Jason Ward

Another Loss

The positive vibe that has surrounded the Rangers since the opening night victory over the Philadelphia Flyers took a hit today, with a loss reminiscent of many in recent memories.  New York traveled to the nation’s capital for a Matinee game and appeared to take their lowly opponent too lightly, allowing the Capitals to twice tie the game, and ultimately win it on a two man advantage that should never have happened.

It was apparent early that the Rangers were not respecting their opponents as well they should.  The game was a sloppy affair with the puck traveling from one end of the rink to the other and both teams guilty of turnovers in their own zone, the first period giving the visitors a 10-7 shot advantage, but also giving up two hooking penalties that helped stifle any momentum the Rangers hoped to build.

The second period got underway and the teams were quickly down to 4 on 4 with Kasparaitis and Clark sent off for concurrent infractions as they battled for the puck in the Rangers zone.  Less than 30 seconds later and that turned into a 4 on 3 advantage for the Rangers, when Jeff Friesen got called for a double minor after he clipped Michal Rozsival with his stick as both players skated to the loose puck in the neutral zone.  Rozsival was okay, and the Rangers went to work.

It took just over a minute of the penalty for Jaromir Jagr to put the Rangers ahead, scoring his third power play goal of the year from the hash marks to the left of the goaltender.  Once again it was a Jagr wrister that beat Kolzig and extended the team’s streak of scoring the first goal in the game to four games.  Tom Poti and Michal Nylander picked up assists on the goal.

The Capitals came back four minutes later when Jamie Lundmark turned over the puck and fell over, allowing the home team to break in on Kevin Weekes 3 on 1.  Weekes made the first save, but Petr Sykora eventually was able to convert off of a rebound before the Rangers defense could recover.  The Rangers recovered the lead at the midpoint of the second when Olaf Kolzig appeared to pull the puck into his own net after Marcel Hossa had let go a shot from the top of the circle.  Jason Ward was initially credited with the goal, as he attempted to force Kolzig, but it was later changed back to Hossa.

The visitors could not maintain the lead however, and the Capitals tied it once again with less than a second remaining in the period.  The play started when Washington defenseman, Steve Eminger caught Jaromir Jagr with a big bit behind his own net.  The hit caused a turnover and the Rangers were slow to backcheck on the play, giving Chris Clark an open shot on Weekes.  Eminger who was following up the play, picked up the loose rebound and wristed it in with Weekes easily beaten.

Power plays in the third gave New York a chance to regain the lead, but with possession of the puck overly weighted towards Jaromir Jagr, the Capitals were able to adjust from the second and keep the majority of the shots to the outside.  Midway through the period and the Rangers found themselves back on the penalty kill on a Steve Rucchin interference call.  With the team already a man short, Darius Kasparaitis made a fatal error in judgment, when he reached out and tripped an offensive player far away from the puck.  The Capitals player went down and the Rangers found themselves faced with killing a lengthy two man advantage.

It took 46 seconds for the Capitals to convert, and take their first lead of the game.  A Steve Eminger shot from out near the blueline was saved, but the rebound trickled to open ice, where the 1st overall pick in the 2004 draft, Alexander Ovechkin pounced on the rebound and slotted the puck by Weekes.  The Rangers did manage two more power plays in the game, but were kept off of the score sheet.  Kolzig made a couple of scrambling saves that included some luck on more than one occasion, but the visiting Blueshirts could not dig their way out of the hole they had created.

The Rangers defense was depleted with Marek Malik sitting out with a groin injury and Jason Strudwick on personal leave due to a death in the family.  The Rangers called up rookie Bryce Lampman for his 9th start and returned Tom Poti to the line-up.

The Rangers next game will be 7:00pm at MSG v New Jersey this coming Thursday

OTG Star Rangers
«Jaromir Jagr
««Jason Ward
«««Marcel Hossa
Report Card
B+Marcel HossaAnother good hard working performance from Hossa today
B+Jaromir JagrA power play goal on 9 shots
B+Jason WardContinues to play hard, and battle for his ice time
BTom PotiSolid play in his return to action from a healthy scratch
B-Maxim KondratievGot caught a couple of times backing in, recovered nicely on one particular rush
B-Dominic MooreDenied on a good scoring chance, on a soft shot
B-Jed OrtmeyerWorked hard with new line mates
B-Michal RozsivalRozsival’s biggest contribution was drawing a double minor, but steady in general
B-Steve Rucchin9 of 13 in the faceoff circle, and drove to the net
B-Martin RucinskyGiven great opportunities, needs to get the puck on net
C+Blair BettsQuiet game with Nieminen and Lundmark as line mates
C+Bryce LampmanAnother steady performance for the veteran defenseman
C+Michael NylanderLooks better when the team wins/competes…not so good when they don’t
CVille NieminenQuiet game in his NHL debut, didn’t respond to the hitting from the Caps
CMartin StrakaWith all that ice time, Straka needs to create more offense
C-Kevin WeekesThree untimely rebounds, three goals
C-Fedor TyutinTyutin looked uncharacteristically nervous on the blueline with several turnovers
D+Jamie LundmarkDay to forget, -2, 0 shots and a hooking penalty
DDarius KasparaitisAwful penalty gave the Capitals chance to go ahead
C-Tom RenneyOver reliance on top line against a “weak” team perhaps contributes to downfall
Game Notes
Petr Prucha and Ryan Hollweg were healthy scratches, Marek Malik sat out with a groin injury and Jason Strudwick was out on personal leave
Darius Kasparaitis, Steve Rucchin and Jaromir Jagr each wore an “A” for the game
Ville Nieminen played his first game as a Ranger
Statistical Streaks
Games Played
Blair Betts – 4 games
Marcel Hossa – 4 games
Jaromir Jagr – 4 games
Darius Kasparaitis – 4 games
Dominic Moore – 4 games
Michael Nylander – 4 games
Jed Ortmeyer – 4 games
Michal Rozsival – 4 games
Steve Rucchin – 4 games
Martin Rucinsky – 4 games
Martin Straka – 4 games
Fedor Tyutin – 4 games
Jason Ward – 4 games
Maxim Kondratiev – 2 games
Michael Nylander – 4 games (4 assists)
Michael Nylander – 4 games (1 goal, 4 assists)
Martin Rucinsky – 4 games (2 goals, 2 assists)
Darius Kasparaitis – 4 games (7 minors)
Ryan Hollweg – 3 games (4 minors)
Jamie Lundmark – 2 games (3 minors)
Shots on Goal
Jaromir Jagr – 4 games (21 shots)
Martin Rucinsky – 4 games (14 shots)
Marcel Hossa – 4 games (8 shots)
Fedor Tyutin – 4 games (7 shots)
Marek Malik – 3 games (5 shots)
Michael Nylander – 3 games (9 shots)
Michal Rozsival – 3 games (9 shots)
Blair Betts – 2 games (3 shots)
Jason Ward – 2 games (3 shots)
Games with a power play goal scored – 5 games (8 goals)

Games without being shutout – 6 games (3/30/2004 v Devils)
Games with at least 2 goals scored – 6 games

Games since last shutout – 15 games (3/9/2004 v Thrashers)
Games with 3 or fewer goals conceded – 2 games
Games with 4 or fewer goals conceded – 6 games
Games with 5 or fewer goals conceded – 17 games
Games with 6 or fewer goals conceded – 17 games
Games with 7 or fewer goals conceded – 37 games
Games with 8 or fewer goals conceded – 37 games
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