Quick Hits – Rangers vs Blackhawks 11/15/17

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Here’s our Quick Hits recap of the Rangers 6-3 loss to the Blackhawks.

KZB Line: It was the KZB line that got the Rangers on the scoreboard in the first. It started with a beautiful pass along the boards from Buchenvich to Kreider, who then passed to Zibanejad right in front of Crawford. While they started off hot, it didn’t take long for Chicago to adjust their play to neutralize the line throughout the game. This ties back to the less-than-stellar defensive play of both Buchnevich and Zibanejad, and it’s one of the reasons that despite them being excellent offensively, they may find themselves benched in favor of a better defensive trio of forwards at critical times.

Henrik Lundqvist: For the first two periods, Hank was on his throne, showing everyone why he’s still worthy of the King moniker. He made 24 saves on 25 shots, allowing only one goal in 40 minutes. The goal in the second period that tied the game was considered by most to be “soft,” but the reality is that he just didn’t completely have it. He was unaware that it was rolling back and the end result was a game at the end of two periods. In the third period, however, things came undone and Hank was pulled after letting in three consecutive goals. He took it all in stride, saying in his post-game interview that he understood why he was pulled and that the Rangers simply weren’t playing well in the last period.

Team Defense: The defense didn’t look totally abysmal in this one, but they still made some bad plays that cost proved costly. Ryan McDonagh still has a bit of work to do on his game and Kevin Shattenkirk lost his man a few times at critical moments. Kampfer, however, has steadily improved and had a few good shifts that prove he may just deserve that final blue-line spot over Smith, after all.

Other Notes: The Rangers comeback attempt fell short, but they got goals from Rick Nash and Kevin Hayes that cut the Hawks lead to 4-3. Hayes finished off a great shift from his line by putting in a bouncing puck that Zuccarello tapped over to the Rangers center. Nash finally capitalized on a breakaway in the third period and threw his hands up in evident surprise (seriously, his face registered surprise). The Rangers’ power play went 0-for-3, though they did have some good chances, but failed to light the lamp.

NEXT GAME: The Rangers are back at it on Friday, when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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LET’S GO RANGERS!!