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Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Blackhawks 1

2/27/2014



 

NEW YORK -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

How it happened: The Blackhawks, playing for the first time since Feb. 7, looked sluggish and failed to generate many chances.

Derick Brassard scored midway through the first period, stashing home his own rebound past Corey Crawford to put the Rangers up 1-0. The goal was a result of a turnover by Jonathan Toews, whose potential clearing attempt was poked from behind by J.T. Miller.

Rick Nash then gave New York a two-goal cushion with 4 minutes, 7 seconds to play, ripping a wrist shot from the right circle that got past Crawford.

Peter Regin scored for Chicago with 11.6 seconds remaining, beating Cam Talbot through the 5-hole. Patrick Kane was then denied on the doorstep in the waning seconds.

What it means: The Blackhawks might have had the old Olympic hangover. Ten of their players were over in Sochi, Russia, so perhaps they’re still tired. Either way, the league’s highest-scoring outfit has scored one goal in its past two games. Chicago looked like an average team, not a defending Stanley Cup champion.

Coach Joel Quenneville changed up his team’s line combinations in the third period in an effort to break through, but it never happened. If Thursday’s game was an indication, newly acquired Regin is not going to be the answer as the No. 2 center. But the late tally might have been a confidence-booster for the former New York Islander.

Player of the game: Talbot made 31 saves to pick up the victory.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks’ third-ranked power-play unit went 0-for-3. Chicago has now failed to record a man-up goal in its past three games (0-for-7).

What’s next: An outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night at Solider Field.