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Blackhawks-Rangers starts Wednesday Night Rivalry

by John Kreiser

The Chicago Blackhawks begin their defense of the Stanley Cup when they host the New York Rangers in the first Wednesday Night Rivalry game of the 2015-16 season (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Chicago is coming off its third championship in six seasons after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Final in six games. The Rangers, who won the Presidents' Trophy as the best regular-season team in 2014-15, were one victory away from playing the Blackhawks but lost to the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Blackhawks made several changes from their Cup-winning team but still have their championship core, including center Jonathan Toews, defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltender Corey Crawford. The Rangers made fewer alterations; the biggest change was the retirement of forward Martin St. Louis, whose 52 points were fourth on the team in 2014-15.

Goals were hard to come by in the two games between the teams last season. They split 1-0 decisions, with the Rangers earning their win in overtime at United Center on March 8 and the Blackhawks shutting out New York in regulation at Madison Square Garden 10 days later.

Tale of the tape
53-22-7 (1st, Metropolitan) 2014-15 Record 48-28-6 (3rd, Central)
2659-2535-808-104 All-Time Record 2590-2584-814-118
239-244-98-2 Head-to-Head Regular-Season Record 246-237-98-2
0-1-0 Streak vs. Opponent 1-0-1
2-0-0 @ Chicago Home/Road Streak vs. Opponent 0-1-1 vs. Rangers
4 Stanley Cup Championships 6
50 Hall of Fame Members 42
Mark Messier Most Famous Alumnus Bobby Hull
4 Hart Trophy Winners 6
57 Postseason Appearances 60
Phil Esposito (1975-81) Best Player in Common Phil Esposito (1964-67)
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