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10 observations: Offensive struggles continue for wounded Blackhawks in loss to Rangers

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The offensive struggles continued to the Chicago Blackhawks, who fell to the New York Rangers 4-1 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks had only 17 shots on goal through about 55 minutes before having quite a few looks in the final minutes of regulation. They couldn't generated much offense. They have just two goals in the last three games. Not much of a surprise given the wounded roster and going up against a Stanley Cup contender like the Rangers.

2. Tuesday in Nashville marked the third time this season that Connor Bedard recorded zero shots on goal in a game; Chicago has been shut out in all three of those games. Probably not a coincidence. The Blackhawks go as No. 98 goes. He was a little more noticeable in this game, although he's surely upset with himself for the blue-line turnover on New York's first goal.

3. By the way, Bedard will be the Blackhawks' representative at the 2024 NHL All-Star Game. He is set to become the youngest All-Star in league history at 18 years and 202 days old. Well-deserved, and the first of very many.

4. Colin Blackwell scored his first goal of the season in the second period to trim Chicago's deficit to 2-1, and it briefly gave his team some life. The Rangers had gained some serious momentum before that goal. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, the second period ended shortly after that and they couldn't build on it.

5. The Blackhawks have given up at least one goal on the power play in 15 straight road games. The Chris Kreider goal was reviewed for a kicking motion but it stood. I didn't mind the call, even though it looked like it was going to go Chicago's way. Even Kreider didn't seem convinced it was a goal.

6. Petr Mrazek has been much better at home this season than on the road. He kept his team in it through two periods, and I originally thought the Jacob Trouba 38-foot shot that found its way in early in the third period to put the Rangers ahead 3-1 was a soft goal. But it sure looked like the puck went off Philipp Kurashev's stick, which changed the direction of the shot. Still, that goal felt like the dagger.

7. Artemi Panarin has appeared in 37 games this season. He's recorded at least one point in all but six of them after scoring his 24th goal of the season against Chicago and adding an assist. Still taking me a while to get used to him having no hair flowing out of his helmet.

8. The Blackhawks claimed defenseman Jaycob Megna off waivers from Seattle on Wednesday. He made his team debut and skated on the second pairing with Alex Vlasic. He's another very big body at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds. The Blackhawks needed someone to come in and provide some depth. Megna's stretch pass on the Blackwell goal was beautiful. He was credited with a secondary assist.

9. The Rangers lead the NHL with 53 points despite going into Thursday's matchup with a -2 goal differential during 5-on-5 action. They rank No. 1 in power play, No. 6 in penalty kill, and No. 9 in save percentage. 

10. Anthony Beauvillier was placed on injured reserve with a left wrist injury he suffered in Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Nashville. He's expected to be out for "a bit," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said. The Blackhawks now have seven players on IR. It's borderline laughable at this point.

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