With his team mired in as long of a losing streak as he can remember during his tenure, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville
was emphasizing defense on Tuesday entering their game with the Central Division rival Predators.
The Blackhawks have yielded 34 goals over their eight-game losing streak, an average of 4.4 per game. Chicago is on its seventh game of a nine-game road trip.
"We haven't really responded to being scored on lately, and I think that's one where we want to make sure, let's be tight in that area," Quenneville said. "We'd love to score first, but if we do get scored on, let's not get distracted."
In the third period of Saturday's 3-0 loss to Phoenix, Quenneville put together Patrick Sharp
, Jonathan Toews
and Patrick Kane
together on the same line. That was going to carry over into Tuesday's game.
Together, that trio has combined for 61 goals.
"That line together, the last period the other night, they like playing together," Quenneville said. "Maybe as a group, we look for a little more balance, but when those three guys get together, they can generate a lot of things and I think they read off one another and they get excited about playing together, so hopefully they can recapture that feeling."
Quenneville said it was important for Chicago to get back to playing with a "swagger."
Nashville coach Barry Trotz
said he expected his duo of All-Star defensemen, Ryan Suter
and Shea Weber
, would match up against that line with the Predators' being the home team and having the last change.
Quenneville said John Scott
would return to the lineup, with the defenseman likely playing up front on one of the forward lines.
Here are the projected lines for the Blackhawks:
- Jonathan Toews
- Patrick Kane
- Marcus Kruger
- Marian Hossa
- Dave Bolland
- Viktor Stalberg
- Brendan Morrison
- Andrew Shaw
- Dylan Olsen
- Brent Seabrook
- Sami Lepisto