Know the Enemy: Predators vs Blackhawks Preview

The Nashville Predators (28-28-10) make their final stop in Chicago (38-14-14) to face the Blackhawks before returning home on Saturday to face the St. Louis Blues.

 

For most of the season the Blackhawks sat atop of the Central Division but have since fallen to third after losing to Colorado on Wednesday.  Although they have struggled as of late, they still have to be considered a legitimate cup contender.  Their lineup will definitely receive a boost when Marian Hossa (day to day; upper body) is able to return.

 

Although the Predators have won two straight, their playoff chances are slim.  They sit 3 points back of Winnipeg for 5th place in the central and 8 points back of Dallas for the final playoff spot. 

TV/RADIO COVERAGE

Nashville: 102.5 The Game, FS-TN

Chicago: CSN-CH

Live Stream:  http://livetv.sx/en/eventinfo/212595_nashville_chicago/

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

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Last 10 Games

Nashville: 3-5-2

Chicago: 5-4-1

LINE UP NEWS

Starting Goaltenders:

Name

W

L

OT

GAA

SV%

Pekka Rinne

5

7

1

2.29

.918

Corey Crawford

25

11

10

  2.27

.918

Nashville Injuries: none

Chicago Injuries: F Marian Hossa (day to day; upper body) G Nikolai Khabibulin (IR; upper body)

Projected Nashville Scratches: D Victor Bartley, F Rich Clune

Projected Chicago Scratches: F Marian Hossa, D David Rundblad

PROJECTED LINES

Saad – Toews – Versteeg

Sharp – Handzus – Kane

Bickell – Shaw – Regin

Bollig – Kruger – Smith

Keith – Seabrook

Oduya – Hjalmarsson

Leddy – Brookbank

Crawford

Raanta


PLAYERS TO WATCH

1.      D Duncan Keith.  He is considered by many to be the front runner for the Norris trophy.  The star defenseman has had a stellar year.  He currently sits third on his team in points at 51 and is a +23 for the season.

 

2.       Brandon Saad.  The gritty two-way forward’s excellent play this season as earned him a spot on the top line aside Jonathan Towes and Kris Versteeg.  On the season he has 19 goals and 25 assist for a total of 44 points.

 

3.  F.  Patrick Kane continues to roll; he currently leads the Blackhawks in points at 67.  Although is play is average at best in the defensive zone, he is by far the most talented forward on the team. 

 

  

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

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