Preview: Predators @ Blackhawks (Game 12)

(Getty Images)

The Predators will play host to the unbeaten-in-regulation Chicago Blackhawks in the second game of a weekend double header. Nashville was in Minnesota last night where they lost in overtime on a controversial refereeing decision. The Blackhawks are 9-0-2 and first overall in the league. They also had a rest day yesterday while Nashville fought hard in an overtime loss. But the Preds have played spoiler once already this season, when they handed San Jose their first loss (they were 6-0 at the time). Rinne had the night off yesterday as backup Chris Mason had his second game of the season. 

TV/Radio Coverage

Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game

Chicago: CSN – CH and WGN 720

Season Series

No games this season.
In 6 games last season vs Chicago, Nashville was 4-1-1 with 27 Goals for and 18 goals against

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

#35 Pekka Rinne 4 2 3 1.81 .933
#50 Corey Crawford 6 0 2 1.82 .930

Projected Nashville Scratches: #23 W Brian McGrattan and #24 W Matt Halischuk; #27 W Patric Hornqvist (out; lower body)

Projected Chicago Scratches: D #32 Michal Rozsival, RW #52 Brandon Bolig

Projected Lines


#33 Colin Wilson #11 David Legwand #57 Gabriel Bourque
#74 Sergei Kostitsyn #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat
#18 Brandon Yip #13 Nick Spaling #15 Craig Smith
#16 Rich Clune #28 Paul Gaustad  
#6 Shea Weber #22 Scott Hannan
#8 Kevin Klein #59 Roman Josi
#75 Hal Gill #4 Ryan Ellis
#7 Jonathan Blum
#35 Pekka Rinne
#30 Chris Mason


#2o Brandon Saad #19 Jonathan Toews #81 Marian Hossa
#10 Patrick Sharp #36 Dave Bolland #88 Patrick Kane
#29 Bryan Bickell #65 Andrew Shaw #25 Viktor Stalberg
#67 Michael Frolik #15 Marcus Kruger #22 Jamal Mayers
#2 Duncan Keith #7 Brent Seabrook
#17 Sheldon Brookbank #8 Nick Leddy
#27 Johnny Oduya #4 Niklas Hjalmarsson
#50 Corey Crawford
#30 Ray Emery

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: Nashville only grabbed on point last night in a heartbreaker against Minnesota. I'll spare you the details as Fang Faction re-capped the game quite well, but the team will need to channel their frustration into productive hockey. The boys have been playing very good hockey in the last 5 games, including last night's loss. There will be a couple of key's for the team tonight, including shutting down the hottest offense in the league. 

They will also need to make their powerplays count against Chicago. They might not be able to score on their man advantages, but they need to at least be productive and generate momentum. 

Nashville needs to get the points going a bit better as well. In past years the team has generated a lot of opportunities from the blue line but that hasn't been the story this year. The shots need to come this game, looking at last year's season series averaged 4.5 goals per game. 

Rinne gets the start for Nashville tonight, and they will need another unbelievable performance from the Finnish sensation. 

Blackhawks: Chicago is the talk of the league right now. They are 9-0-2 and have looked good doing it. They lost back to back shoot-out games in Minnesota and Vancouver, but have been unscathed otherwise. They are second in the league in goals scored per game, and have a staggering 92.7% penalty kill rate. 

Chicago is also on a three day break, going up against a Preds team that has been busy. But going up against a rested team has favored the Preds this year, who pummeled St-Louis after their three day break. 

The Blackhawks will come at the Preds hard with their first two lines, which is where they generate the good bulk of their scoring. Hossa, Kane and Sharp have the offensive flair to challenge Weber, Hannan, Josi and Klein. They will be a real test for the Preds defensive unit. A rested Rinne will hopefully be able to be big when needed. 

Chicago Blackhawks Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#88 Patrick Kane 11 8 18
#81 Marian Hossa 11 6 5
#19 Jonathan Toews 11 5 6