NY Rangers vs Chicago Blackhawks by 20Legend
New York Rangers did get back up as expected in their last game against Philadelphia Flyers with the score 3-1 in Madison Square Garden. That was The Rangers’ fifth win from the last six games, and it has a lot to do with Mats Zucarello being back at his highest level for the home team. It is not many teams that are better than NYR except from today’s opponent Chicago Blackhawks. The Rangers has 19 wins at home in regular time with only 5 draws and 5 losses. It means that they usually win above 60% of their games in Madison Square Garden so far this season. Defender Dan Boyle, defenseman Marc Staal and forward Rick Nash are unavailable for them, but the important captain, Ryan McDonagh, could be back after missing the last four games with a concussion. He participated fully in Tuesday’s training without restrictions which is a very good sign. Their number one goaltender Henrik Lundquist will start once again.
Although Chicago Blackhawks being the strongest team at home this season (19-5-7), the story has been a bit different away from home (8-10-11). They have also suffered three straight defeats at home before taking a smashing 7-2 win against Toronto Maple Leafs in their last match. Their recent performances away have been good though with three straight wins after three straight losses prior to that. The matchup will be tough for them tonight and they did not practice on Tuesday in order to recover fully. Their usual choice Corey Crawford is expected to start tonight’s game, while Marcus Kruger and winger Marian Hossa are missing tonight’s game. Forwward Richard Panik replaced Hossa in the topline against The Leafs, but the coach, Joel Quenneville, was not to impressed about that choice, as he felt that a his team got to many shots and dangerous chances against them.
These matches do not tend to involve a lot of goals when being played and I do not believe on over 5.5 goals this time either. All of their last seven meetings have gone below and their defensive form should back another result like that. The return of Ryan McDonagh will be important to kill The Blackhawks power play situations, while Henrik Lundquist is enjoying 1.18 GAA on his last five starts for the host. Under 5.5 goals seems likely once more.