[7:00 PM] Blackhawks @ Islanders

Who will WIN this matchup?

Chicago Blackhawks (19-8-4)

@ New York Islanders (11-12-5)


Starting Goalies:

Scott Darling (CHI): Confirmed

Thomas Greiss (NYI): Confirmed


The Chicago Blackhawks have dominated the New York Islanders in their most recent meetings, even if the teams haven’t met since opening the 2015-16 season with a home-and-home set. Chicago emerged victorious in both outings to improve to 7-1-1 in the last nine encounters heading into Thursday’s tilt at the Barclays Center. Hart Trophy recipient Patrick Kane scored the overtime goal in a 3-2 win over the Islanders before adding a three-point performance in a 5-1 victory the following night.

While the Blackhawks rest atop the Central Division, the Islanders are languishing in the bottom of the Metropolitan with consecutive losses following a promising 5-0-1 stretch.

Scott Darling has fared well in place of injured Corey Crawford (appendectomy), turning aside 33 of 34 shots at the Rangers to improve his save percentage to .966 over his past five starts. Darling has benefited from Artem Anisimov’s timely tallies as the 28-year-old Russian has registered three game-winning goals in his last four contests to claim a share of the league lead with Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter.

Veteran forward Andrew Ladd hasn’t provided much bang for the buck since signing a seven-year, $38.5 million contract last summer. The 31-year-old has been limited to just one goal and two assists in his last 14 games and was held without a shot in his last contest heading into a tilt with a Chicago team with which he spent parts of four seasons. Ladd may wish to take pointers from fellow forward Anders Lee, who has collected seven goals and two assists in his last 10 games after mustering just one of each in his first 18 contests.

Reigning Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin has three goals and two assists in his past six games.


StreakSmarts Pick: Chicago Blackhawks

Confidence: 6/10

StreakSmarter Pick