Rangers host Blackhawks seeking first win of 2024

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are coming off a real let down after losing 6-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. They will get an opportunity to right some wrongs against a very beatable Chicago Blackhawks team on Thursday at the Garden.

“Nobody was happy leaving the rink last night,” coach Peter Laviolette said Wednesday. “We look to fix it today and get better tomorrow.”

Phenomenal rookie and 2023 first overall pick Connor Bedard will make his Madison Square Garden debut tonight. However, the Rangers will have one of their own prized prospects playing his first game in the NHL. Brennan Othmann, the Rangers first-round selection of the 2021 draft, was called up on Wednesday night due to forward Tyler Pitlick being week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

The 20 year-old, playing in his first pro season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, has scored 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) in 28 games to date. His point totals were tied for sixth in the AHL for rookies prior to getting the call.

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (25-10-1) vs Chicago Blackhawks (11-24-2)
Date/Time: January 4, 2024 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

Note: Subject to change, updated for each game

Related: Rangers must fix anemic third-line

New York Rangers projected lineup

The Blueshirts lineup will have a new look that includes rookie Brennan Othmann making his debut and Jonathan Quick projected to start.

Kreider- Zibanejad – Wheeler
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Goodrow – Vesey
Othmann – Bonino – Brodzinski

Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Gustafsson – Schneider


Note: New York will hold a morning skate at 10:30 a.m. ET. Head coach Peter Laviolette will address the media soon after. Check back here for any updates.

Update: Per multiple reports, it looks like Othmann will start on the fourth-line and Igor Shesterkin get the call in net.

New York Rangers vs Chicago Blackhawks

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers were bitterly disappointed with their effort against the Hurricanes and should be an ornery bunch taking on the Blackhawks in an Original Six matchup.

“It’s not what we want to see on home ice,” captain Jacob Trouba said. “It’s not what we want to be. There’s no easy games, especially a divisional game at home, there’s no reason for us to show up and play that (kind of) game.”

Look for the veterans to lead the way tonight, as Artemi Panarin continues to dominate this season and would love to score against the team he broke into the league with. This season, Panarin has notched 51 points in 36 games, and is likely to be named the Rangers representative at the NHL All-Star Game in Toronto later today.

Meanwhile, Chris Kreider scored the only goal on Tuesday and in the process became the all-time leading goal scorer on Garden ice with 166 (regular-season and playoffs combined).

Over at the opposition bench, Connor Bedard leads the team in scoring with 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points in 37 games. The team is obviously in a rebuild, but the Rangers must take them seriously. Of the Hawks 11 wins, they’ve beaten the likes of the Vegas Golden Knights, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and Toronto Maple Leafs (twice).

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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