Coming off of Monday’s thrilling victory in the 2018 Winter Classic, the New York Rangers came up empty handed against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Rangers and Hawks traded goals throughout this game, but an early third period tally by Patrick Sharp secured two points for Chicago.
Henrik Lundqvist turned away 26 of the 29 shots he faced this evening, and kept the Rangers afloat with Chicago controlling the play for most of the night. The Blackhawks reaped the reward of their early first period pressure and Vinnie Hinostroza made it a 1-0 game. Jonathan Toews created the entire play with a ridiculous no-look pass out to Hinostroza, which slipped right between the legs of Kevin Shattenkirk.
Thankfully, Chicago’s lead would only last for two minutes with Nick Holden wiring a shot past Jeff Glass to knot the game up at one. Both Boo Nieves and Paul Carey made perfect passes to open up a lane for Nick Holden and Carey put it right on Holden’s tape. Jesper Fast also provided the screen in front of the net, and Glass never even saw the shot once it left the blade of Holden’s stick.
The game would remain tied until the 8:56 mark of the second period where Nick Schmaltz would put the Hawks back on top. Patrick Kane’s shot wound up landing in the crease behind Henrik Lundqvist and Schmaltz vaulted towards the loose puck.
Unfortunately, he wound up shoving Marc Staal into the puck and he knocked it into his own net. There probably should have been a penalty called on the play, but the officials swallowed their whistles and Chicago took a 2-1 lead.
Much like the first period, Chicago’s lead would only be short-lived with the Rangers immediately answering right back on the power play. After going goal-less in his previous six games since returning from injury, Mika Zibanejad finally cashed in on a blistering slap shot from the left circle. Pavel Buchnevich made a beautiful pass across the slot, and put the puck in a perfect position for Zibanejad to unload the shot.
Glass never stood a chance with the puck moving so quickly across the ice, and Zibanejad pulled the Rangers back even once again.
After coming out of the intermission with the scored tied at 2-2, Chicago’s early pressure turned into Patrick Sharp’s fourth goal of the season. The Blackhawks caught the Rangers in transition and Alex DeBrincat was able to quickly move the puck up ice to David Kampf. Kampf immediately dished the puck over to Patrick Sharp flying down the wing and Sharp smoked a wrist shot past Henrik Lundqvist.
With the Rangers pressuring late, Sharp’s goal would stand as the game winner with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane putting the game away with empty netter’s.
Following tonight’s disappointing loss, the Rangers will shift focus ahead to their matchup with the struggling Arizona Coyotes on Saturday evening.