Blackhawks

Blackhawks sticking with Scott Darling as starter for Game 6

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Blackhawks sticking with Scott Darling as starter for Game 6

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville hinted after Game 5 that Scott Darling would still be his starter. On Friday, he confirmed that.

Darling will get the start on Saturday night when the Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of their first-round series. This will be the third consecutive start for Darling, who has played in all but one of this series’ games.

“He’s played well,” Quenneville said via conference call. “You look at the four games he’s been in, he’s been solid. We’re happy with the way he’s played and he’s going tomorrow.”

[MORE HAWKS: Blackhawks unravel in third period, fall to Predators in Game 5]

The Blackhawks lost to the Predators 5-2 in Game 5, with Darling giving up three goals within the first three minutes of the third period. Quenneville said Darling, “did everything right. We’re not blaming the goalie.”

Despite the team’s tough loss, Darling’s numbers are still great. He has a 1.67 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. In four appearances he’s seen 159 shots, stopping all but eight of them.

The Blackhawks certainly want to end this series on Saturday and try to get a breather before the second round. Still, if it goes to a Game 7, would Darling get that one, too?

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“He’s playing tomorrow,” Quenneville said. “We’re only thinking about tomorrow’s game. We have to play tomorrow’s game like we have to win tomorrow’s game, and that’s what it’s all about.”

In Predators news, the team announced that defenseman Shea Weber will miss the remainder of this series against the Blackhawks. It was initially reported by NBC Sports on Thursday that Weber suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Game 2  but the Predators said that was not the case.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: