Recap: 12/9/16 Blackhawks vs. Rangers

Holden scores the game winner in OT (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Holden scores the game winner in OT (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

In their second game in two nights, the Rangers took on the Blackhawks in what turned out to be a battle of the goalies. Vesey returned to the stage after missing the game at Winnipeg on Thursday.

In net for the Rangers … Antti Raanta? Hmm, that’s unexpected, but hey let’s dive right into the action.

Read about Henrik Lundqvist’s struggles here.

Fatigue and Finding Footing

The first period was riddled with errors and turnovers galore, but thanks to a strong showing by Raanta, the Blackhawks failed to score on the opportunities (and there were a few!).

In the second period, the Rangers finally seemed to find their footing, perhaps shaking off the fatigue from the night before and using adrenaline to fuel them ahead.

Have I said how good Raanta was?

He made some spectacular saves, including a beauty in the second that kept the Blackhawks scoreless.

Unbreak my Blue Heart

While watching the game, my hubby — the one responsible for getting me into hockey, bless him — said the first goal was going to be a heartbreaker. He wasn’t wrong. In the third, the Blackhawks managed to score, and I damn near dropped my wine (a sacrilegious event for sure – it’s good Cabernet). Fortunately, AV had the good grace to challenge and the goal was overturned due to offsides (thank you, blue line camera). Score remained 0-0 and both teams headed to overtime.

Overtime Yields an Unlikely Event

I know a lot of players really dislike Holden, but I’ve come to like him, despite his ability to be a stick figure in the crease at times. Tonight, he certainly made my “Love it!” list when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime, sending the Blackhawks home with a broken heart.

Parting Words

I wouldn’t look too deep into the reason why Henrik Lundqvist sat tonight. He’s acknowledged that he’s been “off” lately, and while his numbers did take a slight dip, it’s nothing that will keep him on the bench beyond this. I fully expect to see him between the pipes come Sunday. See you then!

Christina is an avid hockey fan and a great writer.

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