The lights of Broadway will be shining bright, as rookie sensation Connor Bedard and former Rangers first-round pick Brennan Othmann will each make their Madison Square Garden debuts. And for Othmann – it will be his NHL debut. 

2nd League Rank31st 
12th Goals For31st  
8th Goals Against31st 
2nd Power play28th 
6th Penalty Kill26th   

Previous Game

The Blueshirts are coming off a 6-1 defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was an ugly game for New York where they couldn’t handle the constant pressure of the Hurricanes and as a result, they generated very little on offense. Upon conclusion of this game, the Rangers have a minus goal differential at even strength for the season. 

Rangers vs Blackhawks

New York will try to bounce back as they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to town. Tyler Pitlick was injured in the previous game and is considered week-to-week according to Rangers media personnel. With Pitlick out, the Rangers have recalled Brennan Othmann from the Hartford Wolf Pack. Othmann was a first-round pick by the Rangers during the 2022 draft at pick 16. The winger was in the middle of his first year in the minors, prior to being called up. Othmann has 23 points in 28 games with the Wolf Pack.  The soon to be 21-year-old will make his NHL debut skating on the fourth-line with Nick Bonino and Jonny Brodzinski. Brodzinski and Othmann played together in Hartford earlier this season.

“It’s my first day here and Jonny’s already teaching me and showing me stuff up here, so he’s been a great leader and mentor,” Othmann said. “I’m looking forward to playing alongside of them.

While Othmann will be making his NHL and Madison Square Garden (MSG) debut, the Rangers will get their first look at Connor Bedard who will also be making his debut on Broadway. Bedard was the first overall pick in the 2023 draft, and he is already living up to his potential as a generational talent. The 18-year-old already has 33 points in 37 games including scoring a ‘Michigan goal’ in his rookie season. Bedard is well on pace to win the Calder Trophy and this is with Chicago missing key role players surrounding the rookie sensation. Taylor Hall is out for the remainder of the season, Tyler Johnson, Taylor Raddysh, and Anthony Beauvillier were recently placed on the IR, and Seth Jones has been on the IR since mid-December. Chicago is hurting and their talent surrounding Bedard has dwindled significantly. Bedard leads Chicago in goals, assists, and points. 

Petr Mrazek will start in goal for the Blackhawks. Mrazek is 9-12-1 on the season with a .904 save percentage. While the numbers don’t appear great on the surface, those are very respectable numbers for a team that is expected to finish very close to the bottom of the league. 

Igor Shesterkin will be right back in goal as he looks to get back on track after the defeat he suffered against the Hurricanes. Shesterkin had recorded at least a .900 save percentage in each of the previous five games prior to facing Carolina. 

Another former first-round pick making the news in New York is Kaapo Kakko. Kakko resumed skating with the Rangers for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury towards the end of December. Kakko skated in a non-contact jersey which is a significant improvement from where he was at. Kakko will miss his 17th game of the season, but this puts his timeline to be available sometime in January.

“He was at that point to join us, so it’s great to have him out there,” said Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette. “He looks good, he’s moving along, so that’s all positive stuff.”

Another young player worth mentioning is Rangers’ rookie Will Cuylle.. Cuylle will feature in a shut-down role with Barclay Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey – something different than he has been accustomed too thus far in his NHL career.

“It’s a great opportunity for him, too, just to take on a different role…,” Laviolette said. 

The bet of the night – Artemi Panarin to get over 1.5 points. Who doesn’t love a revenge narrative? Panarin was traded by the Blackhawks to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Brendan Saad. It was one of the worst deals in Blackhawks history. Panarin is on a five-game point streak and he has been over this in two of the previous four games. In nine games against the Blackhawks, Panarin has 17 points. And in his five games against his former team as a member of the Blueshirts, Panarin has had at least a point in each game and he has had multi-point games in each of the previous four games against Chicago.

Current record: 13-7

Current Money Total (Based on $5 bets) – We are up $40 on the season

Projected Lineup










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