Rangers lament over ‘unacceptable’ effort in loss to Oilers

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With an empty-netter, Teddy Purcell secured Edmonton’s 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers tonight. Just based on that score, one might draw the conclusion that it was an unfortunate, but not embarrassing setback for New York.

The Rangers would disagree.

Even before the game ended, Rangers coach Ulf Samuelsson was expressing his dismay over his team’s performance. Once the game was in the books, the Rangers players were quick to agree with him.

“It could have been 6, 7-1 if not for (Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist)…Execution, reads, it wasn’t even close,” Derek Stepan told Newsday’s Steve Zipay.

“(The effort) was unacceptable,” defenseman Marc Staal said. “This is a big wake-up call for us.”

Although wake-up call might not be the best term because, as Lundqvist noted, this game was their “second or third wake-up call” of the season, per The Record’s Andrew Gross.

What makes this worse was that the Rangers failed to respond to their 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Rangers were less than 13 minutes from winning that game when Toronto scored back-to-back unanswered goals.

“Disappointing would be the understatement of the week,” Rangers bench boss Alain Vigneault said.

New York is now 6-6-2 this season. The team will be able to regroup on Monday before it plays against Pittsburgh Tuesday night.