The New York Rangers fell 3-1 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to the Montreal Canadiens. A late goal by Brady Skjei prevented the Rangers from being shut out for the fourth time in the last five playoff games at Madison Square Garden stretching back to the 2015 Eastern Conference Final. For exclusive quotes and details from the loss, check out Blueshirt Bullet Points.
It was another tough game for the Rangers from an analytical perspective, and here’s a look at how the team played through the lens of Game Score.
The Rangers had a pretty lifeless performance, so it would be disingenuous to highlight three stars of the game. Game 3 started similar to how Game 2 ended. The Canadiens were quick to loose pucks and the Rangers become overly concerned about taking the body by playing heavy hockey. This style isn’t what got the Rangers into the playoffs, and it isn’t a style that is going to make them successful.
Canadiens take G3…
After G1 has 98 hits, G2 has 129 hits…Tonight a boring 71 hits…Not sure NYR wanted to pay the price.#StanleyCup
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) April 17, 2017
New York didn’t do enough to generate chances and once again Henrik Lundqvist was in a position to stand on his head and turn things aside. Two of his goals against came on the power play, and by no means were they his fault. The third goal was a wonderful move from Alexander Radulov who used one hand to push the puck into the net.
The chart highlight’s the Rangers’ inability to generate possession, and that limited their ability to generate chances, especially ones of the high danger variety.
Final scoring chances were 27-13 for Montreal, high danger chances 12-3, chances on net 18-4. Rangers got taken to school.
— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) April 17, 2017
The Rangers were seconds away from stealing the second game in Montreal. Now the Rangers find themselves in a 2-1 hole and in a dire need of a win in Game 4. Madison Square Garden hasn’t provided much of a home ice advantage for the Rangers in recent playoff games, and in order to be successful, the team will need to execute and get back to playing a skilled game.
Game 4 is on Tuesday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.