Rick Nash said he could see a loss coming after the way the team played over the last few games, and that's what's happened Tuesday night when the team's five-game winning streak was snapped in a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks.
"The lesson you can kind of see coming in the last three games is how much time we played in our own zone," Nash said. "We were kind of playing with fire. We knew that if we didn't score the way we had been scoring that we could be in some trouble and that happened tonight."
Vancouver had come into the game losers of nine straight, including the last eight in regulation. New York talked about having a good start, but it was unable to capitalize on anything in the first period.
"We talked about it going in. They were a desperate team and they played like it tonight," captain Ryan McDonagh said. "They played like the more desperate team. They won more puck battles than us and they had the puck a little bit more than us and when they had opportunities to score, they bared down and capitalized."
After being tied, 1-1, after 40 minutes, the Canucks grabbed the lead on a Henrik Sedin goal that was answered by Nash just under three minutes later. The goal was the 400th of his NHL career.
Video: VAN@NYR: Nash nets Buchnevich's feed for 400th goal
After Henrik Lundqvist relieved Antti Raanta - who collided with Markus Granlund earlier in the third - Vancouver regained the lead on Alexandre Burrows' first of the year. Sven Baertschi added a goal to give Vancouver a 4-2 lead, and an empty net goal to ice the game with 3:06 left.
Lundqvist took the loss after allowing two goals on six shots.
Mika Zibanejad scored with 59 seconds remaining to make it 5-3.
Raanta would return to the game with 5:14 left in the third period after he was pulled from the game by the NHL for its concussion protocol.
"That's the rule nowadays and you have to respect that," said Raanta, who made 20 saves in the no decisions. "I fell down and they saw that I hit my head on the ice, so that's one of those things that they're looking for. I pretty much knew it when Rammer (Trainer Jim Ramsay) was watching me the whole time from the bench there might be a goalie change and I'd have to go do the test. That was pretty much it."
The teams traded goals in the second period by Pavel Buchnevich - his third goal in as many games - and Loui Eriksson.
Head coach Alain Vigneault was displeased with his team's performance and said he did not think losing Raanta when he did was the difference, and said his team had trouble all night creating much of anything, even passes.
"Our execution was non-existent," Vigneault said. "Couldn't make a 10-foot pass and when you execute like that and you can't pass and you can't put your speed on display - we didn't deserve to win tonight. It's that simple."