Mrazek, Mantha help Red Wings down Blackhawks

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You kind of get the feeling that teams heading onto their mandatory week off would like to start forgoing that last game before the break.

The Winnipeg Jets lost 4-1 in the game they failed to show up to on Saturday. On Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets got trounced 5-2 in the game before they got a break.

And on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks seemed checked out in a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, a team who played 24 hours earlier and lost handily 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hell, even Jeff Glass couldn’t save the Blackhawks, who got outworked from what seemed like the opening puck drop.

Dylan Larkin gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the first period.

Andreas Athanasiou showed his speed as he worked past Blackhawks’ defenders down low, before sliding a pass out to Larkin, who was perched in the slot.

Larkin made no mistake, given the opportunity, as he notched his seventh of the season.

Mike Green showed why he was named an NHL all-star this past week for the Red Wings second goal, which doubled their advantage just over two minutes later.

Gustav Nyquist gained the Blackhawks’ zone and dropped a pass to Anthony Mantha, who took one look to Green and fed him a cross-ice pass that Green one-timed past and outstretched Glass.

It was Green’s 25th point of the season, and couple with his all-star nod, Green, who is set to become a free agent in the offseason, keeps building a case for himself to be traded to a contender when the deadline comes around.

Mantha grabbed his second point of the game in the third period as he joined the rush off the bench.

Mantha let Henrik Zetterberg know he was flying into the zone starting from the time he jumped onto the ice, and Zetterberg dropped the puck to Mantha, allowing for a nice wrist shot that beat Glass high for a 3-0 lead.

Tyler Bertuzzi, the nephew of Todd who came into the game without his first-career NHL goal, checked that item off his to-do list later in the period.

Bertuzzi parked himself in front of Glass’s doorstep and whacked home a rebound after Nick Jensen‘s shot from the slot was saved.

Meanwhile, Petr Mrazek kept things tidy in the crease for the Red Wings, stopping all 27 shots he faced.

The Blackhawks didn’t test him all that much, but Mrazek, who has struggled this season, turned aside 12 third-period shots en route to the win.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

The Buzzer: Glass legend grows, Athanasiou’s quick strike

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Players of the Night:

Jeff Glass, Chicago Blackhawks: Glass continues to do things that he probably shouldn’t be doing. He’s a 32-year-old rookie netminder who only played his first NHL game a few days ago. Now, the Calgary native is 2-0-1 and performing admirably in the absence of Corey Crawford.

Andreas Athanasiou, Detroit Red Wings: On paper, Athanasiou beat the Ottawa Senators, scoring the regulation marker and then the overtime winner, which was pretty epic.

Highlights of the Night:

What can you say? There were only two games on Wednesday and history was matched in one of them:

MISC:

Scores:

Red Wings 2, Senators 1 (OT)

Blackhawks 5, Rangers 2


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Glass, Blackhawks outlast Rangers on Rivalry Night

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The legend of Jeff Glass continued to grow on Wednesday night.

The 32-year-old rookie NHL goalie turned aside 23-of-25 shots for his second win in his third start, a 5-2 win for the Chicago Blackhawks over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Glass’ story is a great one.

The Calgary native finally made his NHL debut on Dec. 29 after spending his professional career in the American Hockey League and Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, including a cozy stint in Siberia.

Glass, a 2004 third-round pick by the Ottawa Senators and a famed member of Team Canada’s legendary world junior team, made 42 saves in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers and made another 35 in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Flames two nights later.

It’s a big win for Chicago, who leap-frogged the Colorado Avalanche out of the basement in the Central Division. The Blackhawks hadn’t fared well on their current six-game road trip, coming into Wednesday’s game with a 1-3-1 record.

The Central has been a notoriously tough division to claw back in, so points are as precious as gold in the second half of the season for the Blackhawks, who don’t have a lot of wiggle room left.

The Blackhawks began on the right foot, with Vinnie Hinostroza putting home a feed from Jonathan Toews for a 1-0 lead late in the first period, but it was shortlived.

The Rangers would find their first equalizer of the night before the period was out.

