Blackhawks

Blackhawks riding with Scott Darling in Game 4 vs. Predators

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Blackhawks riding with Scott Darling in Game 4 vs. Predators

Scott Darling has led the Blackhawks to victories in two of their last three games vs. the Nashville Predators. So it comes as no surprise that he’ll get the nod in Game 4.

Darling will start on Tuesday when the Blackhawks host the Predators in Game 4 of their first-round series. The Blackhawks have a 2-1 lead in the series thus far, with Darling collecting both victories (the first in relief, the second as the starter).

[MORE: Five Things from Hawks-Preds Game 3 - Darling stays hot]

Coach Joel Quenneville said after Game 2 that it was tough to make the change to Darling, given the fact that Corey Crawford has guided this team, and done it well, throughout the season. But with his second postseason victory, Darling is making the decision process easier.

“It’s tough to make a change when you like everything about his game and he’s played so well and is very deserving,” Quenneville said of Darling. “It was an easy choice.”

Darling takes this start as he has every other one he’s gotten.

“I’m just happy it’s been going well so far and we’re getting wins,” Darling said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Corey Crawford, meanwhile, was practicing with a few other Blackhawks at Johnny’s IceHouse West. He’s understandably frustrated with how he started the postseason, and the competitor in him wants to be back in the net. At the same time he can appreciate what Darling has done and how far he’s come in his career.

“He’s an awesome guy,” Crawford said. “He’s gone through a lot to get here and he’s been playing awesome. How can you not feel good for him? I have to encourage him, keep pushing him to be his best.”

UPDATES

— Asked if there would be any lineup changes for Game 4, Quenneville said, “we’ll see.”

— Quenneville was happy with the outing of Antoine Vermette, who played in his first postseason game with the Blackhawks after being scratched the first two. “I think he did a good job catching up to Game 3 pace is a challenge and I thought he did well,” Quenneville said.

— Daniel Carcillo (upper body) skated with several Blackhawks today at Johnny’s. “He looks like he’s on the path where he could be an option,” Quenneville said.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

Another night and another awful showing by the Blackhawks team defense, and this time, Robin Lehner let the team hear about it. Pat Boyle, Adam Burish and Scott King discuss the Blackhawks' ugly loss to the Coyotes and whether there should be some more line mixing happening soon. Plus, head athletic trainer Mike Gapski took part in his 2500th game with the Blackhawks and he sat down with Pat Foley 1-on-1 to re-live his 33 years with the organization.

1:13 - The odd-man rushes are piling up against this defense

5:54 - Is the power play getting going kinda maybe a little bit?

7:43 - Should Jeremy Colliton mix up the lines once again?

9:20 - The Kirby Dach playing-time dilemma

13:45 - Celebrating Mike Gapski's 2500 games with the Blackhawks

17:00 - Pat Foley's 1-on-1 interview with Mike Gapski

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

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USA Today

4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

The Blackhawks fell 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, giving them their third straight loss. Here are four takeaways:

Ex-Hawks Haunting

Former Blackhawks forward and Bartlett, Illinois native Vinnie Hinostroza helped dig the Hawks a three-goal hole to climb out of in the first period. Hinostroza picked up secondary assists on goals from Michael Grabner (2:56), Clayton Keller (5:03) and Brad Richardson (15:04) in the opening frame. 

Another former Hawk, Nick Schmaltz got past Patrick Kane and scored off a faceoff in Chicago's zone at 8:25 of the second period. 

D hurtin'

Calvin de Haan, one of the Hawks' more reliable defensemen this season, left the first period of Thursday's 5-1 loss against the Golden Knights in Vegas with a right shoulder injury. He could miss a decent amount of time as he had surgery on the same shoulder in the offseason, which sidelined him for several months. 

Chicago has given up 10 goals since de Haan left the lineup. His injury came with two-time Norris trophy-winning defenseman Duncan Keith (groin) not on the current three-game road trip which wraps up in St. Louis on Saturday. 

A positive for the Hawks' defense tonight was Dennis Gilbert getting his first NHL point by assisting on Jonathan Toews' second period goal, which came off a Dominik Kubalik rebound. 

Olli Maatta was back in the lineup on Thursday after missing the last four games with flu-like symptoms. Maatta had a +/- rating of 0 and recorded three shots. 

Top players on scoresheet

Another positive was The Captain, Kubalik, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat all finding the scoresheet. Strome scored at 12:58 of the third period on a power play, giving the Hawks their fifth straight game with a power-play goal. Kubalik got an assist on Toews' goal and DeBrincat has three goals and an assist in his past four games.

If the defense can find a way to tighten up a bit, the Blackhawks will be able to ride two very capable goalies and their top two lines, which are gaining some confidence. 

2,500 for 'Gapper

Blackhawks head athletic trainer Mike Gapski worked his 2,500th game with the Blackhawks Thursday. Gapski is the longest tenured trainer in the NHL. 

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.