Brassard’s OT goal gives Rangers 1-0 win over Blackhawks

CHICAGO (AP) — Derick Brassard scored 32 seconds into overtime and Cam Talbot made 29 saves for his fifth shutout of the season in the New York Rangers’ 1-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

Brassard swooped in from left wing and fired a shot past Corey Crawford on the stick side after taking a cross-ice feed from Mats Zuccarello.

The Rangers moved within a point of the first-place New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.

Talbot was sharp in his 15th start in 16 games since No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been sidelined with a neck injury. Talbot has eight career shutouts.

Crawford finished with 35 saves after stopping a career-high 46 shots Friday night in a 2-1 shootout win over Edmonton.

While Lundqvist has been out with the vascular injury — a condition that resulted from being hit with a shot Jan. 31 — New York has gone 11-2-3 to challenge for first place in the Metropolitan and Eastern Conference.

Chicago failed to convert any of four power plays, while New York couldn’t connect on its two.

The Blackhawks fell to 3-2 without injured leading scorer Patrick Kane.

The Blackhawks had the only two power plays in the up-tempo first, but the Rangers dominated and outshot Chicago 16-8 in the period. Crawford had to make several tough saves, including a point-blank stop on James Sheppard’s stuff-in attempt, when he cut into the crease from the side of the net.

The Blackhawks picked up their pace in the second. Chicago fired eight shots at Talbot, while not allowing any in the opening 10 minutes of the frame.

New York pushed back later in the period. Crawford snuffed a prime chance by Martin St. Louis, when he skated across the crease alone, with 5:35 left. Talbot then stopped Joakim Nordstrom with about 3 minutes left from a scrum at the side of the net.

The teams tightened up play for much of the third, waiting to capitalize on a mistake that might decide it. Both goalies compensated for any errors.

Crawford made a close-in stick save on Jesper Fast just under 3 minutes into the third following a Chicago turnover. Talbott stopped slumping Patrick Sharp’s rebound attempt at 6:05. Sharp has gone 18 games without a goal and has only two assists in his last 17.

Crawford made three tough saves about 15 seconds apart with just over 7 minutes left. He dove to stop Chris Kreider, who was in alone, then denied St. Louis’s initial shot from the slot and Derek Stepan on a rebound.

Chicago killed off a late New York power play in the third to send it to overtime.

NOTES: Slumping Blackhawks LW Bryan Bickell sat out his first game this season as a healthy scratch. In his last 12 games, Bickell has just one goal, his only point in the stretch. … Lundqvist has resumed skating and has been able to face low shots in practice, but his return date isn’t yet known. … A scoreboard video presentation of Blackhawks D Duncan Keith helping 5-year-old fan Cammy Babiarz skate and score a goal at the team’s practice facility drew an ovation from fans and a stick-slap salute from the Rangers players. Babiarz, who suffers from Rett Syndrome and is unable to walk or speak, was at Sunday’s game in a Blackhawks jersey. Cheers from the crowd of 22,160 peaked when arena cameras panned in on her.

This article was written by MATT CARLSON from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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