It is the biggest win not only because they beat the best team, but because the Rangers played with confidence throughout the entire game and because Henrik Lundqvist stood tall when he needed to.
Lundqvist’s struggles this season are well-documented, and he allowed another soft goal in this game. Other than that, he made enormous saves when his team needed him the most, especially in the final two minutes of the game. His biggest save of the game came when he robbed Jonathan Toews on the doorstep with his right pad during a Chicago power play midway through the third period.
The Rangers also dominated the Blackhawks in stretches of the game, something unfathomable before tonight. They clearly outplayed and outworked the defending champs in the first period, and were the more assertive and opportunistic team in the third.
Any Ranger fan would have signed up for at least one point in the standings in this game, but Carl Hagelin‘s late goal made sure their team came away with two.
This win also places the Rangers back in a playoff spot, and for the 100th time this season, it is hopefully the confidence-builder they have searched for all season; hopefully it is also the confidence-builder Lundqvist needs. He needs to be the Rangers’ best player the rest of the season, and if he is playing at an elite level, the rest of the team may follow suit.
Is it the Rangers’ signature win of the season? There’s still plenty of time to determine that. For now though, it is the biggest win of their season, bar none.