The New York Rangers had this game resting firmly in their grasp, and due in part to horrendous penalty killing, they were defeated 5-3 by the Chicago Blackawks. The Rangers penalty killing has been an issue for a large chunk of the season, and there still has yet to be any sort of adjustment. They brought Daniel Paille in, in an attempt to find a quick fix, and that plan wound up failing miserably.
If there is one thing that needs be sorely addressed in the very near future, it's finding a solution for the tire first that is the penalty kill. It continues to toss away important points that the Rangers could easily have in their favor, and it's starting to become a major issue. At the same time though, the Rangers aren't doing themselves any favors either by taking dumb penalties.
Aside from that, the Rangers actually played very well at even strength, and scored twice on two power play opportunities. Given that they have been playing without Rick Nash for the last ten games, that bodes extremely well for them moving into the trade deadline. Much like the recent game against the Los Angeles Kings, it took the Rangers almost a period and a half to get rolling.
As a result, the Blackhawks were able to strike twice within the opening half of the game, and held on to a very comfortable 2-0 lead. Andrew Desjardins got it all started just three minutes into the game, and tapped home a beautiful centering feed from Teuvo Teravainen. A little later on in the second period, Artemi Panarin scored his first of the night and put the Hawks up 2-0 on the power play.
Three minutes later, the Rangers finally answered with a goal coming from Kevin Hayes, as he registered his tenth goal of the season. Viktor Stalberg did an excellent job in the corner tying up Erik Gustafsson, and allowed Oscar Lindberg to collect the loose puck. Lindberg quickly dished the puck between Michal Rozsival's legs and Hayes tapped in the puck on the far-side.
Nearing the end of the period, the Rangers caught a huge break and were awarded with a four-minute power play courtesy of Vincent Hinostroza. The power play carried over to the third period, where the Rangers answered almost immediately and knotted the game at two. Derick Brassard was credited with the goal after receiving a nifty pass from Keith Yandle, and sniped one under the crossbar.
Just two minutes later, Dan Boyle gave the Rangers their first lead of the evening and slammed home a rebound at the top of the crease. At that point, the Rangers appeared in control, but then it quickly spiraled out of control at an incredible rate. Andrew Shaw tied the game back up at three a few moments later, followed up by another power play goal coming from Artemi Panarin with three minutes remaining.
With the goaltender pulled, the Rangers shot themselves in the foot with a bad shot attempt, and allowed Panarin to break in all alone with an empty net. That sealed the deal for the Hawks, and thanks to the penalty kill, the Rangers tossed away two points they could have easily come away with. Thankfully, there will be a quick turnaround and the Rangers can flush this game from their memory rather quickly.