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).
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.”
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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.”
— 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.