Black­hawks have a new Dar­ling be­tween the pipes

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in New York

Scott Dar­ling is more com­fort­able in his sec­ond full NHL sea­son, and he’s been com­ing up big for the Chicago Black­hawks with start­ing goalie Corey Craw­ford side­lined.

Dar­ling stopped 33 shots and Artem Anisi­mov scored the win­ning goal late in the sec­ond pe­riod as the Cen­tral Division-lead­ing Black­hawks edged the New York Rangers 2-1 on Tues­day night.

Dar­ling has started the past six games while Craw­ford has been re­cov­er­ing from an ap­pen­dec­tomy.

In Chicago’s last four games, Dar­ling has al­lowed just three goals on 116 shots while helping the Black­hawks go 3-0-1.

“I’ve found a new com­fort level. You just get into a rhythm where you’re not as ner­vous,” said the 27-year-old Amer­i­can, who upped his record to 7-2-2 this sea­son.

“You can just re­lax and have fun out there. Last year was my first full year. I was still ner­vous about my role, my position within the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Com­ing back now, I’m not one of the new guys.”

The Rangers had some chances in the fi­nal min­utes, but Dar­ling stopped Mats Zuc­carello’s slap shot with about three min­utes to go, then blocked a tip-in at­tempt by Jimmy Ve­sey sec­onds later.

“The guys did a good job of keep­ing a lot of it from the out­side,” Dar­ling said. “They had their chances and so did we. It was a fun game.”

Trevor van Riems­dyk also scored for Chicago, while Artemi Pa­narin had two as­sists.

The win was sweet re­venge for the Black­hawks, who were blanked 1-0 at home by the Rangers last Fri­day.

Jes­per Fast scored for New York and Antti Raanta, start­ing for the fourth straight game, made 24 saves.

Raanta had won three con­sec­u­tive starts, in­clud­ing shutouts in the last two. New York had won four of its last five.

“I think it was pretty much the same deal as it was Fri­day night in Chicago,” Raanta said.

“Two teams, both have good of­fenses and both love to play with pace. They got a cou­ple odd-man rushes there; they got two goals from those and we didn’t cap­i­tal­ize on our chances. A 2-1 loss is not a great way to fin­ish a game when it’s so close.”

Black­hawks cap­tain Jonathan Toews was ac­ti­vated from the in­jured re­serve list ear­lier in the day af­ter miss­ing nine games with an up­per-body in­jury.

Anisi­mov put Chicago ahead for good with 1:09 left in the sec­ond, tak­ing a cen­ter­ing pass from Brian Camp­bell and fir­ing a wrist shot past Raanta for his 13th goal.

“I just play my game, go hard to the net,” said Anisi­mov, who was drafted by the Rangers in the sec­ond round in 2006 and spent parts of four sea­sons i n New York from 2008-12.

“New York was my first team in the NHL, so it’s a spe­cial feel­ing to score here.”

Af­ter a score­less first pe­riod, Chicago went in front at 5:18 of the sec­ond when van Riems­dyk took a pass from Pa­narin and wristed it past Raanta for his first of the sea­son. It ended Raanta’s shutout streak of 176 min­utes.

The Rangers tied it less than three min­utes later when Fast, stand­ing at the left side of the net, bat­ted the puck out of the air for his third of the sea­son.

Ve­sey had a chance for the Rangers on a rush min­utes be­fore Chicago’s goal, but Dar­ling made a nice pad save on his at­tempt.

“Scott made some key saves as the game went on,” Black­hawks coach Joel Quen­neville said. “He was very solid.”

AP

Stephen Curry drib­bles around New Or­leans for­ward An­thony Davis in the sec­ond half of Tues­day’s game in New Or­leans.

ELSA / GETTY IM­AGES / AFP

New York Rangers for­ward J.T. Miller crashes into Chicago Black­hawks goalie Scott Dar­ling dur­ing the third pe­riod of Tues­day’s game at Madi­son Square Gar­den. The Black­hawks won 2-1.

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