Four games into the 2014 Winter Olympics it looked like the United States, with Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, and Derek Stepan of the Rangers on its roster, was sure to win a medal, generally considered to be the country playing the best hockey as the tournament reached the medal round. However after a gut-wrenching 1-0 loss to Canada in the semifinals on Friday, the United States lost the Bronze Medal Game 24 hours later, falling to Finland 5-0.
Team USA had scored more goals than any other country through four games, but could not solve either Carey Price nor Tuukka Rask in the medal round. On Saturday Team USA's Patrick Kane took not just one, but two, penalty shots and did not score on either one. In fact Kane did not even record a shot on goal on his penalty shots--first forced wide on a first-period attempt by Rask, and then ringing a forehand shot off the post on a second period opportunity.
Finland scored twice early in the second period on goals just 11 seconds apart to set the United States back on its heels, and then added another three on the power play in the third period. Teemu Selanne, playing in his sixth Olympic tournament, scored a pair of goals for Finland.
Callahan and McDonagh both continued their gritty play right until the end of the Bronze Medal Game. Callahan was his usual feisty self Saturday while playing more than 13 minutes. McDonagh yet again was on Team USA's top defense pairing with Ryan Suter and finished with 19:26 worth of ice-time.
Stepan again was a healthy scratch for the United States. He appeared in just one of the six games played by Team USA, last Sunday against Slovenia.
The Gold Medal Game between Canada and Sweden, featuring the Rangers' Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist, and Carl Hagelin, will be played on Sunday.
All six remaining Blueshirt Olympians will travel home on Monday and are expected to take part in Rangers practice on Wednesday. The Rangers are back in action next Thursday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden.