Blackhawks Fall To Rangers In Season Opener

Michael WagnerSenior Analyst IOctober 10, 2008

The New York Rangers showed why they are a team to be feared tonight versus the Chicago Blackhawks and why Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best goalies in the NHL today. 

For the Blackhawks was it first game just jitters or just having to face a top team in the East right off the bat? Probably a little of both, the Blackhawks had some good chances but were unable to capitalize. That is what separated the two teams in tonight's game, the Rangers were able to convert on scoring chances and the Blackhawks were not.

The presence of Brian Campbell was apparent early with the beautiful pass off of the net to Patrick Kane in the first period to tie the game at one but in the second period they 'Hawks were not as lucky.

In the second the 'Hawks were unable to put the puck on net or get good scoring chances until about the 5 minute mark or the 2nd period when Jack Skille got in an altercation with Paul Mara of the Rangers. The 'Hawks were then able to put up a few good scoring chances but were shut down by Henrik Lundqvist.

In the third the 'Hawks played better and were able to cut deficit to one after a beautiful pass from Dustin Byfuglien to Duncan Keith for the goal. But just moments later Nikolai Zherdev was able to net a slap shot on Huet to put the Rangers up two once again.

The strange part about the game tonight was that the 'Hawks were with only five defensemen for final two periods after coach Denis Savard benched Niklas Hjalmarsson after the first period. It is unknown why Savard benched Hjalmarsson, if I get anymore details I will pass them on.

The two newest Hawks had two different openers, Huet was quite shaky in net but Brian Campbell was very good, he created scoring chances and did what the 'Hawks wanted him to do.

Tonight the 'Hawks will travel to Washington D.C. for tomorrow nights game versus the Washington Capitals. Even thought this is Huet's former team look for Khabibulin to possibly get the start versus the Caps. 

See you tomorrow night in Washington.

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