Al Secord scored his 41st goal of the season in the first period and linemate Denis Savard broke a second-period tie yesterday in Chicago to help the Black Hawks to their fifth straight victory, a 4-1 decision over the faltering New York Rangers.
"With only 16 shots on net, you can't expect to beat anybody," said Rangers Coach Herb Brooks, whose team has won only one of its last 13 games, losing eight. "We've had a great deal of difficulty keeping the puck in the offensive zone."
The Black Hawks, winning their 35th game against 14 losses and seven ties, are now five points over last year's finish. They lost to the Rangers all three times the two teams met last year.
Chicago opened the scoring midway through the opening period when Savard dumped the puck into the New York zone. Steve Larmer went behind the net and fed Secord, who wristed a shot past Ranger goalie Ed Mio.
Mio later said Savard made the difference for the Black Hawks.
"Denis Savard, like Wayne Gretzky, creates all kinds of situations and makes things happen," Mio said of the Montreal-born center. "That's why the Hawks were able to dominate us.
"He is the kind of player who not only dominates a game, but is instrumental in helping his linemates achieve great success," Mio added.
The Rangers got on the scoreboard midway through the second period when center Chris Kantos took a pass from Dave Maloney and beat Tony Esposito from 15 feet with his sixth goal of the year.