Blackhawks hope to end skid at nine against Rangers
Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 3:38 PM
Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff WriterBLACKHAWKS (29-21-7) at RANGERS (37-13-5)
TV: NHLN-US (HD), CSN-CH, MSG
Chicago 1-8-1; New York 8-1-1
This is the first of two meetings. They will play again in Chicago on March 9.
When will the Blackhawks win again? Their last victory came Jan. 20. Since, they've lost nine straight, eight in regulation. They could be catching the Rangers, winners in eight of 10, at just the right time. It will be the Rangers' fourth game in six nights, and they come off an emotional 3-0 win in Boston on Tuesday. There's also a good chance the Blackhawks will avoid Henrik Lundqvist
and get a chance to face backup goaltender Martin Biron
For the third time during this skid, the Blackhawks fell to the Predators. On Tuesday, rookie defenseman Ryan Ellis scored the winner with 5:42 left in the third period to give the Predators a 3-2 win.
Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery
, starting for the fourth time in five games, absorbed the loss after allowing three goals on 19 shots. Still, coach Joel Quenneville feels the team is close to breaking the slide.
"When you look at this stretch we have had here -- we have found different ways to not come out on top," Quenneville said. "Tonight, it looked like we were doing the things we wanted to do and that we were moving in the right direction."
In their 3-0 win in Boston on Tuesday, the Rangers weren't at their best, but Henrik Lundqvist
Lundqvist made 42 saves, including 32 during the final two periods, as the Rangers extended their lead in the Eastern Conference to nine points heading into Wednesday's action.
"We know we need to be better than we were tonight as a whole," forward Brandon Dubinsky
said. "I know Torts (John Tortorella) and the coaching staff feel the same way. We're going to come in tomorrow and I'm sure they're going to show us some of the things we need to work on. We'll figure it out and know that in order to win, we can't play that way."
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan
has 6 goals (4 power-play goals) in his last four games.
The Blackhawks will be without defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson
(upper body) and Steve Montador
(upper body). … For the Rangers, forward Ruslan Fedotenko
(undisclosed) will likely miss his fourth straight game.
In their last six games against teams in the top eight, the Rangers are 5-1-0. In their last six games against teams in the top eight, the Blackhawks are 0-5-1.
"I just don't think we were totally on our game," Tortorella said after New York blanked Boston. "But that's a good sign for a hockey club in where you're trying to gather points here. You don't play your best, you play in spurts, but you still find a way to win. We'll move on and get ready for Chicago."