New York Rangers Rusty, Henrik Lundqvist Shines in 2013 Debut

Andrew Kaufman@akaufman23Senior Analyst IJanuary 20, 2013

In their long-awaited start to the season, the New York Rangers delivered an underwhelming performance in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins

Aside from a few short stretches, the Rangers found themselves on the back foot for most of the game, as Boston controlled the action en route to a relatively seamless victory.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Rangers looked very rusty in this game. Most of their game seemed predicated on dump-and-chase, without much fluid offensive structure to be found, but the Blueshirts' forecheck was inconsistent.

The Rangers were also poor on the power play, which could be evidence of a lack of training camp time. The Blueshirts had a chance to tie the game in the third period but couldn't get any good looks on a 5-on-3 that lasted nearly 90 seconds.

New York clearly shouldn't panic after one game, but it's worth noting that not all teams looked this rusty yesterday. The Bruins were sharp on defense and in the forecheck game, and the Chicago Blackhawks executed their power player very well, for example.

That said, there were some good signs for the Rangers yesterday. Rich Nash still needs to be fully integrated into the offense, but he showed a fair amount of spark, flying right by defenders a few times and drawing a critical penalty.

And then there's Henrik Lundqvist. In a game where the Rangers weren't in top form defensively, Lundqvist repeatedly bailed the Blueshirts out. His rebound control on Boston's first goal could have been a little better, but otherwise none of the Bruins' goals were at all his fault, with the other two coming on deflections.

And, of course, this happened:

So take heart, Ranger fans: The Blueshirts' debut was subpar, but they should improve, and their best player has already rounded into form. 

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