Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks (Game 36): Preview

The Nashville Predators start their three game in one week series with the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night in Chi-town. The Predators have a record of 14-14-7 with 35 points and ranked 12th in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks are ranked 1st in the Western Conference with 55 points and a record of 26-5-3. Puck drops at 7:30pm CT.

TV/Radio Coverage

Nashville: SportSouth and 102.5 The Game

Chicago: CSN-CH and WGN 720

Season Series

Date Away Home Result
1/10 CHI NSH 3-0 CHI

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

#35 Pekka Rinne 13 10 6 2.34 .910
#50 Corey Crawford 14 4 3 1.97 .925

Projected Nashville Scratches: #12 C Mike Fisher (questionable; hand) and #19 W Bobby Butler; #22 D Scott Hannan (IR; upper body) and #33 C Colin Wilson (IR; upper body)

Projected Chicago Scratches: #17 D Sheldon Brookbank, #22 W Jamal Mayers and #52 W Brandon Bollig; #10 W Patrick Sharp (IR; questionable, upper body) and #88 W Marian Hossa (IR; questionable, upper body)

Projected Lines


#74 Sergei Kostitsyn #28 Paul Gaustad #10 Martin Erat
#57 Gabriel Bourque #11 David Legwand #56 Taylor Beck
#16 Rich Clune #15 Craig Smith #27 Patric Hornqvist
#24 Matt Halischuk #13 Nick Spaling #18 Brandon Yip
#6 Shea Weber #59 Roman Josi
#8 Kevin Klein #64 Victor Bartley
#75 Hal Gill #7 Jonathon Blum
#35 Pekka Rinne
#30 Chris Mason


#20 Brandon Saad #19 Jonathan Toews #67 Michael Frolik
#39 Jimmy Hayes #36 Dave Bolland #88 Patrick Kane
#25 Viktor Stalberg #65 Andrew Shaw #29 Bryan Bickell
#26 Jeremy Morin #16 Marcus Kruger #13 Dan Carcillo
#2 Duncan Keith #4 Niklas Hjalmarsson
#8 Nick Leddy #7 Brent Seabrook
#32 Michal Roszival #27 Johnny Oduya
#50 Corey Crawford
#30 Ray Emery

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: Monday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks is the first of a back-to-back. Tuesday, the Predators return to Nashville to rematch the Colorado Avalanche, who defeated them 1-0 in overtime. Nonetheless, these next two games will either make or break the Preds' playoff chances.

Getting that first goal will be crucial at the 'Madhouse on Madison'. It is always loud and crazy, but Nashville needs to silence them early in order to gain momentum and return to the winning track. That is key number one to victory. Number two is discipline. It is so important to stay out of the penalty box because Chicago's power play units are explosive. Lastly, defense needs to come up huge and shutdown their top two lines.

Mike Fisher is questionable for Monday's game with a hand injury. Expect him to be out, but if he is in, the line cominations will change. Fisher will move to the first line, while Paul Gaustad would move to the fourth line. Brandon Yip would probably be out of the lineup.

Blackhawks: For Chicago, this is the second of a back-to-back as Sunday, they defeated the Detroit Red Wings 7-1 on the road. Now, they return home looking to extend their lead in the Western Conference. 

The Blackhawks are just plain out good, possibly better than their Stanley Cup winning season. They have two hot goaltenders in Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, while having an excellent offense. Their success is coming while Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa are on injured reserve. Both are questionable to return Monday. If they do return, the Preds have a large workload on their hands and will have to prepare for an offensive powerhouse.

Chicago Blackhawks Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#88 Patrick Kane 34 18 24
#19 Jonathan Toews 34 17 18
#20 Brandon Saad 33 6 13

Who scores the first goal of the game for Predators? Win a Preds player t-shirt, info here.