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.”
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.