Recap: Blackhawks at NY Rangers 5-2 Win


Wednesday night the Blackhawks were back in the United States, more specifically New York, to face the Rangers in Madison Square Garden for NBCSN “Rivalry Night“. Apparently, NBC does not understand just what a rivalry really is.

The Rangers were coming in fresh off their Winter Classic overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres on January 1st. The Blackhawks, on the other hand, were on the heels of their 4-3 overtime loss to the Flames on New Years Eve.

Jeff Glass made his 3rd straight starts since being called up from Rockford, while Richard Panik, Jan Rutta, and Michal Kempny all sat for the Blackhawks.

These were the Blackhawks starting lines:
Brandon SaadJonathan Toews – Vince Hinostroza
Ryan HartmanNick SchmaltzPatrick Kane
Patrick SharpDavid KampfAlex DeBrincat
Lance BoumaTommy WingelsJohn Hayden

Duncan KeithJordan Oesterle
Connor MurphyBrent Seabrook
Gustav ForslingCody Franson

Both goalies faces solid scoring chances, just seconds into the game, but both were up to the task. Following the opening flurry, the period settled in slightly but defense was few and far between. The Blue Shirts were the first to try their hand at the power play about halfway through the period, thanks to a Jonathan Toews slashing penalty but the Blackhawks weathered the storm. Toews took another penalty just a few minutes later, with some sloppy stick play, but the best the Rangers were able to manage was rattling a shot off the post.

With just under four minutes remaining in the opening period, the Blackhawks first line finally drew blood. Jonathan Toews picked up a puck off the end boards and dumped a blind backhand pass in to the crease. Vince Hinostroza was crashing the crease and tucked the puck between the outstretched legs of the Rangers goaltender.

That Blackhawks lead only lasted a couple of minutes, because the Rangers’ Nick Holden tied the game with just under two minutes until the intermission. Holden had all day to tee up a shot after taking a drop pass from Paul Carey and used Duncan Keith as a screen. Glass picked up the shot late, actually too late, and the Rangers had a goal on their fifth shot of the game. The Blackhawks, however, led in shots by a wide margin in the first period, 14-6.

Both teams were off and running for the beginning of the second period. There was end to end action for two straight minutes and there were several good scoring chances to go along with that action, but the goalies both stood tall.

With nine minutes spent in the middle period, Nick Schmaltz looked like he was shot out of a cannon, taking a tape to tape pass from Patrick Kane and blowing around Brady Skjei. Schmaltz went in one-on-one with Henrik Lundqvist but Lundqvist made the stop. Rangers defenseman Marc Staal rushed to save the rebound but pushed the puck into his own net, with the help of a little “love nudge” from Ryan Hartman.

Once again, the Blackhawks only held the lead for a couple of minutes and they had no one to blame but themselves. After taking two penalties, the Rangers found themselves with a generous 5-on-3 advantage. With the Hawks disadvantage, Mika Zibanejad was left all alone on the back door and fired a perfect one timer over a helpless Jeff Glass, once again tying the game.

This is how the teams went into the second intermission, with the Blackhawks leading in shots pretty handily once again, 12-8. They were in prime position to win this game.

Less than three minutes into the third period, an unlikely name surface in the goal column; Patrick Sharp. Alex Debrincat and David Kampf broke the puck out of their own end, and Kampf fed Sharp, on the rush, in the left circle. Sharp snapped a perfectly placed shot over Lunqvist’s glove to give the Blackhawks the lead, once again.

This time, though, the Blackhawks held the lead and even bolstered that lead with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane empty net goals. The Jeff Glass Cinderella story continues.


  • Being an aging goalie named Jeff, myself, I respect Jeff Glass’ unconventional style. He is not pretty out there and he does some things that younger goalies would be forced to change, but he gets the job done. If you are going to blame Glass for the second Rangers goal, because of the bad delay-of-game penalty, I could point out a half-dozen other chances where he bailed the Blackhawks out, so give it a rest. He is not the next Tim Thomas, but he is playing just fine.
  • It looks like Nick Schmaltz is finally back on the track he was when he got injured in October. Since then, he has only been effective at the wing.  He showed speed and play making ability from the pivot for the first time in a long time.
  • Speaking of looking good, Vince Hinostroza seems to have kicked the Jonathan Toews line in the butt.  This was one of their best games this season.
  • The Blackhawks won 53% of their faceoffs.  Another promising sign.


  • This Blackhawks power play is absolutely befuddling. If they fail to make the playoffs, you can point directly at the powerplay.
  • They had a good game, but the Sharp/Kampf/Debrincat line was the only one under water in possession.
  • Gustav Forsling did not have the best return to the lineup. He seemed to be fumbling the puck often, and gave up a blatant break-a-way to Jimmy Vesey late in the second period.
  • If you’re going to take 6 penalties, don’t expect to win many games.  The Hawks managed to dominate in 5-on-5 play, so they got away with their sloppy penalties.

About Jeff Osborn

Jeff has covered the Blackhawks since 2009 with his former website and podcast The Puckin Hostile Shoutcast until 2017, when he moved over to The Rink. After a short hiatus to cover the inaugural Seattle Kraken season, he came back to Blackhawks coverage and started "The Net Perspective" podcast to discuss goaltending and goaltender development.


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