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Don’t Be Cruel: Blackhawks vs. Rangers

The Blackhawks will face the Rangers for the second time in three games after a 3-2 loss.

NHL: DEC 04 Blackhawks at Rangers
Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews in action during the third period of NHL action
Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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:

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:

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.

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)

Blackhawks

Hagel — Toews — Kane

DeBrincat — Dach — Strome

Kubalik — Borgstrom — R. Johnson

Carpenter — Slavin — Khaira

de Haan — S. Jones

McCabe(?) — Gustafsson(?)

Stillman — Mitchell(?)

Fleury

Lankinen

Rangers

Kreider — Zibanejad — Kakko

Panarin — Strome — Hunt

Lafreniere — Chytil — Gauthier

Rooney — Goodrow — Reaves

Lindgren — Fox

Miller — Trouba

Nemeth — Lundkvist

Georgiev

Huska

How to watch

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Webstream: ESPN+