Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Costly Loss for Rangers

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Costly Loss for Rangers

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Alain Vigneault wants to coach a more offensive- oriented style of hockey but he knows he doesn't have the personnel right now to do so.

And now he'll also be missing Ryan Callahan for four to six weeks after the Rangers captain sprained his left MCL in Tuesday night's 4- 1 loss to the Predators at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have started this franchise-record nine-game homestand 0-2-1.

"It should be pretty obvious to everyone right now we have a challenge scoring goals," said Vigneault, quickly deflecting a question whether the onus is on general manager Glen Sather to alter the roster. "It's my job as the coach to analyze the personnel I have and put a system in place that best suits them."

Still, it was a dreary four-day stretch for the Rangers (15-16- 1), who were held to one or fewer goals for the 12th time this season and fell to 5-8-1 at home.

Former All-Star defenseman Marc Staal suffered a concussion in Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils - Vigneault confirmed that Tuesday - and Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Capitals prompted a players-only meeting.

Now Callahan is out for the third time this season after missing training camp, the preseason and the first regular-season game while recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and also seven games from Oct. 19-Nov. 2 with a broken thumb.

"The only thing I know right now is it can only go up," said Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 22 shots and fell to 1-2-1 since signing a seven-year extension worth $59.5 million. "If I look back at all the years I've played here, this is definitely the toughest stretch I've had."

"We're just not getting the execution and execution falls in a lot of different categories," defenseman Ryan McDonagh added. "Our power play [0 for 2 with one shot] didn't give us much momentum. Defensively, again we gave them too many odd-man rushes. …

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