The Rangers came up on the short end of a 3-1 game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, a game that head coach David Quinn said was played with a playoff-type tone.
"That was a big-boy hockey game right there," said Quinn. "There wasn't a lot of room out there. There was a playoff feel to it."
Taking on the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Rangers played the Blues to a 1-1 tie through the first two periods. But midway through the third, Brayden Schenn was able to score on a bad-angle, wraparound shot, as Alexandar Georgiev was taken by surprise, allowing the easy goal.
"I need to check the replay, what happened, but I saw that he probably had a couple of options from there, and I didn't really expect for him to shoot, and the puck came off my skate," Georgiev said afterwards.
"A game of that magnitude when there was such little room and not many scoring chances and the margin of error is so small, unfortunately we were on the wrong end of it," said Quinn.
The Rangers failed to pick up any ground in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race and are now 35-27-4 on the season, having dropped three straight games.
"We carried the play for a lot of it. It was a 1-1 game going into the third period, and they kind of got a lucky bounce and we were unable to find one, but I liked our effort, I liked our response after last game," said Marc Staal. "It obviously hurts more with the position that we're in at this time of year, to lose a game like that when we play well, but it's going to happen."
"We're disappointed in our result and we just have to keep focusing on ourselves," said Quinn. "We can't do anything about how the Islanders play, how Carolina plays, how Columbus plays, that's completely out of our control. We've got to keep focused on what we're doing."