Nick Holden ripped a point shot past Glass two minutes after Hinostroza’s opener. The Rangers did well to cycle the puck down low, and a deft touch by Paul Carey to get it on the stick of Holden gave the latter enough time to pick his spot, low and to the block side on Glass.

Chicago regained the lead through a weird goal in the second period.

Patrick Kane sprung Nick Schmaltz on a partial break, and his initial shot was saved by Lundqvist. But Marc Staal was shoved from behind and into subsequently into the net by Ryan Hartman, hitting the lose puck behind Lundqvist into the goal as he flew into the back of it.

The goal was reviewed and it counted, restoring a 2-1 lead.

As they did in the second frame, New York found an equalizer.

With Brent Seabrook serving two or less for cross-checking, and after Glass fired the puck over the boards for a delay of game call, Mika Zibanejad wired home a one-timer on the ensuing 5-on-3 to tie the game 2-2.

Chicago’s other Patrick — Patrick Sharp — broke the deadlock 2:24 into the third period, firing home a beautiful wrist shot high and over Lundqvist’s glove hand for a 3-2 lead.

Chicago added two empty-netters, one by Jonathan Toews and another by Kane.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

NHL on NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry: The Jeff Glass experience continues vs. Rangers

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season continues with Wednesday Night Rivalry as the New York Rangers host the Chicago Blackhawks at 8 p.m. ET. To watch the game online, click here.

A road trip that began before Christmas will end on Wednesday night in New York City as the Blackhawks visit the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The time away from home hasn’t been kind to Joel Quenneville’s charges, who are 1-3-1 on the current trip.

The three points gained out out a possible 10 have positioned Chicago four points out of a Western Conference wild card spot. The good news for them is that after Wednesday eight of their next 11 games will be at United Center where they have a 10-5-2 record this season.

[WATCH WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY LIVE – 8PM ET]

While Henrik Lundqvist is once again expected between the pipes for New York, the Blackhawks will be going with a goaltender they found on this trip as Corey Crawford gets back to 100 percent health on injured reserve.

The Jeff Glass story is a great one. The 32-year-old Calgary native finally made his NHL debut on Dec. 29 after spending his professional career in the American Hockey League and Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. Glass, a 2004 third-round pick by the Ottawa Senators, made 42 saves in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers and made another 35 in a 4-3 loss to the Flames two nights later.

Who knows how long it’ll last, but Glass has given this Blackhawks team something to rally around as they try to climb back up the standings in hopes not missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

“It’s just hockey,” Glass said last week via the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve been doing this for a while, even though it was my first game in this league the other night. I like to think that’s the edge I have over other young guys — maybe I’m a different kind of rookie, and I’m OK with that.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Marleau continues to turn back the clock; Vegas continues to rewrite record book

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Players of the Night: 

Patrick Marleau, Toronto Maple Leafs: Marleau scored two more goals, his 13th and 14th goals of the season. It was the 67th multi-goal game of his long career. It’s been a great season for the former Sharks forward. The man is timeless, everyone. Timeless.

James Reimer, Florida Panthers: Reimer stopped 29 of 31 shots for his fourth consecutive win. Reimer has put up a .935 save percentage or better in each of those four games.

Sam Gagner and Thomas Vanek, Vancouver Canucks: Each player had a pair of goals to their respective names in a 5-2 win for the Canucks over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Highlights of the Night: 

Marleau’s second goal of the game came off a pretty slick deke after getting the puck alone in front:

Derek MacKenzie goal finished off this slick cross-ice pass. It was a short-handed goal to boot.

Nikita Kucherov‘s no-look pass found Steven Stamkos for some Sedin-like magic:

Joonas Donskoi in a short film that needs no explanation:

Factoids of the Night: 

James Reimer is doing things in Florida:

Brock Boeser is re-writing the Canucks’ rookie record book:

MISC: 

Scores:

Lightning 3, Canadiens 1

Capitals 4, Bruins 3 (SO)

Panthers 3, Flyers 2

Maple Leafs 7, Coyotes 4

Canucks 5, Blackhawks 2

Golden Knights 3, Kings 2 (OT)

Sharks 3, Flames 2 (OT)


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck