New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot makes a save during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford makes a save during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
CHICAGO — Derick Brassard snapped out of a goal drought when it really mattered.
Brassard connected 32 seconds into overtime to end a 14-game streak without a goal 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. That moved the Rangers within a point of the first-place New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.
Brassard had 13 assists since his last goal, on Feb. 4 against Boston, but he said beating Crawford just inside the left post, was sweet — and went according to plan.
"There's no way there I could score on the glove side, so I just tried to go short side and it worked," Brassard said. "It felt pretty good. I hadn't scored in decades. I'm just happy we came here and won the game. We know they're a power team in the West."
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 and, on Sunday, backstopped the Rangers first blanking of the Blackhawks since Jan. 25, 1969, when Ed Giacomin was in nets.
"I didn't know that until right now," Talbot said. "That says a lot about how we played tonight, coming into a tough building against one of the best teams, and really doing a good job in our zone, shutting them down, not giving them the second and third opportunities that they thrive on."
Crawford finished with 35 saves after stopping a career-high 46 shots Friday night in a 2-1 shootout win over Edmonton.
"(Crawford) made some key saves at the end," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've had some success over the year in the overtime, not tonight."
"I thought, as far as the chances go, both ways it was a pretty even game. But (Brassard's goal) was the game."
Chicago dropped to 12-6 in games decided in overtime, while New York improved to 8-7. In earning a point, the Blackhawks closed to within five of first-place Nashville and within three of second-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
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.
"Though this stretch without him, we've found ways to win hockey games," Brassard said.
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.
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