Playing against his brother is nothing new for Dylan Strome, but there's something the Blackhawks forward is still looking for as his older sibling, Ryan, and the New York Rangers visit the United Center on Wednesday night - the first meeting of the season between the Original Six franchises.
"Haven't beat him yet, I think I'm 0-4," Dylan Strome said on Tuesday. "He's got the better of me. I think he's only got one goal, but it was against me and it was my fault. Didn't go over very well with the coaches."
That goal came in the very first meeting and only Dylan's third NHL game, giving the Islanders a 2-0 lead in an eventual 3-2 victory.
It's a game that's doubly special because it falls during the Rangers' moms trip, meaning the matriarch of the NHL family (the duo's youngest brother Matthew was a fourth-round pick of the Flyers in 2017), Trish, will be in attendance. But she'll be wearing a Rangers jersey at the UC with the other New York moms - something that Dylan tried to argue against.
"I told her last night she better be wearing (something) Blackhawks, but she said she's in the Rangers box so she can't," he said with a laugh. "I think she's going to wear a Blackhawks t-shirt under her Rangers jersey, so I guess that's only fair for her to do."
"We'll go to dinner tonight and hopefully (Ryan) pays," Dylan added. "And hopefully we win tomorrow."
Both Stromes are in their second seasons with their respective team - traded just eight days apart in Nov. 2019 - and each has found a good fit in their new homes.
Dylan posted 51 points (17G, 34A) in 58 games last season in Chicago and still has 31 points (10G, 21A) in 48 games this year despite a slight offensive downtick and a pair of midseason injuries. Ryan had 33 points (18G, 15A) in 68 games after moving from Edmonton to New York last season and has capitalized on his chance on the Rangers top line this year with 50 points (14G, 26A) in 58 games.
"Obviously worked out pretty well for him there (last year) and he's just kind of followed it up this year," Dylan said of his brother, whom he said he talks to daily. "He's had a great year, he's playing with great players and he's capitalizing on the opportunity. I think when (Mika) Zibanejad got hurt, he stepped up and took that first line center role and he's ran with it ever since."
The sibling bragging rights won't be the only thing on the line during Wednesday's game.
Chicago will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing road trip, while the Rangers look to rebound from seeing their four-game win streak snapped on Sunday against Boston. Both teams are on the outside looking in in the playoff picture as each fights to make sure the return meeting in New York on the final day of the season isn't their respective final game.
"It's a big game for both teams. Important time of the year for both," Strome said. "We're both I think 6-8 points out. Lots of points up for grabs still but obviously big game for both."