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Rangers collapse late and lose to Chicago; Brassard sets career high in goals

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Blackhawks 2-17

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Facing their toughest test in a while, the Rangers (32-19-6) looked up to the task. But a late collapse on their penalty kill handed the win to the Blackhawks (38-18-5), who continue to climb up the standings in the Central Division.

The Blackhawks snapped the Rangers 10 game point streak at home, handing New York their first regulation loss at MSG since December 20th. Artemi Panarin scored his first career hat trick, and Corey Crawford made 31 saves to help guide Chicago to a win.

The first period was pretty quick and free flowing, with not a lot of stoppages. The Rangers had more chances, outshooting Chicago 10-6, but the Blackhawks did a great job keeping their shots to the outside. Read the rest of this entry

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McDonagh back as the Rangers take on Chicago; Boyle and Staal still questionable

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Blackhawks 10-7

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Following a physical and exciting game against the Flyers, the Rangers (32-18-6) will face a huge test tonight when they close out their three game homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks (37-18-5), one of the best teams in the NHL.

In the last game for the Rangers, the fists were flying early on as the Rangers looked to stand up for their downed captain. After that, Derick Brassard tied his career high of 19 goals, and Derek Stepan found the back of the net twice, including scoring his 100th career NHL goal. Henrik Lundqvist was superb when he had to be, and came within 10 seconds of a shutout.

The Rangers have played some pretty good teams in the past few weeks, but this is the first time they’ll be going up against one of the league’s elite teams since they played the Capitals on January 17th. After a slow start, Chicago has surged into second place in the Central Division, and third in the NHL with 79 points. Read the rest of this entry

Quick Hits: NHL All Star Game, Patrick Kane, and the Dennis Wideman hit

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to quick hits, where I talk about the most interesting topics around the league. The NHL is entering a break with the All Star Weekend festivities taking place this weekend. But there’s still some interesting things going around the league.

Jonathan Toews, Alexander Ovechkin will not participate in the 2016 All Star Game

alex ovechkin

Photo courtesy of Even Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, we had the first two players bow out of the All Star game due to “injuries.” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin both announced that they would skip the All Star festivities to deal with injuries. Read the rest of this entry

Lundqvist, Rangers spoil Blackhawks banner party; Lindberg nets first career goal

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Blackhawks 10-7

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

After what seemed like a never ending banner ceremony, celebrating what the Rangers fell short of achieving last season, Vigneault and his squad spoiled the party.

The Rangers came out guns blazing, quickly jumping out to a lead and never looking back, ultimately topping the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks by a final score of 3-2.

For the most part, this was a very encouraging performance from the new-look Blueshirts, especially from the back end of the lineup. Henrik Lundqvist was excellent between the pipes, the third line was electric throughout the night, and Kevin Hayes fit right in with Stepan and Kreider.

New York have been good during the first game of the year, posting a 7-3-1 record in their last 11 season openers dating back to the 2005-06 season. They’ve also won back-to-back road season openers for the first time since 1955-58, when they won three straight. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers aim to start season strong on the road in Chicago

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers celebrate a goal 9-30

The Rangers are back! Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The long wait is finally over, and New York Rangers hockey is back!

The New York Rangers will begin their 89th season in the NHL on the road against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, fellow Original Six franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks. This is now the eighth straight season that the Rangers begin the season away from Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers will have to watch as they raise yet another Championship banner into the rafters at the United Center, a reminder of what has eluded them over the past few seasons. Perhaps the Rangers could use this as a source of motivation and work towards having this ceremony at MSG next season.

Tonight’s matchup is a game between two of the elite teams from last season. The Rangers won the Presidents’ Trophy last season with a franchise record 113 points, while the Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup since 2010. Read the rest of this entry