Rangers Lose 2-1 in Shootout

Jason AkesonContributor IFebruary 26, 2009

Last night, the Rangers played their first game under fiery new coach John Tortorella and lost in an overtime shootout to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I watched the game, and to be honest I really liked what I saw on the ice.

The Rangers applied more pressure on the puck then they normally do, and you could tell the offensive minded system was having a positive effect.

The forecheck was strong, and the team outshot Toronto 32-24 (24-12 through the second period.)

The Rangers had several scoring opportunities throughout the game, and Wade Redden scored the Rangers' lone goal on a power play, which are all positive signs.

The Rangers completely dominated through two periods of play, but seemed to finally run out of gas midway through the third.

Toronto tied it up at 1-1 on a Niklas Hagman goal, and the game went to an overtime shootout where the Leafs picked up the victory.

Drury, Zherdev, and Naslund all failed to score on their shootout attempts, and Nikolai Kulemin sealed the deal with a wrister passed Lundqvist for the win.

If you're wondering how Toronto pulled this one off, look no further than Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala, who had a very impressive night between the posts.

Overall, last night's game showed signs of promise for the future.

Unfortunately, the Rangers are still having trouble putting the puck in the back of the net, but with a revved up offensive attack, I have to believe the goals will soon follow.

Other than the lack of scoring, the bigger concern last night was the Rangers lack of conditioning.

After playing an up-tempo brand through the first two periods of the game, it was obvious that fatigue began to set in by the third.

The Rangers are playing a completely different style of hockey now, and the team needs to adjust to that as soon as possible. Tonight's home game against the Panthers would be the perfect time to do so.