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

Derick Brassard of the New York Rangers celebrates

Derick Brassard of the New York Rangers celebrates his game-winning goal in overtime with teammate Ryan McDonagh against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on March 8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Credit: Getty Images

CHICAGO - The Rangers hadn't shut out the Blackhawks since 1969, when Ed Giacomin turned the trick. "That's longer than my scoring drought," center Derick Brassard joked.

Both streaks ended Sunday night when Brassard stepped into a slap shot from the left circle and beat Corey Crawford 32 seconds into overtime to give the Rangers a 1-0 win.

"There was no way that I could score on the glove side, so I just tried to go short side, and it worked," said Brassard, who took a cross-ice pass from linemate Mats Zuccarello. "I hadn't scored in decades."

Actually, it was 15 games since Brassard had found the net, but his goal rewarded a terrific 29-save performance from Cam Talbot -- his fifth shutout of the season -- and an equally forceful penalty kill by the Rangers. They stifled all four Blackhawks power plays, allowing only two shots.

"We watched their power play and it seemed they didn't handle pressure well," Marc Staal said. "So we wanted to be aggressive, not sit back."

It was the second straight overtime game for the Rangers, who lost to Detroit, 2-1, on Wednesday.

"Any time you go into buildings like Joe Louis, it's a battle," said Talbot, whose teammates blocked 18 shots. "Any time you come into this building and grind one out, it feels really good. We really did a good job in our zone shutting them down and not giving them the second and third opportunities they thrive on."

The Rangers (87 points) moved within a point of the first-place Islanders in the Metropolitan Division and have three games in hand. The Islanders visit Toronto Monday night and host the Rangers Tuesday night in the rivals' final regular-season game at Nassau Coliseum.

The Rangers (40-17-7) have won at least 40 games for the fourth straight full season and the eighth time in the last nine full seasons. They won 38 in 2009-10.

"This was another playoff-type game, where every inch on the ice was battled extremely hard," coach Alain Vigneault said. "We took it to overtime. It doesn't get much tighter than that. We got one more goal than they did."

With the game scoreless after two periods, each team had superb chances in the third.

Crawford, who made 35 saves, stopped Jesper Fast's one-timer just before the three-minute mark. Talbot robbed Patrick Sharp's rebound attempt with his glove at 6:05 after stopping a long shot from former Ranger Brad Richards. Keith Yandle's rebound of Fast's wrister was denied by Crawford. With about seven minutes to play, Crawford stopped Chris Kreider with an extended right pad at the post, then denied Derek Stepan in the crease.

Talbot's early saves and two penalty kills by the Rangers kept the game scoreless in the first period. Talbot gloved Brandon Saad's two-on-one shot at 1:37 and blocked Teuvo Teravainen's slapper before Staal was sent off for hooking Saad at 3:12. Starting at 8:23, the Rangers began to take over in shots.

Carl Hagelin's wrister was stopped, and Dan Boyle's shot went off Crawford's shoulder, but Staal couldn't convert the rebound.

With 8:17 left, Crawford stopped James Sheppard twice with his pad in front as the Rangers doubled the Blackhawks in shots during the first 20 minutes, 16-8. The Blackhawks outshot the Rangers 12-5 in the second period and the Rangers had to fight off two more power plays.


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