Poor Start Leads to 4-2 Loss Against Blackhawks

They say you can’t win a game in the first period, but you sure could lose one, as the Rangers learned tonight when they gave up four goals in the first five minutes en route to a 4-2 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. 

The Hawks opened the scoring on a Jonathan Toews penalty shot after Dan Girardi closed his hand on the puck in the crease. Just 1:03 later, Chicago took a 2-0 lead on a Nick Leddy shot from the point that wrang off the post. Martin Biron allowed two more breakaway goals to Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, as the Hawks took a 4-0 lead after the first period.

The Rangers finally cracked through in the second period on Marc Staal‘s first goal of the season. They added one more late in the third period on a goal by Carl Hagelin, but that is as close as it got, as the Rangers’ win-streak was snapped at four.

  • Couldn’t have gotten a worse start from the Blueshirts tonight. After a positive opening one or two shifts, the Rangers fell apart. I’ve really lost a lot of confidence with Biron, even if he did settle down and really kept the Rangers in the game. Sure he’s 10-3 and has good numbers for a backup, but I don’t have the same feeling I had about him early in the season. I’ve also never seen a goaltender fail to cover up the 5-hole like he has. The word is out. Also had to be tough for him to hear the “Hen-Rik” chants and the Bronx Cheer in the first, but he deserved it.
  • Believe it or not, I think this game was a lot closer than the score said, and I hate that saying. But after the first five minutes, the Rangers really settled down and I think were the better team the final 50 minutes or so. The Hawks still won the game, but if we’re looking for some positives, we could start there.
  • With that said, the powerplay took a giant leap back following a little stretch where it saw success. You could make the argument that this was the worst game of the season in terms of powerplay success. They just had absolutely nothing going, and finished 0-for-7.
  • I like him, but boy does Mike Rupp have to cash in on that empty net in the second period. That goal would have made it 4-2 midway through the second and the Rangers would have all the momentum on their hands. I think even Brandon Dubinsky would have buried that one.
  • Staal continues to improve, and now has two points in three games. On top of that, Ryan McDonagh‘s play on the Hagelin goal was a thing-a-beauty.
  • Some of the penalties that were called tonight were just brutal on both sides, including the Toews interference call on Brian Boyle and the first Dubinsky call.
  • Have to just forget about this one and take care of business Sunday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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