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PREVIEW: Blackhawks vs. Predators - Feb. 21, 2020

Chicago hosts Nashville in fourth meeting of the year between Central Division rivals

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum /

TIME: 7:30 p.m. CT

The Blackhawks wrap up a two-game homestand as the Nashville Predators visit the United Center for the second time this season and the fourth of five meetings overall between the Central Division foes (TICKETS).


CHI: 26-26-8, 60 PTS (7th in Central)
NSH: 29-23-7, 65 PTS (5th in Central)


Chicago saw a pair of goals from Dominik Kubalik and a third from Drake Caggiula, but fell to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night at the United Center, 6-3.

Nashville fell 4-1 to Carolina on Tuesday night, snapping a three-game winning streak in the process. Ryan Johansen scored the lone goal in the loss. 

The Predators took the last meeting 5-2 as Kubalik and Alex DeBrincat scored the lone goals for Chicago. The teams split the Tennessee schedule with Nashville taking a 3-0 win on Oct. 29 and the Blackhawks winning a 7-2 affair on Nov. 16. 

Video: NSH vs. CHI game preview


Corey Crawford starts in net tonight for Chicago, while the 18 skaters remain the same from Wednesay's tilt vs. the Rangers. Zack Smith (left hand) took a full morning skate and head coach Jeremy Colliton said the veteran could be available as soon as Sunday for the Blackhawks. 


Defenseman Duncan Keith registered his 500th career assist in Wednesday's second period, becoming the seventh Blackhawk and first Chicago defenseman since Doug Wilson (554) to reach the 500-assist milestone. He is currently one point away from 600 and one goal away from 100 in his career. He would become the 100th defenseman in league history to score 100 career goals.

At 36, Keith leads the Blackhawks in time on ice (23:52) and shares 17th in the NHL. He is second to Mark Giordano for highest TOI average among players 36 or older. Since 1997-98 when the NHL officially began tracking time on ice, only Chris Chelios has held a higher TOI average for the Blackhawks at age 36 or older.

Video: Colliton at the mic


Kubalik's two tallies on Wednesday put him six goals ahead of any other rookie with 25 goals now on the season. He became the eighth rookie in franchise history to score at least 25 goals in a season and the third to do so over the last five years. On pace for 32 goals in his first NHL campaign, he would have the third most goals by any Blackhawks rookie if he eclipses 30 this season. 


With an assist on Wednesday, Patrick Kane recorded his 1013th career point (383G, 630A) to match Pat LaFontaine for eighth on the National Hockey League's all-time points list among U.S.-born players. Brian Leetch is next on the list with 1028 career points.

Kane recorded two assists on Feb. 11 to pass Phil Housley (625) for the most assists ever recorded by a U.S.-born player within their first 13 career NHL seasons.

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