The Chicago Blackhawks are one of several teams that have had to deal with goaltending controversies during the early stages of the playoffs, but theirs seems to be settled at this point as Scott Darling will return to the net for Game 4 against the Nashville Predators.
Darling, who made 42 saves and picked up a win in a Game 1 relief appearance, was named the starter before Game 3 of the series, replacing incumbent Corey Crawford. Darling made 35 saves as the Blackhawks knocked off the Predators by a 4-2 score on Sunday, giving themselves a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Coach Joel Quenneville, who made the decision to remove Crawford from the lineup after he gave up nine goals in his first two appearances in the series, said that the choice to stick with Darling for Game 4 was an “easy” one.
During the regular season, Darling appeared in 14 games for the Blackhawks, posting a 9-4-0 record with a .936 save percentage and a 1.94 goals against average. He was nominated for the NHL’s Bill Masterton Trophy as a result of his ascension to the Blackhawks’ roster after spending the past several years playing in leagues all across North America.