Corey Crawford had one of his best games of the season on Sunday night, but it wasn’t enough as the Chicago Blackhawks dropped a tough 1-0 overtime decision to the New York Rangers at the United Center.
Derick Brassard scored the lone goal of the game just 42 seconds into the extra session to give New York the win, and Cam Talbot made 29 saves in the shutout victory. Crawford ended up making 35 saves as the team got one point but failed in their efforts to secure a second.
The first period saw both teams get their fair share of scoring opportunities, but both goaltenders showed that they were ready to play. Dan Boyle had a great chance on a quick rush for the Rangers, but Crawford made the save and kicked the puck back out into play. On the ensuing 2-on-1 rush, Brandon Saad was stoned by Talbot after faking a pass across to Antoine Vermette, leaving the game scoreless.
The Blackhawks got a couple of power plays as the first period wore on, but they were unable to get anything going on either man-advantage. Sharp had the lone shot of the two power plays, but Talbot made the save as active sticks and shot blocks carried the day for the Rangers in keeping the game scoreless.
The second period started with another huge push by the Blackhawks’ offense, but Talbot stood tall in the face of the barrage. Marian Hossa had a big chance from in close off a good feed from Jonathan Toews, but he wasn’t able to convert. The Blackhawks got a third power play as a result of the continued pressure, but they once again tallied zero shots on goal in the two-minute sequence.
The Rangers got a power play of their own a few minutes later as Andrew Shaw was sent to the penalty box, but the Blackhawks’ penalty killing unit succeeded to an outstanding degree. Marcus Kruger and Toews were both dominant in the short-handed situation as the Rangers failed to score and the game remained scoreless.
The period ended with the Blackhawks getting their fourth power play of the evening, but they once again were stymied as they failed to score on the man-advantage for the 15th time in a row. Sharp put a shot off the crossbar during the two minutes, but once again Chicago couldn’t score as the score remained tied at 0-0 after two periods of play.
The Blackhawks continued racking up chances as the third period got going, but Talbot made save after save to keep his team in the game. Sharp was stoned on a great chance from the top of the goal mouth, and Joakim Nordstrom followed suit as he one-timed a shot off a feed from Kruger, but he was denied.
In the final minutes of the period, the Rangers made a huge push, but Crawford was there to match his counterpart at the other end of the ice. Chad Kreider had a shot denied by the Blackhawks’ goaltender, and then Derek Stepan and Martin St. Louis both had chances stopped as well.
The Blackhawks were forced to kill off a penalty late in regulation, but they were able to do so easily thanks to Toews and Hossa. The duo stole the puck at the blue line after Rick Nash made a diving keep-in for the Rangers, and even though they didn’t score on the ensuing 2-on-1 rush, they were able to kill off a huge chunk of the power play and force overtime with the game knotted at 0-0.
Unfortunately for Chicago, their solid defense ended up breaking down early in the extra session, and the Rangers were able to come out on top. With Teuvo Teravainen slow to switch over on a Rangers’ rush, Brassard found himself wide open in the face-off circle, and he ripped a shot past Crawford’s blocker to give New York the extra point and a 1-0 victory.
The Blackhawks will have a good amount of time off to lick their wounds as they prepare to make a trek into the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.