Khabibulin, the NHL's highest-paid goalie, stopped 30 shots and
Tyler Arnason scored a power-play goal 1:20 into overtime to give
the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on
"The first star of the game was Khabibulin," Arnason said.
"He kept us in it, playing against a good team. We found a way to
win it in the end."
With Martin Rucinksy serving a double minor for high sticking,
Arnason drove to the net and fired a shot between the legs of
goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Khabibulin gave Arnason a chance to win it by stopping many
prime, close-in chances in the second and third periods.
Khabibulin, who signed a four-year, $27 million contract with the
Blackhawks in August, turned in his most impressive effort since
leaving the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning this summer.
Arnason's goal was his first since Nov. 2, a span of 14 games.
"I haven't been scoring lately, so I tried not to aim it too
much," Arnason said. "I just shot it as hard as I possibly could
and it found a way in."
Only a second-period shot by Petr Prucha got by Khabibulin.
Prucha and Chicago's Jaroslav Spacek had the only goals in
regulation, scoring 18 seconds apart midway through the middle
The Rangers were hurt by their power play, failing on all nine
"That's not what we want to happen against that team because
the power play is very dangerous," Khabibulin said. "But I think
our penalty killing did a very good job and we scored a goal on the
The Rangers were impressed with Khabibulin, but not with their
own efforts during manpower advantages.
"I don't think we brought the puck up with any purpose or
intensity," New York coach Tom Renney said. "As you get
frustrated with the power play and things go on, you start to try
to manufacture things that aren't there."
Patrick Sharp, acquired from Philadelphia on Monday, played his
first game with the Blackhawks. He skated on a line with Arnason
and Rene Bourque.
Neither team generated sustained offensive pressure in a
scoreless first period.
The Rangers enjoyed 3:49 of consecutive power-play time late in
the frame but had only one good chance during the span when Steve
Rucchin hit the right post.
"It's tough the way we played," said Lundqvist, who finished
with 17 saves. "I think we should have had the two points. I think
we had our best chances 5-on-5, but Khabibulin was good in the net,
especially in the third."
Sharp had a point-blank chance with 3 minutes left in the
period, but was stopped by Lundqvist.
Prucha opened the scoring at 8:53 of the second.
Pressured by New York's Michael Nylander along the right wing
boards, Chicago defenseman Jim Vandermeer passed the puck onto
Prucha's stick just inside the Blackhawks blue line. Prucha cruised
in alone and fired a shot past Khabibulin.
Spacek tied it 1-all just seconds later. Trailing in late on a
rush, Spacek took Matthew Barnaby's cross-ice feed and beat
Lundqvist from the left circle.
Khabibulin used a right pad save to stop New York's Ryan Hollweg
on a breakaway with 7:45 left in the second.
The Rangers then wasted a four-minute power play late in the
period when Khabibulin was given a double minor for slashing and
roughing New York's Jason Ward.
Khabibulin stopped Prucha's point-blank chance 3:10 into the
third after Prucha slipped around the Chicago defense.
He stopped Prucha again and Ward on close-in chances about 8
minutes into the third. With 6:09 left in regulation, Khabibulin
made a point-blank toe save on Tom Poti.
New York G Kevin Weekes dressed as Lundqvist's backup after
missing four games with an injured left ankle. ... Rangers forwards
Ville Nieminen and Marcel Hossa, and defenseman Maxim Kondratiev
were healthy scratches. ... Chicago D Adrian Aucoin missed his
second straight game with a groin injury. RW Pavel Vorobiev sat out
his fourth straight with an ankle injury. ... Chicago D Anton
Babchuk played his first NHL game this season after being recalled
from Norfolk of the AHL on Monday. ... Chicago D Jassen Cullimore
injured a groin in the second period and didn't return.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: United Center Location: Chicago, Illinois
Referees: Dave Jackson, Dennis LaRue Linesmen: Derek Nansen, Anthony Sericolo
Attendance: 15,629 (79.3% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Petr Prucha (10)
Assist: Michael Nylander
Jaroslav Spacek (4)
Assists: Matthew Barnaby, Jim Dowd