New York Rangers: Outclassed in 4-1 loss to Chicago Blackhawks

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CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 25: Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers passes under pressure from Dominik Kahun #24 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on October 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In the early stages of a rebuilding season, the New York Rangers are slowly finding their identity. Against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Rangers looked like an outright bad team.

It wasn’t exactly a secret that the New York Rangers were going to struggle during the 2018-2019 season. The team lacked a balanced defense and had serious question marks at the forward position. In the Windy City, New York couldn’t score and couldn’t contain Chicago’s elite players.

As a whole, the only positive to come from the game was the superb play of Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers’ goaltender made 33 of 36 saves in the contest and managed to single-handedly keep his team afloat in the game.

The Blackhawks captain, Jonathan Toews, scored a shade under three minutes into the first period and set the tempo for the game right away. Brady Skjei collided with Adam McQuaid while the pair were skating backward and fell on top of each other. This gave Toews a clear walk in and he tucked the puck past Lundqvist.

New York’s lone goal of the night came about a minute later from Pavel Buchnevich. The forward tucked home a rebound for his third goal of the season to tie the game up at one. However, from there, the game was a bloodbath in terms of offensive chances.

Chicago would go on to score three unanswered goals. The first came on a tap-in from Alexandre Fortin. Nick Schmaltz created the goal with a misdirection play that confused Lundqvist. The forward out waited the goaltender and dished it over to Fortin for the second goal of the game.

In the third period, Patrick Kane scored his ninth goal of the season on a bang-bang play in the crease. The forward was behind Lundqvist in the crease and was able to mash the puck into the back of the net. This goal effectively put the game on ice and forced the Rangers to pull the goalie in hopes of trying to tie the game.

Alex Debrincat tapped home an empty net goal to make the score 4-1. Following the goal, Jimmy Vesey got into a frustration fight with Brandon Manning with less than a minute to go in the game.

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