Rangers roar in third period over Blackhawks, Panarin hits 500 points and more
The New York Rangers made a trip to Chicago to play in the electric United Center. Gerard Gallant’s charges were looking for another win, as were the Blackhawks. who are trying to climb back into the playoff picture.
Coming into the game, an underlying storyline was former Blackhawk Artemi Panarin looking for his 500th NHL point. It didn’t take long for him to accomplish the feat, but he was far from done after that.
Recap: Rangers vs Blackhawks
Just 61 seconds into the match, Panarin controlled the puck over the blue line and worked it to the middle. He then turned the defense and passed it to a wide-open Jacob Trouba, who blasted it for the 1-0 lead past Marc-Andre Fleury. Panarin became the 49th player in NHL history to score his 500th point in 457 games or less.
Unfortunately, that lead didn’t last long as Erik Gustafsson tied 43 second later. Off the draw, Julien Gauthier tried to get the puck but put it right on the defenseman’s stick. Gustafsson took a wrist shot that Patrik Nemeth screened Alexandar Georgiev on to tie it.
The Rangers played the first period a little too loose in their own zone and were burned again off another lost faceoff. This time it was Kirby Dach finding a blocked shot in his feet to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead at 7:09.
Starting the second period, the Blueshirts found themselves in unfamiliar territory being down a goal. The last time that happened was a 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs back on November 18.
Thanks to an early power play, the Rangers would tie the game up when Panarin converted a Mika Zibanejad feed into a gaping net at the 3:19 mark.
Trouba’s big hit
A scary incident occurred with 13:50 left to play. Jujhar Khaira was looking down at the puck and got caught by Trouba. It was a clean shoulder to the chest that put Khaira on his back and left him motionless. He was taken off the ice with a stretcher and out for the remainder of the game.
“Jujhar Khaira suffered an upper body blow in the second period of tonight’s game. After initial evaluation on the ice he was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Hospital for further testing,” the Blackhawks said in a statement. “An update will be provided when available.”
Riley Stillman would challenge Trouba for the hit four minutes later but the Rangers hard-hitting defense won that encounter too. New York would get into penalty trouble after tying the game taking three minors but the PK stepped up keeping shots to a minimum.
Rangers roar in the third
Chicago started the third on the power play due to a K’Andre Miller trip with 7 seconds remaining in the second. Once again the Blueshirts PK prevailed going perfect on the night.
Then it was the Rangers turn to get some time with the man advantage. Chris Kreider, who has not gone more than two games without a goal, deflected an Adam Fox shot to retake the lead at 4:59. Panarin would also pick up his third point of the game, 502 of his career.
New York would continue to build on their momentum with a huge goal from their fourth line. Ryan Reaves would start the play from the far boards with a no look between the legs pass to a streaking Fox. He then hit Kevin Rooney in the middle for a top shelf snipe and a 4-2 lead with 7:50 on the clock.
Chicago opted to pull Fleury early with a faceoff in the Rangers zone. That was a mistake as Panarin pumped home his 4th point of the night with an empty net goal with 3:10 left to play.
Now that the game was out of reach, the Hawks started getting chippy and Ryan Carpenter hit Dryden Hunt from behind. That had Ryan Strome seeing red and he went right after Carpenter picking up a fighting major.
The 4th line would add another one as Rooney dug the puck out to Reaves. He then centered it to Barclay Goodrow for the Blueshirts 6th goal of the evening.
“It was not the start we wanted but we stuck with it and got the win,” Zibanejad said.
In the end, the Rangers special teams was the difference as they were perfect by going 2 for 2 on the PP, and 4 for 4 on the PK. The team is on a 7 game winning streak and has won 11 of their last 12.
- Alexandar Georgiev stopped 24 of 26 for his second straight win
- Artemi Panarin was dominant with 2G – 2A
- 9 different Rangers picked up a point with 7 picking up 2 or more points
- The Rangers 17 wins is now the most in franchise history through 24 games
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