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Blackhawks and the Refs Shutout Rangers at the Garden

Ryan McDonagh had five blocked shots, three shots on goal and one hit in 23:17 of ice time.

The NY Rangers put their five game winning streak on the line at MSG against the always dangerous Chicago Blackhawks and the Rangers saw themselves outmanned on certain occasions during the game.

In the first period of play, there was some furious action in front of the Chicago goal and rookie goaltender Scott Darling was trying to cover up the puck. He did not do a great job and Dominic Moore was able to work it free and score a goal. OR DID HE? Well to every Ranger fan at the Garden and those watching on TV, it looked like a clean goal, but the refs decided to blow their whistle because they lost sight of the puck. That is the most convenient cop out to blowing a call that refs have. That and the old standby “the intent to blow the whistle”, which means I was going to blow it, but forgot.

Nevertheless, the goal was not registered and the game remained scoreless.

Later on in the third period, there was a hand pass called on the Rangers, which just showed how refs relax sometimes and do not hustle all the way through a call. There was indeed a hand pass by the NY Rangers, but before the puck was touched by a Ranger, the puck was struck by the stick of Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith. This should have negated the hand pass and play should have continued with the Blueshirts in control of the puck deep in Blackhawk territory. But alas, this too was whistled and there was a face off in the neutral zone.

After that, there was a head man pass to a Ranger that was not whistled until that player reached the puck. I was totally confused, because it was not an icing and it was not an offside, so why was the whistle blown. I never quite received a clear explanation from the TV announcers, because quite frankly, I do not think they knew why the whistle was blown.

Cam Talbot played a great game once again. BUT, he let up a soft goal that was entirely his own fault. Former Ranger Brad Richards gathered in the puck behind the Ranger net and came out in front to the left of Talbot. At first, Cam stood his ground and hugged the near post. Richards swayed to his left (Cam’s right) slightly and Talbot inexplicably moved with him. Seeing this slight opening, Richards fired one past Cam to the short glove side for a goal.

Again, I do not profess to be a goalie (although I was a very good street hockey goalie), but Cam should have held his ground. There was no way that Richards would have been able to beat him to the far side from where he was without skating further to his left.

But Cam did, and another 60 minutes of hockey was ruined by a goalie’s mistake. Has not happened often with Cam, but like with Henrik, when it happens, it is a disaster.

This proved to be the only goal of the game, because Scott Darling, who was lit up 4-0 by Tampa, put on his best Jacques Plante – Johnny Bower impersonation and allowed the Rangers no goals. The closest they came was when Dan Boyle’s shot beat Darling and hit the crossbar and flew out towards the blue line. Chicago then skated up ice and that led to the Richards’ goal.

So not only did the Rangers have the refs blow at least three calls, they were the victim of bad puck luck as well.



CHI: Brad Richards (11), Assisted by Duncan Keith & Andrew Desjardins


3 Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Cam Talbot: 30 Saves on 31 Shots for a SV% of .968

2nd Star: Brad Richards: 1 Goal (Game winning goal)

1st Star: Scott Darling: 25 Saves on 25 Shots for a SV% of 1.000


Team Stats                              CHI                               NYR

Shots on Goal                         31                                  25

Power Play                              0 for 2                           0 for 2

Hits                                         16                                  20

Face Off Wins                        26                                  37

Giveaways                              7                                    17

Takeaways                             5                                    6

Blocked Shots                         12                                  13

Goalie Stats:

Scott Darling: 25 Saves on 25 Shots for a SV% of 1.000

Cam Talbot: 30 Saves on 31 Shots for a SV% of .968



Broadway Bits:


The NY Rangers were again unscored on during two penalty kill opportunities

They are 25 for 27 (92.6%) over their last 9 games

They are 106 for 123 (86.2%) over their last 45 games


The Blueshirts won 37 of 63 Face Offs vs Chicago (58.7%)

Cam Talbot is 8-2-1 in his last 11 games, with a 1.44 GAA and a .953 SV% and 2 SO

The Rangers have allowed one goal or less in regulation for eight straight games, which is the first time it has been accomplished in franchise history. It is also the first time it has been accomplished in the NHL since the Dallas Stars from March 13 to March 28, 2001

Ryan McDonagh had five blocked shots, three shots on goal and one hit in 23:17 of ice time. Since his return to the lineup on November 28th, he leads the team with 105 blocked shots

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