE FOLLY: The line of Vesey-Desharnais-Fast was a combined minus-12 for the game.
GETTING YANKED: For the fourth time in nine starts and seventh time this season, Lundqvist was pulled from the game. While none of the goals were attributable to Henrik’s performance, Vigneault decided to get his goalie some rest in advance of tomorrow’s back-to-back against the Flyers.
DEFENSIVE MISCUES: Each of Ottawa’s first five goals were the direct result of the Rangers’ skaters hanging Lundqvist out to dry. The forward lines continually overloaded on the wrong side of the ice. Meanwhile, the defensemen weren’t completely blameless, but the pairing of Neal Pionk and Brady Skjei was a combined minus-five.
The Rangers face Claude Giroux and the Flyers Sunday (Feb. 18) at MSG. Game time: 12 p.m. ET. Broadcast: NBC.
This is rock-bottom.