Call it lack of effort or poor execution, but the New York Rangers were shut out tonight versus the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden in a final score of 3-0. The Senators are now 7-0-1 in their last eight games.
Craig Anderson may not have worked out for the Colorado Avalanche, but he is paying dividends for the Ottawa Senators, stopping all 34 shots faced tonight. Anderson has yet to ask his coach for a break, and has started in 40 games this season, leading the NHL. He recorded his first shutout of the season tonight—the 17th of his career.
With Brandon Dubinsky suffering a sore shoulder after colliding into the boards versus the Phoenix Coyotes, Wojtek Wolski took Dubinsky's spot in the lineup. Wolski was paired with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan. Wolski skated well early in the game and recorded three shots on goal. His total ice time was 14:50.
Senators' recent All-Star nominee Jason Spezza notched two goals, the first in the second period as Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist was screened. Milan Michalek scored the second goal for the Senators 13:58 in the third period. But the Senators weren't done yet. With 4:27 remaining in the third, Spezza added the gravy to the Senators' game by getting his own rebound off of Lundqvist and putting it in the back of the net. Lundqvist stopped 21 of 24 shots on net.
Following the game, Rangers head coach John Tortorella was very displeased with the performance of the top offensive lines from the Rangers.
“Our grinders, our role players played well, but we got squat out of our top guys."
According to Katie Strang of ESPN.com, when asked whether it was a lack of execution or effort from his top-six forwards, Tortorella paused.
Is it time to change the GAS line?
“Both,” he said.
But Tortorella wasn't finished criticizing his offensive lines.
When questioned about the effectiveness of the infamous GAS line (Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan), Tortorella said that line has "dried up" and criticized Anisimov's gameplay as rapidly declining. Both Gaborik and Anisimov were held without a shot tonight.
But Tortorella had some praise for his lines–specifically for Brian Boyle, Ruslan Fedotenko and Carl Hagelin.
“Brian Boyle’s line can’t check their top line, and check the way they did, plus lead our team in scoring chances, too,” he said. “I just don’t think we got enough out of our top guys.”
One thing is for sure. Tortorella isn't the only person in the Rangers organization disgusted by tonight's loss. Brian Boyle had no positive remarks, according to Blueshirts United:
“We expect a lot more out of ourselves. We’ve had success the past bunch of games and obviously throughout the year, but it still feels terrible to lose. We don’t think a loss is bound to happen, by any means. We go into every game thinking we’re going to win the game. You can’t have that mentality. That’s kind of ridiculous."
Boyle has gone 21 games without a goal.