by Patrick Stankus
The New York Rangers welcomed the Blackhawks to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, in a rematch of the opening night of the season. The Hawks were embarking on a trip out east that also includes a stop at the White House on Thursday afternoon to finally cap off their 2014-15 Stanley Cup winning season. The other story following the Hawks is, tonight marks the final game before they head outdoors and take on the Wild on Sunday in the Coors Light Stadium Series. Wait, for that new "Puckin' Hostile Drinking Game" that @AtomicFroster came up with, DRINK every time you hear about that outdoor game.
In what hasn't always been the case of late, the game got off to a nice start and featured a lot of pace early on. The Hawks wasted little time in getting on the board first. Andrew Desjardins redirected a Teuvo Teravainen pass from the corner to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead 3 and a half minutes in. As the period went on, the Rangers would find an extra jump to their step, and out shot the Hawks 10-6 in the period, despite the Hawks getting a late power play. After the opening 20 minutes, the Hawks would lead the Rangers 1-0.
When the second period got underway, it appeared early on that the Rangers had tied the game, until Coach Q decided to challenge for goalie interference. Much to the shock of everyone, the call of a good goal was overturned, and the Hawks remained on top 1-0. Midway through the period, Artemi Panarin, while on the power play, would increase the Hawks lead to 2-0, with his 20th goal of the season. The 2 goal lead wouldn't last long, as just under 4 minutes later, Kevin Hayes redirected a pass from the corner, past Crawford, to cut the Hawks lead to 2-1. Late in the period, the Rangers would go on the power play, but with time winding down, they couldn't tie the game in the second period.
The puck dropped on the third period with the Rangers still on a power play as a result of a late second period penalty by Vincent Hinostroza. In the first 3 minutes of the period, the Rangers would make Hinostroza pay, and score twice, to give them a 3-2 lead. The momentum of the game would change midway through the third period, thanks to an ill-timed penalty by former Hawk Viktor Stalberg. Andrew Shaw scored on the ensuing power play after a sweet pass from Teravainen from the corner to tie the game. From then on it was the Breadman's show. Artemi Panarin, took over, and added 2 goals down the stretch, 1 of which was on the power play, and completed the hat trick to give the Hawks a 5-3 win over the Rangers.
- So this Artemi Panarin guy is pretty good at hockey. I think Gate and I swung and missed when we said calm down and give it some time before we come to a conclusion on how good he really is. I think we can all agree, Breadman is pretty fucking good. (Now do you understand the title)
- Tonight we saw what Teuvo Teravainen is capable of when it comes to his hockey sense. His two passes that lead to the Desjardins and Shaw goals, were about as perfect as they can come.
- The power play was alright tonight. They were 3 of 4 with the man advantage. Smart money is them looking like a bad set of clown shoes on Sunday.
- Speaking of the power play, how timely were they tonight? The Rangers took two penalties in the third, and both times the Hawks made them pay. This is exactly what you want to see; them capitalizing on other teams' mistakes.
- Corey Crawford had a good, not spectacular night in net. It was one of those games where he just went about his business and made the saves when needed. In the end he made 31 saves on 34 shots.
- Artem Anisimov didn't register a point, but he was a factor all night. Its amazing how great the #AK72Line has clicked all season long.
- Michal Rozsival was in the right place when Kevin Hayes cut the Hawks lead in half. Problem was, Rozsival, much like a blind old dog, was oblivious to the fact that Hayes was behind him, and stood there like a statue. Regardless it was a perfect pass by Lindberg, but you'd at least like to see Rozsival move like a bubble hockey player on that play.
- Late in the second period, #BartlettNativeVinnieHinostroza took a bad high sticking penalty that resulted in a double minor because it drew blood. Plays like this get you riding I-90 back to Rockford.
- Viktor Stalberg is still a horrible hockey player. But thanks for taking that penalty in the third period. Its much appreciated.
- Has anyone seen Jiri Sekac?
- I don't care that Q won his coach's challenge for goalie interference, replay, challenges, whatever the hell you want to call them can all go to hell.
- I touched on this in the bad, but Hinostroza shall be/will be on I-90 heading back to Rockford after his late second period penalty. The Rangers managed to score twice on the double minor. How does the doghouse smell Vinnie?
- Keith Yandle apparently attended Joe Thornton's school of "How To Become An NHL Jackass" after seeing his hack on Panarin following Panarin's empty netter. Here's to ya Keith.