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Rangers’ history of adjustments is on their side for Game 2

The Rangers, under head coach Peter Laviolette, have shown an ability to attack opponents at a rapid clip this season, especially after losses.

Now, the Blueshirts will need to learn from that habit after falling behind to the Panthers in the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, where the home team was down 3-0 in Game 1 and looked badly outmatched at times.

“The responsibility doesn’t come from me, it comes from them,” Laviolette said of why his team has been so open to making adjustments this season, “and then we realize maybe it wasn’t the way we wanted to play or maybe it wasn’t as clean as we wanted it to be. We turn around and reassess our opportunities.” [in Game 1]Well, it’s a close match. Overall it’s close, around 50%.

“I look at things like sharpness, execution, skating, movement, covering. There aren’t many, but there are some things I felt we could have done better or gone our way. We had a lot of chances to score. I think we hit the post three times, we had a lot of chances from close range, two on the power play and an empty backdoor net.”

“We had chances to score one and we just didn’t do it. Execution of how to get out of the zone, how to get through the neutral zone. Execution of the little details of finishing.”


The Rangers will need to study the Panthers to bounce back in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Tactical and methodical adjustments during and between games have been a strength for Laviolette and the Rangers.

Ten teams have won the next game after the Rangers lost, including Columbus and Washington twice each.


The Post follows Rangers coverage in the NHL playoffs


It didn’t matter how long or short the time between games was, because after the Rangers had a chance to reflect and analyze their first loss, they almost didn’t miss their second chance.

While some of the games that followed played out similarly to the last, the Rangers were able to fix what had plagued or even doomed them in the previous loss and emerge victorious in their next matchup against the same opponent.

In a match against the Stars on November 20, he came back from a 2-0 deficit with six straight points, including two empty-net shots, to win 6-3.

Three months later, the Rangers held a 2-1 lead early in the third period before sealing a 3-1 victory on a goal by Vincent Trocheck.

Or in two games against the Senators on Dec. 5 and Jan. 27, the Rangers lost both games 2-0.

The Rangers got within one point in the first game before Ottawa scored three straight points to win 6-2.

The Rangers came out harder the next innings, battling back with seven straight goals to win 7-2.


Jacob Trouba (8) steals the puck from Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris (9) during the first period at Canadian Tire Centre on Dec. 5, 2023.
Jacob Trouba (8) steals the puck from Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris (9) during the first period at Canadian Tire Centre on Dec. 5, 2023. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

On Dec. 12, they lost 7-3 to the Maple Leafs after giving up four goals in the first period, but didn’t concede a goal through the first 20 minutes of a 5-2 win in Toronto a week later.

On January 2nd, they suffered a 6–1 blowout loss to the Hurricanes, allowing at least one goal in all three periods, but on March 12th, they recorded a shutout victory over Carolina, 1–0.

“This year we’ve responded well after losses,” Adam Fox said. “Adjustment is a big factor, but it’s also about mentality and recognizing what we were lacking in the previous game, whether that be execution. [or] Urgency. Especially in the playoffs, when you win it feels even better and when you lose it feels even worse. I think it’s important to understand that urgency and go into those big games.

“Ravi has done a great job of making adjustments and looking at what we were lacking and getting stronger in those areas.”

For Coach Laviolette, with Matt Rempe, Blake Wheeler and Johnny Brodzinski waiting in the wings, personnel moves are definitely on the table.

But in Game 1, the Rangers were one player short to beat the Panthers.

They’re going to have to work on their game if they want to stay competitive in this series.

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