Byfuglien's OT goal lifts Hawks win over Rangers
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
Dustin Byfuglien wasn't going to let a dominating performance by the Chicago Blackhawks
go to waste.
Byfuglien went coast-to-coast before tucking the puck past Henrik Lundqvist
3:43 into overtime, giving the Hawks a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers
on Wednesday night.
Chris Higgins gave the Rangers the lead by beating Cristobal Huet
at 12:10 of the opening period. Lundqvist made the lead stand up until Jonathan Toews
jammed home a power-play goal off a scramble with 5:55 remaining in regulation.
Byfuglien then won it when he picked up the puck after Duncan Keith
blocked Vaclav Prospal's shot, raced down the left side, beat defenseman Matt Gilroy and slid the puck through Lundqvist's legs for the winner.
"We might as well take the two points instead of one," Byfuglien said after scoring on Chicago's 41st shot of the night.
The Rangers, who've lost five of their lasts six, managed just 18 shots and spent most of the night watching the Hawks race around their zone firing pucks at Lundqvist.
"We liked the way we played all game," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had a lot of zone time and we did some good things and finally got rewarded. He played a heck of a game in net for them.
"I thought from start to finish, this was the kind of game we were hoping to play. We didn't have a lot of production to show for it, but that's the kind of thing that leads to scoring goals."
The Rangers were outshot 16-5 in the opening period and 7-1 in the third. Lundqvist spent the night fending off wave after wave of red shirts, much to the consternation of his coach.
"They had the puck the whole night," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "When we had opportunities to keep a puck, we didn't do it. We weren't strong enough to take it away from them. They were in our blue (crease) all night long."
Lundqvist was about the only Ranger who got any praise from his coach.
"He was about the only one who played," Tortorella said of his goaltender. "Offense isn't my concern tonight. My concern tonight is a level of competing which was void as far as I'm concerned. If guys thought they were trying tonight, they're in for a rude awakening."
Higgins put the Rangers ahead when he took a perfect cross-ice pass from Marian Gaborik
and ripped a shot from just above the left dot that caught the far corner past Huet.
Lundqvist made 30 saves through two periods before the Rangers started a procession to the penalty box in the third. They killed off two Chicago power plays but were unable to make it through the third -- Toews jammed the puck high into the net after a scramble that saw Lundqvist make two saves before the Chicago captain was able to tie the game.
"I thought we stuck with it," Quenneville said. "We didn't try to do too many fancy things in the offensive zone."
Byfuglien then won it with his spectacular OT goal.
"That's the best team we've played all year long, so you have to give them some credit," Tortorella said after his team, now 14-14-2, lost for the second game in a row. "I haven't
Been upset with the effort the last couple of games -- I think we played well. We stunk tonight, and we still got a point."
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.