Jonathan Quick made 29 saves as the New York Rangers blanked the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 Thursday night at Rogers Place.
“It was an image of our season so far,” Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse said. “The third period was good, but we didn’t play good for 40 minutes. You can’t win in this league if you’re not bringing 60-minute efforts. It’s as simple that.”
“We’re in the mud puddle right now, and the only way out of it is to work your way out of it,” Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said.
With a record of 0-2-1 on home ice, it marks the first time since 2002/03 that the Oilers have gone winless in their first three home games of the season.
Stuart Skinner made a great save in the final minute in the first period, extending his right leg to deny Filip Chytil on a two-on-one.
“Teams are too good and there’s too many good players out there to make you pay,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “You have a lull, even for five or 10 minutes, and you’re going to pay for it. Right now, that’s what we’re seeing.”
The Rangers broke through early in the second when Adam Fox converted a power play pass from Vincent Trochek. Skinner made several good saves as the period progressed but was eventually beat again by Braden Schneider, who fired a shot to the top corner past Skinner’s blocker. Alexis Lafreniere made it 3-0 Rangers with a one-timer last in the period.
Zach Hyman found himself all alone in front with 7:15 left in the third, but Quick came up with a glove save.
“We’re a fast team and we weren’t playing with pace,” Hyman said post-game. “We weren’t getting in the corners, we weren’t working to get pucks back and it just wasn’t good enough.”
“We have belief in the people in our room, and we have a group that’s been together here for a while that’s been through tough times before and knows the answers are in the room,” Woodcroft said. “There has to be a collective coming together to solve problems, and right now we’re not functioning on every cylinder.”
Charlie Huddy and Doug Weight were inducted into the Oilers Hall of Fame before the game.
The Oilers, 1-5-1, will host Calgary in the Heritage Classic on Sunday at Commonwealth Stadium (Face-off Show 3 p.m., game at 5 p.m.)
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