Rangers vs. Blackhawks: ZZ Top Line Shines in 4-3 Victory

Top line of Zuccarello, Zibanejad and Kreider gets the job done for second game in a row.

The New York Rangers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 4-3, and have now won two games in a row. The Blueshirts went down early 1-0 after Brandon Saad scored on the power play, but came from behind. The Rangers at different points of the game led 2-1, 3-1, 4-2 and finally 4-3.

Filip Chytil picked up his fourth point in five games played when he tallied his eighth goal of the season. He carried the puck nearly 200 feet up the ice, and beat two Blackhawk players, and Chytil roofed it from in close. The play was made possible because of an excellent defensive play made at the other end of the ice by Jesper Fast.

Mats Zuccarello also got on the board in the first period, and he pounced on a loose puck fired by Marc Staal and tipped by Chris Kreider who was standing in front of the net. The tipped puck ended up in the blue paint behind Collin Delia, and Zuccarello gave it a whack to make sure it got over the goal line. The goal was his eighth of the season, and his fourth scored in the last four games.

This year has been a mixed bag for Zuccarello, and marred by injury. He’s also had trade rumors and speculation weighing on him, and that’s certainly had an impact. He went public with his feelings earlier this month, and since that point he’s played very well.

The Rangers’ unofficial third goal of the game was scored by Mika Zibanejad and assisted by Tony DeAngelo, and it was a really great play. Unfortunately it was disallowed for being offside, but it is still worth taking a look at.

Kreider scored the Rangers’ official third goal of the game, and it was the result of a broken play. Zuccarello and Brady Skjei had a two on one opportunity, and when the puck was passed to Skjei it was broken up. Chicago was unable to gain possession of the puck and Kreider swooped in and put it in the back of the net on his backhand.

The goal was Kreider’s 22nd of the season in 47 games played, and he is well on his way of smashing his career-best of 28 goals in 75 games played established during the 2016-17 campaign.

The Rangers conceded a goal early on in the third period after Chicago went on the power play. Alex DeBrincat picked up his 24th of the season. The Rangers spent the majority of the the third period with a one-goal lead, and with 18 seconds left Zibanejad officially got on the board with his 15th of the season after firing down the ice into an empty net.

The Rangers appeared to be headed out of Madison Square Garden with a 4-2 win, but Dominik Kahun was able to squeak one by Henrik Lundqvist with just two seconds left to make the game 4-3. Overall, Lundqvist stopped 24 of 27 shots faced, and picked up win No. 445 which is tied for sixth-most in NHL history.

The line of Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello once again played a big role, and the trio has been on fire as of late.

This tweet was prior to Zibanejad’s empty netter, and the updated line would be five goals and eight assists for 13 points.

The Rangers’ next game is Saturday in Boston vs. the Bruins at 7:00 p.m., and they will then enter the bye week. At the end of the bye week is All Star weekend in San Jose, and the Rangers will resume regular play on Tuesday, January 29 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers.