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Out of sight: Rangers spoil Blackhawks’ banner night

The Rangers won in Chicago in Wednesday’s season opener, denying the Blackhawks further celebration after raising the Stanley Cup banner to the rafters of the United Center.

Chicago seemingly tied it 3-3 with about a minute left in the third period, but it was not to be.

Instead, the Rangers held on - barely - to spoil Chicago’s championship celebration by a final score of 3-2.

(Quick aside: it seems like defending champions struggle on these types of evenings more often than not, doesn’t it?)

The box score will tell you what you need to know about a nice night for young players like Artemi Panarin, and so on.

Many will linger on what might have been a blown call, though, and understandably so.

Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation:

At 19:00 of the third period in the Rangers/Blackhawks game, the referee closest to the net informed the Situation Room that he was in the process of blowing his whistle when the puck was under Henrik Lundqvist’s pad and before the puck crossed the New York goal line. According to Rule 78.5, apparent goals shall be disallowed “when the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle.” This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee’s call on the ice stands - no goal Chicago.

Aside: shall we replace bulletin board material with banner-raising material?