The New York Rangers (37-14-5) had their four-game winning streak snapped by a very hungry Chicago Blackhawks (30-21-7) team, by a final of 4-1 in NHL action on Thursday. It was a rare off-night for the Blueshirts, who had been playing positive hockey over the winning streak.
Chicago jumped to a 1-0 lead when captain Jonathan Toews recorded a penalty shot at the 1:05 mark in the first period. Nick Leddy (3), Patrick Sharp (23) and Marian Hossa (22) all scored in giving the Blackhawks a comfortable 4-0 lead at the end of the frame.
It is the first time this season that the Rangers have allowed four goals in the first period. New York started to show signs of life and a possible comeback when Marc Staal scored his first goal since February 11, 2001-a wicked slap shot that found the twine at the 3:04 into the second period.
Carl Hagelin (9) tallied a wrister at the 15:15 mark in the third, to cut the Chicago lead to 4-2 –but the Blackhawks held on for the two points, snapping a nine-game losing streak.
Helping to set-up the Hagelin goal was Ryan McDonagh (16) and Ryan Callahan (20). For captain Cally, he was able to extend his point streak to five games with that helper.
Blueliner Michael Del Zotto led the Blueshirts physical play with five hits, while Brian Boyle finished the night with three blocked shots.
The Rangers will next be in action on Sunday as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets, and will be celebrating Youth Hockey Night at Madison Square Garden. The New York/Columbus game is scheduled to air on the MSG network, with face-off scheduled for 8:00 p.m.
Written on February 17, 2012
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