CALGARY, Alberta — The Rangers had one of their ugliest losses of the season against the Flames just under two weeks ago — and this one was worse.
Concluding their four-game road trip, the Rangers were blanked by the Flames, 6-0, on Saturday night at Scotiabank Saddledome to extend their losing streak to three games after entering the game fresh off of two straight overtime defeats.
The Rangers, who fell to the Flames 5-1 on Oct. 25, dropped to 6-3-3 as they head home to face the Panthers on Monday.
On the night the Rangers activated Ryan Reaves off injured reserve after the 34-year-old winger missed four games with a lower-body injury, Filip Chytil went down.
The night quickly turned sour for the Rangers in the opening minutes of the game, when Chytil and Sammy Blais collided at center ice. Chytil took the brunt of it and was slow to get up before immediately heading to the locker room, where the 22-year-old center stayed for the rest of the game.
It was eerily reminiscent of when Chytil sustained a significant wrist injury in a similar on-ice crash with the Penguins’ Evan Rodrigues last season. Chytil was sidelined for 14 games and never quite got back to the strong start he had at the beginning of 2020-21.
The Rangers were able to shuffle their centers around effectively when second-line middle man Ryan Strome was put in COVID-19 protocol two games into the season, but it’s yet to be seen if they will be able to do it again. It’s likely that Greg McKegg, who was sent down to AHL Hartford on Saturday to make room for Reaves, will be recalled if Chytil is unavailable.
It also was a rough night for Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin who was lit up by Johnny Gaudreau, who notched two goals.
Calgary pushed the tempo against the Rangers, while also making a point to contain their net-front presence and body the Blueshirts off the puck every chance they got. Between Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk’s relentlessness — in addition to a goal and three assists — and the rest of Calgary’s cohesive play, the Rangers had no answer.
Even with a power-play opportunity in each period, the Rangers generated six shots on goal but none could find the back of the net.
The two teams traded power-play opportunities toward the end of the first period, and the Flames were the ones to capitalize. Sean Monahan’s one-timer from between the circles beat Shesterkin for the 1-0 Flames lead.
Adam Fox, drafted No. 66 overall by the Flames in 2016, was booed by Calgary fans every time he touched the puck. As the jeers rained down on him, Fox backhanded the puck in through traffic at 18:17 of the first period — but the Flames challenged for offside and the goal was overturned to send the Rangers into the second period trailing by a goal.
The Flames added two more in the middle frame, from Brad Richardson and Gaudreau.