After a bounce-back victory against the Islanders that could’ve ended a lot sooner on Sunday, the Blackhawks will face the team they had to bounce back from. The Rangers come to town Tuesday, as the Blackhawks look to get their first victory against the team of Artemi Panarin, who they’re playing for the second time in three games.
The Rangers haven’t played another game since they faced the Blackhawks on Saturday, so their scoring leaders have only changed because of who scored against the Blackhawks. And that was mainly Panarin (one goal, two assists) and Adam Fox (one goal, one assist). The elder Strome, Ryan, also had two points in the contest. No. 1 goalie Igor Shesterkin remains sidelined with an injury, so Alex Georgiev will again be in net after stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced on in Saturday’s 3-2 win for NY.
The Blackhawks got their own good game from a Strome with what should have been the game-winning goal from Dylan against the Islanders on Sunday. Strome was also one of the best skaters in both games against the Islanders and Rangers during the weekend, with a 67.73 percent share of expected goals on Saturday — fifth on the team — and a team best 79.52 percent share during Sunday’s win.
Ian Mitchell, also playing in his first games since October for the Blackhawks, was good in his minutes against the New York teams, with a 62.23 percent share of expected goals on Saturday and a 52.99 percent share of expected goals on Sunday. Mitchell played more than 34 minutes across the two games across all strengths and was noticeable in a positive way throughout. While speaking to the media on Tuesday, Mitchell discussed some mindset shifts that appear to be helping:
Really good quote from Ian Mitchell on his mental adjustment process over the past two seasons: pic.twitter.com/qoOsPcFsoQ— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) December 7, 2021
The Blackhawks dominated high-danger chances during 5-on-5 play against the Rangers on Saturday but still lost, due to Kevin Lankinen letting in both a medium and low-danger goal. He stopped four of five from high-danger. Marc-Andre Fleury will need to be able to keep the low-risk shots out of the net and if he does, the Blackhawks could stand a better chance in this game and allow Fleury to reach a career milestone:
Fleury is starting tonight and will be going for win No. 500.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) December 7, 2021
Reinforcements could be on the way for the blue-liners in front of Fleury, with Jake McCabe possibly back after attending to a family matter.
These forward lines will be the lineup tonight. There are some game-time decisions among the defensemen, King said. Fleury confirmed starting. https://t.co/1XzsWsCLP1— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) December 7, 2021
Connor Murphy remains out, however.
Blackhawks — Statistic — Rangers
46.38% (27th) — 5-on-5 Corsi For — 45.63% (31st)
43.72% (32nd) — 5-on-5 Expected goals for — 47.49% (24th)
2.13 (30th) — Goals per game — 2.91 (17th)
3.13 (23rd) — Goals against per game — 2.48 (5th)
48.3% (23rd) — Faceoffs — 45.2% (31st)
17.8% (19th) — Power play — 22.1% (10th)
83.8% (9th) — Penalty kill — 82.4% (15th)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
Hagel — Toews — Kane
DeBrincat — Dach — Strome
Kubalik — Borgstrom — R. Johnson
Carpenter — Slavin — Khaira
de Haan — S. Jones
McCabe(?) — Gustafsson(?)
Stillman — Mitchell(?)
Kreider — Zibanejad — Kakko
Panarin — Strome — Hunt
Lafreniere — Chytil — Gauthier
Rooney — Goodrow — Reaves
Lindgren — Fox
Miller — Trouba
Nemeth — Lundkvist
How to watch
When: 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: United Center
TV: NBC Sports Chicago