[7:09 PM] Blackhawks @ Rangers

Who will WIN this matchup?

Chicago Blackhawks (18-8-4)

@ New York Rangers (20-9-1)


Starting Goalies:

Scott Darling (CHI): Confirmed

Antti Raanta (NYR): Confirmed


The New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks are each receiving superb play from their backup goaltenders over the past three games. New York’s Antti Raanta, who was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week, bested Chicago’s Scott Darling in a 1-0 overtime victory on Friday night – a loss the Blackhawks look to avenge when they visit the Rangers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Unlike Raanta, Darling was forced into the lineup after No. 1 netminder Corey Crawford underwent an appendectomy. Darling is 2-2-1 during a string of five straight starts — Chicago has scored twice in the three losses — and has surrendered two goals while winning two of his last three outings. Raanta, on the other hand, has kept New York starter Henrik Lundqvist planted on the bench, allowing one goal during the team’s three-game winning streak and posting back-to-back shutouts against the Blackhawks and New Jersey.

Chicago is missing its own marquee players — captain Jonathan Toews (back) has been out for the past nine games and defenseman Brent Seabrook (upper body) has missed the past two contests, matching his absences from the previous four seasons combined. While Seabrook plans to play on the upcoming road trip, Toews’ status remains unclear.

A goaltending controversy in New York — Lundqvist is nicknamed “The King” — borders on blasphemy, but if Raanta gets the nod Tuesday, it would mark the longest stretch as a healthy scratch for Lundqvist since he was elevated to No. 1 in 2006-07. Despite the absence of injured forwards Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich, Sunday’s 5-0 win matched the Rangers’ highest output since Nov. 21.

Rangers F J.T. Miller has a team-high 22 points, but has zero goals in six games against Chicago.


StreakSmarts Pick: New York Rangers

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick