01/17 22:52 CST Kreider, Lundqvist lead Rangers to 4-3 win over Blackhawks
Kreider, Lundqvist lead Rangers to 4-3 win over Blackhawks
By VIN A. CHERWOO
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) --- After a rough stretch, the New York Rangers are playing their
best hockey in nearly two months.
Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist moved into a tie for
sixth place on the NHL's career wins list and the Rangers beat the Chicago
Blackhawks 4-3 Thursday night for their third victory in four games.
The Rangers won nine of 11 to move to 12-8-2 heading into Thanksgiving, but
then followed that with just five wins in 21 games (5-11-5). Now, coming off a
6-2 win over Carolina on Tuesday night, New York has consecutive wins for only
the second time since a three-game streak Nov. 17-21.
"I think guys are just sick of losing," coach David Quinn said. "Sometimes you
employ your will in those situations and just make sure you do everything you
can under your control to make sure that you get your job done and do your
part. ... I think we've done a better job of that over the last few games."
Mats Zuccarello, Filip Chytil and Mika Zibanejad also scored for New York. The
line of Zibanejad, Zuccarello and Kreider has totaled nine goals and 10 assists
over the last four games.
"We're skating with confidence," Zibanejad said, "just demanding the puck, all
three of us. Just holding onto pucks and making the right plays, not
Lundqvist stopped 24 shots to tie Terry Sawchuk with 445 wins, nine behind
Curtis Joseph for fifth place.
"It's an honor to be up there, getting closer and closer to and already passing
names that meant a lot to me growing up," Lundqvist said. "It's a very cool
Brandon Saad, Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kahun scored for Chicago, which has
lost five straight (0-3-2) and seven of eight. Collin Delia, making his eighth
start of the season, finished with 29 saves.
"We just have to stop giving them chances off our mistakes," DeBrincat said.
"Teams capitalize on that and we've just got to play, battle a full 60 minutes
and not give up those Grade-A chances."
DeBrincat pulled the Blackhawks to 3-2 with his 24th goal on a one-timer off a
pass from Eric Gustafsson at 1:40 of the third period. It was Chicago's second
power-play goal of the night and ninth during a seven-game streak with at least
Delia, 0-2-3 in his last five starts, made a stellar save on Jimmy Vesey in
front about six minutes later, and corralled an attempt by Zuccarello from the
left circle with 7:40 left to keep Chicago within one.
New York went on its first power play of the game less than 30 seconds later
and managed six shots on goal during the advantage, but Delia stopped them all.
Zibanejad scored an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining to give the Rangers
a two-goal lead. Kahun beat Lundqvist from between the circles with 1.5 seconds
left for the final margin.
With the Rangers leading 2-1 after one period, Zibanejad appeared to push the
lead to two a little more than seven minutes into the second, but his goal was
overturned after a coach's challenge for offside.
Kreider put New York up 3-1 on his 22nd with 6:51 left in the middle period
after Zuccarello's centering pass for Brady Skjei was deflected by Chicago
defenseman Duncan Keith.
Saad got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard first with a power-play goal 5:41
into the game, putting in a rebound of Artem Anisimov's deflection off a post
for his 14th.
Chytil tied it with 6:40 left in the first as he picked up a loose puck in the
defensive zone, skated up the right side, sped around fellow 19-year-old Henri
Jokiharju, skated in on Delia and fired the puck into the top right corner for
The Rangers went ahead a little more than four minutes later when Zuccarello
knocked in a deflection off a post by Kreider with 2:22 left in the period. It
was Zuccarello's eighth goal of the season, and fourth in the last four games.
"We had a couple of letdowns, mental errors," Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton
said. "I thought we played really well at the beginning of the game, scored the
first goal and things are going well. And then we end up down 2-1. Again, we're
playing uphill after that."
NOTES: Patrick Kane had an assist on DeBrincat's goal, extending his point
streak to seven games (10 assists, 15 points). It was his 554th career assist,
tying Doug Wilson for third place in franchise history. Stan Mikita leads with
926 and Denis Savard is second with 719. ... Rangers forward Kevin Hayes missed
his eighth straight game due to an upper-body injury. ... Zuccarello, who had a
career-high three assists in New York's 6-2 win against Carolina on Tuesday
night, extended his point streak to four games.
Blackhawks: Host the Washington Capitals on Sunday to open a two-game homestand
before the All-Star Game.
Rangers: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday night in their final game before the
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