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Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

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GAME: Chicago Blackhawks (18-33-8-5) at Nashville Predators (32-23-7-2).

TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Nashville Predators have never made the postseason. Steve Sullivan hopes to help change all that.

Sullivan faces his former team for the first time since being traded to the Predators as the Chicago Blackhawks visit Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Hoping to energize their faltering offense, the sixth-year Predators acquired Sullivan from the Blackhawks on Feb. 16 for two second-round draft picks. The move has turned out to be a stroke of genius as Nashville has scored 25 goals in winning five of six games, and has pulled into sixth place in the Western Conference.

"To add a scorer of Sullivan's magnitude at this point, as we hunt for our first playoff appearance, is a major step for our franchise," Nashville general manager David Poile said after acquiring the 29-year-old winger. "He makes the Nashville Predators a more dangerous team offensively, he is reliable and effective in all situations and he will be a great addition to our core of veteran leadership."

Sullivan has scored six goals and assisted on six others since joining the Predators. He picked up his 10th assist and 21st point in the last 12 games during Saturday's 2-1 overtime win over the New York Rangers.

Andrew Hutchinson, who was recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL on Wednesday after defenseman Jason York fractured a cheekbone in practice, scored a power-play goal 3:50 into the extra period for Nashville, which outshot New York 43-26.

"To win the game for your team, it's amazing," said Hutchinson, who had never scored an overtime goal.

The Blackhawks tied Florida 2-2 on Sunday. They have won just twice in their last seven games (2-4-1).

Kyle Calder, who has three goals and three assists in his last three games, scored, and Tuomo Ruutu scored and had an assist, giving him five points in his last three games (three goals, two assists).

Defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev sat out because of a shoulder injury, and winger Quintin Laing, who was recalled from Norfolk of the AHL, made his NHL debut.

STANDINGS (through Feb. 28): Blackhawks - 48 points, 5th place, 35 PB, Central Division. Predators - 73 points, 2nd place, 10 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Calder, 20 goals; Tyler Arnason, 23 assists; Mark Bell, 40 points; Scott Nichol, 108 PIM. Predators - Sullivan, 21 goals, 34 assists and 55 points; Jordin Tootoo, 125 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 28): Blackhawks - Power play: 12.7 percent (36 for 283), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.4 percent (251 for 294), 5th. Predators - Power play: 16.7 percent (56 for 336), 12th. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (250 for 302), 22nd.

GOALTENDERS: Blackhawks - Michael Leighton (5-15-6, 2 SO, 2.93 GAA); Adam Munro (no appearances). Predators - Tomas Vokoun (29-22-6, 3, 2.53); Chris Mason (3-3-1, 1, 2.11).

SEASON SERIES: Blackhawks, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 11; Blackhawks, 5-2. At Chicago, Sullivan had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who scored three goals in the second period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 6-23-3-1 on the road; Predators - 21-7-5-1 at home.


Associated Press
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