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Blueshirts' win streak ended at four

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

NEW YORK (AP) - Jonathan Toews scored on a penalty shot to start Chicago's four-goal first period against New York backup Martin Biron, and the Blackhawks emphatically snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers on Thursday night.

Toews kicked off the spree just over a minute in, defenseman Nick Leddy doubled the lead 1:03 later, and Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa added goals to make it 4-0 before 10 minutes had elapsed. Corey Crawford kept things mostly intact the rest of the way, stopping 22 shots to help the Blackhawks earn their first win since they topped Florida on Jan. 20.

Toews and Hossa both added assists in the first period, and defenseman Brent Seabrook set up two goals for the Blackhawks, who scored over three goals in a game only once during their losing streak (0-8-1). Chicago, which had 22 shots, was 0-6-1 during the first seven games of a nine-game trip that ends Saturday at Columbus.

The Rangers went 0 for 7 on the power play and missed a chance to jump over Detroit to the top of the NHL standings as their four-game winning streak was broken. New York had won eight of 10 (8-1-1) to open a seven-point lead in the East over defending Stanley Cup champion Boston.

New York came out much better in the second period, pressuring Crawford and drawing penalties, but the early deficit was too much to overcome. Defenseman Marc Staal wrecked Crawford's hopes of a shutout when he brought the Rangers to 4-1 at 3:04 of the second period with his first goal of the season.

Carl Hagelin scored with 4:45 left to make it 4-2.

Crawford bounced back from a loss to San Jose on Friday night, in which he gave up five goals on 27 shots, and won for the first time since Jan. 18. Ray Emery was the starter and loser in the Blackhawks' previous two games.

Even with their long skid, the Blackhawks are still in a playoff position in the West, sitting in sixth place.

They weathered the Rangers' second-period surge and overcome a near second goal for New York. The Rangers thought Marian Gaborik shoved a shot in, but the puck sat on the goal line and wasn't pushed all the way into the net by Ryan Callahan until after the whistle blew.

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