Know the Enemy: Predators vs Blackhawks Preview (Game 71)

 

The Nashville Predators (30-31-10) will head to Chicago on Sunday to face the Blackhawks (41-15-15) for the fourth time of the regular season and the final leg of their four game road trip.

The embattled Blackhawks will be without the services of F Patrick Kane, F Brandon Saad, Bryan Bickell, and D Michael Rozsival.  Although the injuries keep piling up, they’re still grinding out wins and still in the running to be top seed in the Western Conference.  As of Saturday night they’re just 4 points behind St. Louis for the top spot.

Although the Predators pulled out the victory in Calgary on Friday, they are dead last in the Central and nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  It will be interesting to see what they decide to do over the next 11 games.  Do they keep trying to grind, or do they prepare for the future? 

 

TV/RADIO COVERAGE

Nashville: 102.5 The Game, FS-TN

Chicago: WGN

Live Stream:  http://livetv.sx/en/eventinfo/212662_nashville_chicago/

Twitter Links: https://twitter.com/Fang_Faction/lists/predators-vs-blackhawks

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Last 10 Games

Nashville: 4-6-0

Chicago: 6-3-1

LINE UP NEWS

Starting Goaltenders:

Name

W

L

OT

GAA

SV%

Pekka Rinne

6

9

1

2.75

.904

Corey Crawford

28

12

10

  2.21

.919

Nashville Injuries: F Paul Gaustad (day to day; upper body)

Chicago Injuries: F Patrick Kane (IR; lower body), F Brandon Saad (day to day; upper body), F Bryan Bickell (day to day; upper body), D Michael Rozsival (day to day, lower body)

Projected Nashville Scratches: D Michael Del Zotto, F Patrick Eaves, F Patric Hornqvist, F Paul Gaustad

Projected Chicago Scratches: D Michael Rozsival, F Brandon Saad, F Bryan Bickell, C Teuvo Teravainen

PROJECTED LINES

Versteeg – Towes – Hossa

Sharp – Handzus – Shaw

Regin – Smith – Morin

Bollig – Kruger – Brookbank

Keith – Seabrook

Oduya – Hjalmarsson

Leddy – Rundblad

Crawford

Raanta


PLAYERS TO WATCH

 1. F Jonathan Towes is smoking hot.  He has nine goals and 2 assists in his past 11 games.  As he goes, the Blackhawks go.

2.  D Brent Seabrook.  He reminds me of Ryan Suter when he was with Nashville.  He gobbles up huge minutes, is on the top power play unit, the top penalty kill unit, leads the team in +/- at +31, and gets little to no credit for it.

3.  G Corey Crawford.  As the injuries at forward keep piling up for the Blackhawks, Crawford has done a great job stealing wins.  In 50 games he has a stingy 2.21 GAA. 

 

  

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

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