Hawks, new Olympians face off against Rangers
The Hawks (29-7-9) face off against the Rangers (21-20-3) for the first time this season, a day after the much anticipated announcement of the Canadian Olympic team. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Keith will represent Team Canada from the Hawks. Chicago will be sending league-leading 10 skaters to Sochi (Detroit and St. Louis are also sending 10 players), while the Rangers will see seven skaters compete for their countries.
The Hawks, who remain first in the Central division, are looking for their thirtieth win of the season. News broke today that backup netminder Nikolai Khabibulin will be out for 4-5 months as he recovers from surgery that repaired a torn rotor cuff. While Khabibulin could return,the assumtion is that call-up Antti Raanta (11-1-3, .911 SV%) will remain with the Hawks for the rest of the year.
The Hawks may also face former teammate Daniel Carcillo, recently acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Carcillo, who won the cup with the Hawks in 2013, was splitting drills at the Ranger’s practice today. The Rangers, who currently sit fifth in the Metropolitan division and two points out of a wild card spot for the playoffs, have been a little inconsistent lately, losing to the Penguins 5-2 last Friday before dominating the Maple Leafs 7-1 on Saturday.
Who’s Hot: Sharp, who has had two hat tricks within a week, has 12 points in his last 7 games...Rick Nash scored twice in the Ranger’s last game, a shootout loss to Columbus, in his first multi-goal game.
Injury Report: The Hawks are now a completely healthy squad, with the exception of goaltender Khabibulin, who underwent successful surgery to fix a torn rotator cuff, in addition to an injured groin that had shelved him earlier. His recovery time is anywhere from 4-5 months...The Rangers are without Derek Dorsett, who is out 4-6 weeks with a broken leg.
Where to watch: NBCSN, TSN2
Location: Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York
Time: 7:00 p.m. CT