[8:30 PM] Rangers @ Blackhawks

Who will WIN this matchup?

New York Rangers (18-9-1)

@ Chicago Blackhawks (17-8-3)


Starting Goalies:

Antti Raanta (NYR): Confirmed

Scott Darling (CHI): Confirmed


Marian Hossa already has surpassed last season’s goal total and the veteran forward looks to stay hot when his Chicago Blackhawks host the New York Rangers on Friday night. Hossa scored twice in Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Arizona, which snapped a two-game slide, to push his team-leading total to 14 goals and the 37-year-old from the Czech Republic is four assists shy of 600 for his career.

The Rangers boast the same amount of points in as many games as Chicago (28) after Kevin Hayes broke a tie with a late power-play goal in a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg on Thursday night. New York, which alternated wins and losses over the last 10 games, is struggling with injuries up front as forwards Jimmy Vesey (upper-body) and Rick Nash (lower-body) both missed the victory over the Jets.

Power forward Chris Kreider notched his third goal in three contests Thursday and extended his point streak to four games while J.T. Miller assisted on the winning tally to maintain the team scoring lead. Miller leads the way with 21 points — one better than Hayes and two ahead of Derek Stepan — and is among 10 players who have recorded at least 15. The Rangers recalled former Vancouver first-round pick Nicklas Jensen on Thursday and he made his 2016-17 debut, registering one blocked shot in 8:31 of playing time.

Chicago continues to roll along without captain Jonathan Toews — out since Nov. 23 with a back injury — and a power play that converted just two of 25 opportunities the last 10 contests. Patrick Kane leads the team in points with 27 and posted one assist in each of the last four games while Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin have posted 23 points apiece. Scott Darling allowed five goals in three games since taking over for No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who is out at least another week after undergoing an appendectomy.

Chicago D Duncan Keith leads the team’s blue liners with a plus-8 rating and has 17 assists, but no goals.


StreakSmarts Pick: Chicago Blackhawks

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick