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 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.