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Third Period Does Rangers in Against Blue Jackets

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

The Rangers' offensive struggles continued Friday night when the Blueshirts managed just one goal in a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets.

Kevin Hayes scored and Henrik Lundqvist was superb, but a third period goal by Artemi Panarin 7:25 into the contest spoiled the effort and dropped the Rangers to 1-4 on the season.

New York have scored just four goals in its last four games, and has fewer than two in four of its five contests overall.

"We're just coming up short. It's not enough. We need more," said Lundqvist, who had 40 saves. "We're not getting the wins. It's not good." 

With the teams tied after 40 minutes, the Blue Jackets fired the first 11 shots on goal in the final frame. Panarin beat Kevin Shattenkirk in the slot and fired a wrist shot through Lundqvist's legs for his first tally as a Blue Jacket.

"We didn't respond well in the third," coach Alain Vigneault said. "They totally dominated us in the third period. Right now, every line seems to have one guy really fighting it, one guy just playing OK and it's not good enough right now. We definitely need to get our game in order. It's there for spurts, it's there for moments, but in this league, a competitive league like it is, you have to play for 60 minutes. We're not doing it right now."

Kevin Hayes opened the scoring at 14:35 of the first when he scooped up a turnover by Seth Jones and broke in and beat Sergei Bobrovsky for his first goal of the season.

Video: NYR@CBJ: Hayes beats Bobrovsky with quick wrist shot

The lead held up for nearly all of the second period, but Columbus finally broke through when Jones sent a shot on net that changed direction after hitting Mika Zibanejad and found the goal at 19:14 of the second to even the score.

New York had a chance to tie the game late in the third period with a power play and the net pulled but were unable to capitalize. Lukas Sedlak iced the game with less than six seconds remaining.

Lundqvist's effort did not go unnoticed by his teammates, who s

"He's doing whatever he can," Ryan McDonagh said. "It's great to see and we've got to do our part in front of him. He makes some incredible saves on those guys and he gives us a chance there. It has to be frustrating for him as a goalie there and us as a group. We've got to take note of that and play harder in front of him."

But Lundqvist isn't ready to sound the alarm just five games into an 82-game season. And while there's certainly frustration at the lack of success through the season's first week, the netminder said focusing on the positive is more productive at this stage.

"I think it's important to focus on the god things we're doing, which is a lot of good things," he said, while mentioning a need to limit turnovers. "When we start putting the puck in the net it's going to feel a lot different in here. We're doing a lot of good things. If we score three goals tonight, which we easily could have done, we would have had a pretty good feeling in here with how hard we worked and how many chances we had."

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