A night after Scott Darling allowed four goals — the total he surrendered in his three previous playoff appearances combined — Joel Quenneville showed faith in his rookie goaltender by announcing he’ll be back in net Saturday for Game 6.
“He’s played well in this series,” Quenneville said. “Very happy with the way he’s played. He’s done everything right.”
Including Game 5, Darling has posted a 1.68 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in the postseason, both in the top five among all goaltenders.
When asked if Darling would also start in a potential Game 7, Quenneville was hesitant to look past the next task at hand.
“He’s playing tomorrow,” Quenneville said. “We’re only thinking about tomorrow’s game.”
With Darling in net for the fourth consecutive game, the Blackhawks have a chance to close out the series and advance to the Second Round with a win.
“We have a great opportunity here,” Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “Everybody is excited to get back here in the United Center. We don’t want to go back to Nashville. Tomorrow is the day for us to have a solid 60 minutes and try to end this series.”
Nashville will be without Shea Weber for the rest of the series. The Predators captain suffered a lower-body injury in Game 2, but contrary to some reports, it is not an ACL injury.