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Chicago Blackhawks vs. New York Rangers: What to Watch and What to Know

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: David Kampf
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: David Kampf /
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The Chicago Blackhawks face off against the New York Rangers for the first time this season. Here’s what to watch and what to know ahead of tonight’s game.

The Blackhawks’ three-game homestand comes to an end against the New York Rangers before traveling to St. Louis. The game will be on NBC Sports Chicago for TV and WGN for radio at 7:30 pm central. This will be the first of two matchups against the Rangers.

Here’s how the Chicago Blackhawks’ lines will look this evening:

Offense:

  1. DeBrincat-Toews-Kahun
  2. Saad-Anisimov-Kane
  3. Fortin-Johnson-Schmaltz
  4. Kunitz-Kruger-Hayden

Defense:

  1. Keith-Jokiharju
  2. Gustafsson-Seabrook
  3. Manning-Rutta

Crawford is starting in net.

After one of the worst defensive games in recent history, the Blackhawks switched up their lines and pairings and dominated the Ducks on Tuesday night. Patrick Kane scored his 8th goal of the season and Alex DeBrincat recorded his 5th assist. The two forwards lead the Blackhawks in scoring. Don’t be surprised if these two continue their offensive firepower tonight.

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Since his first game in over 10 months, Corey Crawford has been outstanding. In three games, he’s stopped 88 out of 93 shots on goal, good for a .946 save percentage. Look out for him to dominate in the crease again.

Brandon Saad finally scored his first two goals of the season last game. He dominated on the ice, reclaiming his spot on the second line, penalty kill and power play. Saad played 18:56, good for second among Blackhawks forwards. That’s the player we want to see for the remainder of the season. I hope he maintains his recent play and continues it from here on out.

It will be interesting to see how this game plays out. Neither the Rangers or the Blackhawks have been particularly good defensively, but Chicago has had more luck offensively. They’ve only scored less than three goals once this season.

Additionally, both teams have given up a ton of shots. This game will probably end up being very high-paced with either fantastic goaltending or none at all. In the end, it should be a fun game.

If you’re a betting person, Odds Shark says the Chicago Blackhawks will win by a very small margin, 3.3-3.0. However, the money line favors New York by a great margin, as Chicago is listed -150 and the Rangers are listed +130.

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Next. Blackhawks Beat Ducks 3-1. dark

Personally, I don’t find these predictions to be reliable. Truthfully, I have no idea what to expect from this game, which makes it more fun. Based on the way both teams played in their last games, I’ll say tonight’s game ends with the Blackhawks defeating the Rangers 3-2 in the shootout. Brandon Saad will score again tonight.

Follow along with live updates from tonight’s game on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up!

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