The New York Hockey Rangers – who had a 4-3 lead at 12:46 of the third period on a goal by Artem Anisimov – gave up two quick goals on the penalty kill and ended up losing 6-4. New year = new disappointments.

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The Rangers never should have lost this game. And the game should have never been as close as 4-3 in the third period. The turning point for the Rangers was the refereeing in the third period: a blatant hook on Erik Christensen (which resulted in Christensen leaving the game with an injury) wasn’t called; shortly after that a late crosscheck to the face of Derek Stepan, directly in front of a ref, wasn’t called either. A soft tripping call on Ryan Callahan and a high sticking call on Marc Staal did the Rangers in.

In case you missed it, James Wisniewski gave Sean Avery the international gesture for…welp, see for yourself. Just sayin’ – it’s gay if you’re the one doing it. And kudos to Avery for getting under yet another opponent’s skin.

Despite the loss you have to love the offense so far: 10 goals through the first two games of the year, and Gaborik hasn’t even netted a goal yet. Also have to love that the heart and the hard work that the Rangers showed in the preseason has carried over. Gotta have heart.

Rangers Three Stars:

First: Brandon Dubinsky – 1 G (Power Play), 1A, countless hits and a few forced turnovers. It’s time to start taking him seriously.
Second: Anisimov – 1 G, 1 A, 4 shots
Third: Callahan – 1 A, 4 shots, a few hits as well.

Home opener on Friday night against the Maple Leafs.