New York Rangers (21-20-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (29-7-9)
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 8, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -205 / New York Rangers +186 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
Monday night's loss was like many others the New York Rangers have faced this season and it's starting to become the norm in New York City. The Rangers were unable to capitalize early against the Columbus Blue Jackets and then their star goaltender couldn't make big saves for them. The Rangers trailed 1-0 in the final minute of the opening frame when Rick Nash scored his first of two goals on the night. Henrik Lundqvist was unable to stop a second period breakway that put the Rangers behind the eight ball again and the Blue Jackets added another goal to take a 3-1 lead with them into the third. New York dominated the first half of the third period and rallied to tie the game on goals from Brian Boyle and Nash but it was Lundqvist who let them down again in the shootout. Columbus scored on both their attempts to send the Rangers to a 4-3 defeat despite 43 shots on goal in this one. It was just another game where the Rangers did a great job of breaking out of their own end, possessing the puck, and controlling play for long stretches. Right now New York just seems to get burned every time they make a mistake and they aren't getting the results that you would expect for a team that puts together long stretches of very solid play. Now they'll face their toughest challenge of the season when they travel to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. Chicago comes into this tilt losers of three of their last five and looking to bounce back from Sunday's shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Blackhawks were down 1-0 in the third period when Niklas Hjalmarsson and Michal Rozsival scored in the first four minutes to give Chicago the lead. The Blackhawks couldn't hold it however as Corey Crawford allowed the tying goal and two in the shootout as the Hawks fell by a final of 3-2. Chicago met their match with a San Jose club that should be one of their biggest competitors in the Western Conference this season. Chicago allowed 42 shots on goal in this one and with the way New York is playing right now there's a good chance that this could be an uptempo game with a lot of scoring chances. If Lundqvist is in net for the Rangers the Blackhawks might be lighting the lamp more than a few times.