The Blackhawks are -135 favorites to win, according to FanDuel, while the Rangers are +115 on the NHL moneyline. The over-under for the game is 6 1/2 goals, with the over showing -105 and the under showing -115.
Rangers vs Blackhawks odds
|Date||Wednesday, Feb. 19|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|How to watch||NBCSN|
|Rangers vs Blackhawks odds – moneyline||Rangers +115, Blackhawks -135|
|Rangers vs Blackhawks – total goals||Over 6.5 (-105), Under 6.5 (-115)|
Chicago is coming off a five-game swing through western Canada in which it posted a 1-4-0 record, further jeopardizing its chances of reaching the postseason. The Blackhawks lost their first three road games, bounced back for a resounding 8-4 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday, and then lost the trip finale 3-2 against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.
“No question, disappointing not to have more points from the trip,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said to reporters. “Ultimately, we had three games that were acceptable and two that weren’t good enough. We need more than that to get the points we need (to climb into a playoff spot).”
Now the Blackhawks return to home ice, where they are 12-12-4 on the season.
The Rangers have played much better of late, with wins in four of their last five contests. They will look to get back on the winning track after a 3-1 loss at home against the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
New York has 64 points — four more than Chicago — but also is on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race. The Rangers are 14-11-2 on the road as they embark on their annual “Moms’ Trip,” with 19 players’ mothers expected to join the team in Chicago as part of a traveling party.
Trish Strome will be one of those mothers, but she admits that her loyalty probably will be divided. Her oldest son, Ryan, has 50 points (14 goals, 36 assists) in 58 games with the Rangers this season. On the opposite bench will be her middle son, Dylan, who has 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 47 games with the Blackhawks.
The youngest son in the family, Matthew, is a prospect in the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization.
“As kids, our whole dream is to play in the NHL,” Ryan Strome said. “They invested their time, and their money, and so much else into helping us to live our dream. To share it with them for a couple days is what’s really exciting for us.”
The Strome vs. Strome matchup is not the only one to watch when the Rangers take on the Blackhawks.
Nine-time All-Star forward Patrick Kane leads Chicago with 74 points (27 goals, 47 assists) in 59 games, and slowing him down will be a priority for the Rangers’ defense. Kane will try to stay hot after notching two goals and six assists on the Blackhawks’ five-game road trip.
Jonathan Toews is second on the Blackhawks’ scoring list with 50 points (16 goals, 34 assists) in 59 games. Fellow forward Alex DeBrincat ranks third on the team with 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 59 contests.
For the Rangers, Artemi Panarin leads the team with 78 points (29 goals, 49 assists) in 57 games. Panarin started his career with the Blackhawks and quickly became a fan favorite, and he remains friends with his old linemate, Kane.
Mika Zibanejad is next with 52 points (25 goals, 27 assists) in 45 games, and Ryan Strome is third on the scoring list.
The 28-year-old Panarin will face the Blackhawks for the fifth time in his career. In his first four meetings, he has two goals and two assists while averaging 19:26 of ice time per contest.
“Me and Artemi are very close, I mean, not only on the ice but off the ice as well,” Kane told reporters after the Blackhawks traded Panarin in 2017. “We like to kind of goof around with each other, and I think he’s a great kid.”
In net, the Blackhawks have a pair of veteran options. They could turn to Robin Lehner (16-9-5, 2.91 goals-against average) or Corey Crawford (10-16-3, 2.89 GAA), who have divided playing time nearly 50-50 this season.
The Rangers are expected to start rookie Igor Shesterkin (6-1, 2.18 GAA).
“We put ourselves in a position with a chance to win the game,” Rangers head coach David Quinn told reporters. “So it’s disappointing more than anything; I don’t think deflating. I think we’re going to move past it and get ready to go to Chicago.”
This is the first of two meetings this season between the teams. They also are slated to play one another April 4 in New York.