7 takeaways from the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers, including a hard-knock lesson for Connor Bedard

NEW YORK — The Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers started with a blast from the past.

Ex-Hawk Artemi Panarin walloped a one-timer past Petr Mrázek in the first period to put the Rangers up 1-0. Vincent Trocheck bowled over Connor Bedard and broke out with the puck, then hit Alexis Lafrenière, who made a beautiful seam pass to Panarin.

The Rangers padded their lead to 2-0 on a second-period power-play goal by Chris Kreider, which was upheld after a review found he didn’t kick the puck into the net.

However, the Hawks made it a game again when Colin Blackwell potted his first goal of the season with 2:57 left in the period. Blackwell took a feed from Boris Katchouk, rushed straight up the gut and deked Igor Shesterkin.

But the Hawks let hopes for a rally slip away in the third.

After Jason Dickinson’s wraparound try, the Rangers took the next 12 shots on goal, and two hit home. Jacob Trouba snapped a goal 1:31 into the third — a softy that Mrázek didn’t defend as a roof shot.

On the last goal, the Rangers turned the puck in the neutral zone and Will Cuylle set up Jimmy Vesey for a backdoor goal.

“A little of the same as the Nashville game,” coach Luke Richardson said about the Hawks’ 3-0 loss to the Predators on Tuesday. “We had a really good first period, we worked and same thing: We’re having tough luck around the net right now and teams are playing hard.

“This time of the year, they’re starting to get harder around the net, so we’re going to have to get harder to find some goals — a nice goal or one that goes off a foot. We’re going to have to find a way to get that because it seems like we’re playing from behind right now. One mistake goes in our net, even after playing well.”

The Hawks have started the five-game trip with four straight losses, though the first in Dallas came in overtime. They have one last shot Friday in New Jersey before returning to Chicago.

“It’s disappointing,” Blackwell said. “It’s been a tough road trip so far.”

After gaining momentum in the second period, the Hawks failed to carry it over into the third.

“We’ve got to play a full 60 minutes is what we keep preaching,” Blackwell said. “And for whatever reason, it keeps (being) just these short five-, 10-minute spurts where (we’re) not playing together as a whole.

“Ultimately, a good team like (the Rangers) finds some of those holes and capitalizes on it.”

Here are seven takeaways from the loss.

1. For Connor Bedard, it seems like there’s a lid on the net lately.

Late in the first period, the newly minted NHL All-Star had two chances to stuff in a goal from the doorstep.

One was blocked by Erik Gustafsson and the other was shut down by Shesterkin.

Bedard has been shut out of the net for the last four games, but that’s certainly no cause for alarm. What’s more troubling is he has only one power-play goal.

It’s no wonder, given the disorganized display the Hawks power play put on Thursday — particularly in its second opportunity, which played out mostly in the Hawks end because they struggled to keep the zone.

“Our whole power play as a unit, we have to move the puck a little quicker — or a lot quicker — and precise,” Richardson said. “When we make a poor pass, the other team starts jumping, and that’s what we do on our penalty kill.”

Richardson said the players need to demand better execution from each other.

“It’s Connor but it’s the four other guys,” he said. “Five guys are playing against four. You have to move the puck quick and figure out where your two-on-one is where you can attack or shoot the puck.

“We’re not getting there because we’re making too many errant passes, whether it’s on the entry or once we’re set up in the zone.”

2. Colin Blackwell’s first goal of the season was a full-circle moment.

It started with a centering pass from Katchouk from the left wall.

“He waited a little bit until the stick got out of the way of that defenseman and slid it over to me,” Blackwell said. “He made a great play, and I was lucky to finally find the back of the net for the first time in a long time.”

To be exact, it was 10 months and 25 days ago.

Blackwell’s previous goal came against the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 10, 2023, at the United Center. He was waylaid by a troublesome recovery from sports hernia surgery on March 22.

“It’s definitely good” to finally score, Blackwell said. “It’s been a long time coming. I’m still trying to round out my game after missing so much time. I knew eventually it was going to come.

“Just a matter of sticking with some of the little things, watching some film and making sure I’m doing some of the right things.”

