Hawks fall in overtime to Rangers 1-0

The Hawks and Rangers squared off in an Original Six match up that had all the feelings of a playoff game. In a scoreless regulation game there was plenty of action in what turned out to be a goalies dual between the Blackhawks Corey Crawford and Rangers Cam Talbot.

The goaltending was outstanding particularly by Crawford who had to face 16 shots on goal in the first period. The Hawks were heavily outplayed in the first period.  Lately I would say Crawford is owed some dinners by his team mates because he got them this point and has been keeping them in these games.

 What let the Blackhawks down was once again was their power play that went zilch for four. Their inability to even gain the offensive zone was problematic and disrupted any scoring chances from even getting started. This is something going forward the Hawks really need to address.

You could tell that when the Hawks failed to score on these opportunities it would come back to bite them and it did. Come playoff time you have to cash in on these opportunities teams like the Rangers are too good, you have to take advantage when you can.

Luckily the Hawks penalty kill was spot on when it needed to be. The closing minutes of the game, the Hawks had to keep the Rangers from scoring to just push the game to overtime and thanks to the stalwart penalty kill they at least got a point pushing it to the overtime.

In overtime it didn’t take long before Derick Brassard entered the Hawks zone as a trailer with entirely too much ice along the near boards was able to blast one past Crawford stick side seconds into overtime to seal the Rangers 1-0 win.

The best forward on the ice was probably Teuvo Teravainen who seemed to have the puck find him constantly in the offensive zone. His line with Brandon Saad and Antoine Vermette seemed to have the best chemistry on this night for the Blackhawks.

If Teuvo keeps gaining experience it can only be a good thing. He was also noticeable on the Hawks power play and his set up abilities are top drawer for sure. This could be his opportunity to take lead on the power play as the Hawks best zone entry was when Teuvo carried it in himself.

The good thing is the Hawks did manage to salvage a point in a tightly contested western conference where every point matters down the stretch. The Hawks played the type of tight defensive playoff hockey that they will need to going forward but they need to generate offense from someone. There is still very little net front presence and the play is to the outside and not the inside. If the Hawks get to the inside they will score or at least have better scoring chances and opportunities. The Hawks now have a couple of days to make adjustments and work on that power play before hitting the road to Arizona.

Three Stars of the game:

1.    C. Talbot

 2.    D. Brassard

3.    C. Crawford

 Next game Thursday, March 12, at 9:00 p.m. CT vs the Arizona Coyotes watch on WGN Chicago; or listen via radio on WGN AM720.

Follow our Blackhawks team at @TCLBlackhawks; you can follow me at @sportshashhash