Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 4/23/13
A bit of deja vu tonight. Markstrom stood strong and the Panthers held on long enough to get their two necessary goals. Give credit to them for doing what they had to. Nonetheless, frustrating result for the Rangers. With the Jets losing in regulation, the Rangers had the ability to clinch a playoff spot. And with the Islanders losing in overtime, they had the ability to move up to the six seed. Instead, a loss to the worst team in the Eastern Conference. It's hard to get too mad; they were 7-2-1 in their previous 10 games and significantly outplayed the Panthers tonight. Nonetheless, the struggles early in the season made a loss tonight very difficult to come to peace with. We outhit them, won more faceoffs, had more posession, and more than doubled their shot total. The scoreboard is what matters most, though, and it tilted away from the Rangers tonight. Had the Rangers gotten a couple of bounces in their favor like they did against Buffalo then we're celebrating a Rangers victory and four-game winning streak. Instead, we have this. Let's look at some post-game thoughts: The Powerplay: It's been so mucher better since the trading deadline... until tonight. Three powerplays, and two in the first 21 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, no goals. A few solid chances occurred, but as a whole the Rangers really failed to shoot from high percentage areas and for some reason didn't get bodies in front of Markstrom.  Mats Zuccarello: One of the few bright spots tonight. Zucc was the team's best forward and made things happen in all three periods. He got unlucky when a second period shot rang off the crossbar, but made a great feed to John Moore on the transition, which eventually led to Pyatt's goal. Zucc was also credited with four hits and two blocked shots. This is not the player John Tortorella became frustrated with last season. It's another quality game from The Hobbit and you have to wonder how close he is to earning Sather and Torts' trust and getting rewarded with a contract extension. Taylor Pyatt: One of the weirdest players I have ever seen. He started the season hot, with three goals in his first four games. Then he had only one goal in the next 40 games. And now he has scored in back-to-back games. There are very few things he does particularly well, but at the same time, he's not a liability in any facet of the game. He's not good. He's not bad. He's just...there. Nonetheless, he's putting up some productive games late in the season, and the biggest compliment given about Pyatt is that he turns his game up a gear during the playoffs. He doesn't need to be a key figure. He doesn't even need to be a level below. If he can just provide a goal or two while being responsible defensively and working hard along the boards then he has a role on this team. He has done that these past few games. Tomorrow he might wake up and be Zombie Pyatt once again. Who knows? John Moore: Going into tonight, Moore was averaging just under 11 minutes of icetime per game with the Rangers. He surpassed that number in the previous four games, and tonight was no different, with him earning 12 minutes. Whereas he was getting amplified icetime in games in which the Rangers had heavy leads, tonight was a tight-knit game from start to finish, and we all know how conservative Tortorella is with handing icetime to guys he doesn't trust. Safe to say that John Moore is gaining that trust and has more responsibility. Tonight, he skated onto Zuccarello's pass and blazed past everyone towards the net. Although his shot didn't go in, it created a rebound for Pyatt, who buried it. At only 22, there is plenty of untapped potential in Moore, and it will be exciting to see what path his career takes in the next few years. Brad Richards: He made a good play centering the puck and getting the assist on Brassard's goal, which is nice. Unfortunately, he also made the biggest mistake in the game. In the offensive zone at the time, he forced a pass into Michael Del Zotto's skates and therefore allowed Florida to recover the puck and go on the transition. From there, Richards hauled down TJ Brennan, received a penalty, and gave the Panthers the vehicle for their go-ahead goal in the third period. Does this mean Richards' run of productivity is over? No. Outside of that play I thought he was actually one of the best forwards tonight. But hockey is as much about limiting mistakes as anything else, and he made a big one.  Ryan Callahan: A weird one for him. On one hand, he had six shots and got the secondary assist on Brassard's goal. But only one blocked shot and zero hits? Part of that is likely because the Rangers had the puck for majority of the game, but even his shots were from low percentage areas and he didn't seem to have very good control of the puck tonight, with pucks bouncing off his stick and forced passes. Also, a bad tripping penalty in the offensive zone. It's unfair to expect him to play great every night, but he wears the "C" and expectations are that much higher. He's often the catalyst for this team one way or another but his contributions tonight seemed somewhat negligible.    If the Rangers just failed to show up like the last trip to Florida then there would be cause for a great deal of concern. It's hard to single out anyone as having a truly "bad" game because the Rangers really "won" this game in terms of individual outputs. But at the same time, only a couple of guys stood out as doing things to truly make the difference tonight. An unlucky deflection off of a Ranger stick past Lundqvist for the first goal. A bad penalty by Richards leading to the second. And an empty netter on the third. One terrible play, a bad bounce, and no bounces in our favor. If we were leading the divison then we'd simply chalk this game up to poor fortune and look towards the next game. Instead, it's an untimely loss to a team that had lost six straight and are dead last in the conference. Though the Rangers have probability on their side; two points in the next two games or a Winnipeg loss will clinch a playoff spot - it can almost never be easy for this team, and tonight this season is no different. So it goes. Follow Me On Twitter: @Herman_NYRBlog Email Me: AdamNYRBlog@gmail.com
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Weirdest Trade In Baseball History
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Draymond Green mocks LeBron James after flop

Andy Reid: Chiefs can win with Alex Smith

Romo likely to pick team he wants to be traded to

David Ortiz slams door on rumors of potential comeback

JJ Watt said to be ahead of schedule in back injury recovery

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Seahawks expect Earl Thomas to be ready for 2017 season

SD moving companies refusing to help Chargers relocate

Brown could be fined for sharing Tomlin's speech on Facebook

Future denies being on Falcons sideline to mess with Wilson

Green to wear 'Sideline Racism' shoes on MLK Day

Bill O'Brien refuses to commit to Osweiler as Texans' starter

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The Mulligan: Why Chip Kelly deserves a second chance after the Niners

College coaches on the NFL's radar as the coaching carousel starts spinning

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name every Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Pro-Bowler in the Super Bowl Era

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker