The magic numbers was 11 for the Rangers on Wednesday night, as the visitors escaped the United Center with a 3-2 victory.
The three scorers for the Rangers – Brad Richards, Mats Zuccarello and Carl Hagelin – each scored their 11th goal of the season. But it was the 11 saves made by Henrik Lundqvist in the third period that preserved the regulation win.
Corey Crawford had a rough first period, allowing two soft goals while facing only nine shots. After the first intermission he was exceptional, though, stopping 22 of 23 Rangers shots. Unfortunately, his teammates couldn’t get a third shot past Lundqvist before time expired and he took the loss.
In the game, Crawford stopped 29 of 32 shots; Lundqvist made 35 saves on 37 Chicago shots.
Jonathan Toews got the Hawks on the board with a power play goal – his 16th tally of the season – at 6:17 into the second. Brandon Bollig scored his fourth of the season less than two minutes later to tie the game, but that would be the sum of the Chicago offense for the night.
During the game, coach Joel Quenneville swapped centers Marcus Kruger and Michal Handzus, moving Kruger up to the second line between Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg. Kruger only skated 14:21 in the game, winning half of his 14 faceoffs and was credited with an assist on Bollig’s goal. Handzus skated 12:12 and won four of only six draws.
Bollig, in spite of his goal, skated a team-low 7:46 in the game. Ben Smith was the only other Hawks forward held under 10 minutes in the game, skating 7:57 on the night. Smith was credited with one blocked shot and one hit, and won all three of his faceoffs while skating only 13 shifts.
On the blue line, Quenneville spread out the ice time. Duncan Keith, who was credited with an assist on Toews’ goal, led the team but only skated 22:32. Niklas Hjalmarsson (21:32) was the only other defenseman over 20 minutes in the game. Brent Seabrook (16:56) was held to the lowest ice time total for the Hawks’ defensemen on the night.
Kane and Keith led the team with two takeaways each, while four Hawks were credited with a team-leading two hits each. Kane was also credited with two blocked shots in the game, one behind Johnny Oduya’s team-high three blocks; Andrew Shaw, who created good traffic in front of Lundqvist on Toews’ power play goal, was credited with a team-high six shots on net.
After the game, Quenneville expressed some frustration.
“We have too many guys right now not contributing to the level we saw most of the season,” he said.
For the Rangers, Olympian Derek Stepan won only seven of 21 faceoffs while Richards had the only multi-point game on either roster (one goal, one assist).