Rangers stopped by Blackhawks 1-0
NEW YORK (AP) -- Brad Richards broke a scoreless deadlock 7:19 into the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks cooled off goalie Cam Talbot and the surging New York Rangers 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Right after Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle rang a shot off the crossbar behind Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling, Richards got the puck in front of the New York net, waited patiently and snapped a shot past Talbot for his 11th goal.
The Blackhawks stretched their winning streak to four and snapped the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers' winning run at five games.
Richards, a member of the Rangers last season, has five career goals against New York. That was enough to make a winner of Darling, who played for just the third time since Dec. 13. He made 25 saves to improve to 7-3 and earn his first NHL shutout in 10 career games.
New York has scored only 11 goals in its past seven games.
Talbot, who stopped 30 shots, had been 5-0-1 with a 1.00 goals-against average in his previous six games. He hasn't allowed more than two goals in a game in his last seven appearances. The Rangers fell to 15-4-2 since No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist was forced out of the lineup by a neck injury.
Lundqvist has been cleared to return to practice and is getting closer to rejoining the lineup.
Much like the previous meeting between these teams on March 8, goals were tough to come by. Talbot got the best of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford in that one, a 1-0 Rangers victory on Derick Brassard's overtime goal.
Chicago had scoring chances in the first period of the rematch, but failed to convert on a pair of power plays.
Jonathan Toews, who had two goals and two assists Tuesday in the Blackhawks' 4-1 home victory over the New York Islanders, nearly gave Chicago the lead with 13:02 left in the first, but his chance at the right post during a power play was snagged by Talbot's glove.
Richards was denied 1:23 later during the same man advantage when Talbot blocked his shot from the slot and covered the rebound.
Darling matched his New York counterpart and turned aside a couple of chances in close. Dominic Moore then slid the puck into the net, but the goal didn't count because the whistle had already sounded.
Rick Nash also got in tight later in the period, only to be denied by Darling.
There was a moment of confusion with 9:29 left in the second when Derek Stepan's drive hit the side of the net to Darling's right. Fans behind the goalie thought the puck had gone in and began cheering. The spotlight operator also was fooled and shined lights in the crease.
NOTES: A video highlighting Richards' time with the Rangers was shown during the first period. It ended with the words "Once a Ranger, Always a Ranger." Richards acknowledged cheers from the crowd with a wave from the bench. ... Lundqvist will remain out for at least another week as he begins practicing with teammates and gets back into game shape. ... Rangers RW Martin St. Louis (knee) missed his first game of the season.
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