Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Rangers (7:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Rangers (7:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

Tonight, an original six matchup between the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks on the ice at the world famous Madison Square Garden. This is a matchup tonight between two teams on hot streaks, but hot streaks that look vastly different.  The Blackhawks have won seven of their last ten games (7-3-0) and have done so by relying on incredible goaltending and winning games in overtime or the shootout. Of those seven wins, only three have come in regulation. The Rangers come into tonight’s game having won nine of their last ten games (9-1-0) and are averaging 3.50 goals per game over that stretch. Since the beginning of November, the Rangers only trail the Toronto Maple Leafs in points-percentage with a .769 mark and a 9-2-2 record over 13 games.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH+, ESPN+ (Out of market)
Radio: WGN 720 AM, TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish)

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (8-12-2)

Hagel – Toews – Kane
DeBrincat – Dach – Strome
Kubalík – Borgström – R. Johnson
Hardman – Slavin – Carpenter

Gustafsson – S. Jones
de Haan – C. Jones
Kalynuk – Mitchell

Lankinen

Rangers (15-4-3)

Kreider – Zibanejad – Kakko
Panarin – Strome – Hunt
Lafrenière – Chytil – Gauthier
Rooney – Woodrow – Reaves

Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Nemeth – Lundkvist

Georgiev

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

MacKenzie Entwistle (Week-to-Week – Ankle)
Tyler Johnson (Three Months – Neck Surgery)
Calvin de Haan (Day-to-Day – Back)
Jujhar Khaira (Day-to-Day – Non-COVID illness)
Connor Murphy (Day-to-Day – Concussion)

Rangers:

Igor Shesterkin (Day-to-Day – Lower Body)
Greg McKegg (Day-to-Day – COVID Protocol)

What To Watch For

•   A couple of familiar faces will meet tonight between the Blackhawks and Rangers. First, former linemates and best friends Patrick Kane and Artemiy Panarin both are tied for the team-lead in scoring this season heading into tonight’s matchup. Kane, tied with Seth Jones, has six goals and 19 points in 18 games this season, but has just one goal in his last ten games. Panarin, tied with Adam Fox, has 23 points in 22 games with the Rangers this season, with seven points in his last five games. The other familiar faces will be brothers Dylan and Ryan Strome facing-off against each other. Ryan, the oldest of the Strome brothers (youngest brother Matthew is playing in the ECHL this season), has four goals and 15 points in 18 games for New York this season, while Dylan has just one lone goal and three points in 13 games for Chicago.

•   Chicago scored a powerplay on Thursday night, just their second powerplay goal since the beginning of November. They are two-for-34 over their last 13 games, which 30th in the league with a 8.8% success-rate. The Rangers have the league’s 16th ranked powerplay this season with a 82.1% kill-rate. Over their last ten-game stretch, New York has killed 22-of-26 penalties, good for an 84.6% kill-rate.

•   Kevin Lankinen starts tonight for the Blackhawks. He is 2-3-2 this season with an. 888 save-percentage and a 3.20 GAA. In his last three starts for Chicago, he has won twice and allowed just three goals in his two wins over the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues. He’ll face a Rangers squad that is just as low-event offensively as the Blackhawks are, averaging 28.2 shots on goal per game, which ranks 30th in the NHL. Chicago is 31st in the league at 28.0 shots per game. The Rangers do however ranks 11th in the NHL this season in High-Danger Chances per 60 minutes with 11.67. Chicago is seventh in the NHL when it comes to preventing High-Danger Chances, allowing just 9.93 against per 60 minutes.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.