3. Jaycob Megna got his first taste with the Hawks.

The newest Hawk, claimed off waivers from the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday, played nearly 16 minutes and paired with Alex Vlasic.

“It was good to get out there with the guys,” he said. “It’s been a long day and a half of travel, but exciting to play some hockey again in this league and exciting to play in this building.”

He was on the ice for the Rangers’ fourth goal, by Jimmy Vesey, but he had the secondary assist on Blackwell’s goal. He set it in motion with a stretch pass to Katchouk from the defensive goal line.

“It was a great quick-up by Megs,” Blackwell said. “They were changing and I was just getting off the bench from a change. I saw the (defenseman) kind of fire it up from the far blue line and (Katchouk) made a great play.”

Richardson said Megna played well.

“He played very confident for a guy that hasn’t played a lot of games this year,” he said. “Good gap and played simple and made a nice play on the goal, moved it up. It was good he could feel like he could adjust and fit in right away.”

4. Bedard got yet another lesson about playing with the big boys.

When he’s having spurts of success, it’s easy to forget he’s an 18-year-old, 5-foot-10, 185-pound rookie.

Trocheck gave him a reminder.

The Rangers center, who’s about Bedard’s size at 5-11, 187, knocked him to the ice and took off with the puck in the lead-up to Panarin’s marker.

“He probably has to get rid of that a little earlier,” Richardson said. “It’s just learning the strength of this league. A guy can push you over pretty quick.”

5. Call it the hurt locker room.

Asked if he could recall a time when one of his former teams had as many injured players as the Hawks have now, Richardson said: “I’d have to say no. I’m trying to think — I’m mesmerized by our board right now.”

Here’s a rundown of the injuries in the last two months.

Richardson didn’t have a sense of the severity of Beauvillier’s injury, “but he’s going to be out for a bit.”

“It was a tough break,” he said, “because I actually thought the last two games, he really started playing and started finding his groove and skating well, which is what he does best.”

6. Can he kick it? Yes, he can.

Just kidding, not really.

Kreider booted in his second-period goal, but he was skating in one fluid motion, not a kicking motion.

At the time, Mrázek was adamant it was kicked in, but the review didn’t go his way.

According to the Situation Room, “Video review supported the referee’s call on the ice that the puck deflected off Chris Kreider’s skate and entered the Chicago net while he was in the process of stopping. Rule 49.2 (iv) states, in part, ‘a goal will be allowed when a puck enters the goal after deflecting off an attacking player’s skate or deflects off his skate while he is in the process of stopping.’”

“That is the rule,” Richardson said. “He didn’t lift his skate off the ice. It’s definitely a stopping motion, but you’re allowed to stop. That’s the rule.

“But Petr is right there in the heat of the moment. He sees the skate moving forward, it looks like a kicking motion, but it doesn’t come off the ice. So that’s the rule and it counts.”

7. Brett Seney brings speed and energy, if not size.

After making his season debut in Nashville, the forward felt good physically and mentally.

“Felt good to be back out there and had a couple (offensive) chances,” he said. “My line played pretty well overall and it was a pretty even game, could’ve went either way.”

Seney took two shots in 11 1/2 minutes against the Predators.

In retrospect, he said he would play “maybe some smarter pucks on dump-ins and tighten some stuff up defensively. But all in all, I thought it was a good first game.”

Seney had a holding-the-stick penalty that culminated in a Nashville power-play goal, the first score in a 3-0 Hawks loss.

Richardson not only didn’t hold the penalty against Seney, but he said Thursday: “I’m not sure how hard a penalty it was. Like, it wasn’t really a hard call. But we have to kill those.”

Overall, Richardson liked the speed Seney brought but acknowledged the Hawks’ smallest player at 5-foot-9 and 156 pounds comes with certain limitations.

“He just gives you what he has, like, he’s an energy guy,” Richardson said before the Rangers game. “He came up last year and played really well for us for a while. But he’s not the biggest guy in the world, so after a while, that probably takes a toll on his body.

“He’s got the hockey sense and smarts where he uses his speed and gets in and out (quickly) of a lot of plays, so it keeps him out of those head-on battles.”