Rangers thump Blackhawks; hit 17 wins for most in franchise history through 24 games
The New York Rangers entered the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks knotted at two. Before the final 20 finished, they exploded for four goals en route to their 17th win of the season.
That set a franchise record for the most wins through 24 games in 95 seasons. The Blueshirts did it with crash and dash as they netted a season high six goals, and Artemi Panarin picking up points 500 to 503 of his NHL career.
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New York Rangers continue to impress
Artemi Panarin logged two goals and two assists as the visiting New York Rangers topped the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to seven games.
New York’s Chris Kreider scored a go-ahead, power-play goal early in the third period and added an assist. Jacob Trouba and Kevin Rooney both had a goal and an assist for the Rangers, and Barclay Goodrow also scored. New York’s Adam Fox, Ryan Reaves and Mika Zibanejad notched two assists apiece.
“All five guys out there, even the second unit, can make plays,” Zibanejad said. “We have to take advantage of the ice that’s available and the plays that are there. I think we’re doing a good job of that now.”
Erik Gustafsson and Kirby Dach were the goal-scorers for the Blackhawks.
New York outshot Chicago 30-26 en route to topping its Original Six counterpart for the second time in four days. In the process, the Rangers spoiled Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s bid to become just the third netminder in NHL history to earn 500 career victories.
Fleury stopped 24 of the 29 shots he faced. Among his most impressive saves was a sliding effort to stuff Kreider on a short-handed chance with 4:41 left in the second period to keep the game tied at 2.
Kreider wouldn’t be denied at 4:59 of the third period, however, tipping in a shot from the point to put the Rangers ahead 3-2. Fox recorded the first of his two assists on the night, giving him a helper in seven straight games.
Trouba’s big hit sends Khaira to hospital
An eerie episode transpired at 15:40 of the second period when Trouba delivered a shoulder-to-chest hit to Chicago’s Jujhar Khaira, who was looking for the puck at his skates near the Blackhawks blue line.
“[Khaira] had his head down bad. You hate to see a guy hit that hard,” Gerard Gallant discussed the hit and the impact it has on the team. “It’s a bad effect because I didn’t feel too good and our players didn’t either.”
Khaira’s head hit the ice following the blow. He was taken off in a stretcher and later transported to a nearby hospital for further testing, the Blackhawks said. No penalty was assessed on the play.
“We won’t know the extent of the injury until after these tests,” Hawks coach Derek King said. “But he’s talking, he’s coherent, I guess. It’s a scary situation to see.”
Rangers dominate again
Trouba opened the scoring 61 seconds into the game, taking a pass from Panarin and maneuvering through ample space before slipping a shot past Fleury on the far side.
Chicago responded 43 seconds later, as Gustafsson scored his first goal of the season on a long wrist shot from the blue line following a faceoff win.
The Blackhawks benefited from winning another draw to tally their next goal. Collecting a rebound of a blocked shot, Dach beat Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev to snap a 17-game stretch without a goal.
Georgiev finished with 24 saves.
“The first was real tough to watch. We didn’t win many battles in that (period)” Gallant said afterwards. “We hung around in the game like we’ve done a few times this year and then found a way to play real good in the third.”
After failing to register a shot on goal over the final 12:16 of the first period, the Rangers shook off the rust at 3:19 of the second behind their vaunted power play. Panarin converted on the man advantage to give New York a power-play goal for the fourth straight game.
Panarin, who broke into the NHL with the Blackhawks, collected seven points against his former team in two games this season.
Rangers shopping, and do the changes in Vancouver and Philadelphia means trades? Read here.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report