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Predators at Blackhawks preview

Josi seeks point in 12 straight for Nashville; Caggiula will play first game for Chicago since Nov. 10

by Brandon Cain / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

PREDATORS (19-16-7) at BLACKHAWKS (19-19-6)

8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, FS-TN, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Roman Josi will try to extend his point streak to 12 games when the Nashville Predators visit the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Thursday.

The defenseman has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) during his 11-game streak, which is tied with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the longest active run in the NHL this season.

The Predators are winless in two straight (0-1-1) and 1-4-1 in their past six games after going 4-0-1 in their previous five. They are looking for their first win under coach Jon Hynes, who replaced the fired Peter Laviolette on Tuesday. 

Drake Caggiula will play his first game since Nov. 10 for Chicago, which is 6-3-0 in its past nine games following a 1-4-1 slide. The forward, who missed 27 games with a concussion, has four points (three goals, one assist) in 15 games this season.

 

Players to watch

Predators forward Craig Smith has 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in his past 10 games.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has eight points (four goals, four assists) during a four-game point streak.

 

They said it

"We want to play a little bit faster, we want to push the pace more, we want to get the puck up out of the D's hands to the forwards and play as a five-man unit up ice little bit better." -- Predators coach John Hynes

"I'm definitely excited to be back on the ice, helping my teammates, being a part of the grind and doing whatever I can to help the team win." -- Blackhawks forward Drake Caggiula

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Calle Jarnkrok -- Matt Duchene -- Mikael Granlund

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Yakov Trenin -- Kyle Turris -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Yannick Weber

Dan Hamhuis -- Mattias Ekholm

Jarred Tinordi -- Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Colin Blackwell, Alexandre Carrier

Injured: Ryan Ellis (upper body), Dante Fabbro (upper body), Colton Sissons (lower body)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Dominik Kubalik -- Jonathan Toews -- Drake Caggiula

Alex Nylander -- Ryan Carpenter -- Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat -- David Kampf -- Kirby Dach

Zack Smith -- John Quenneville -- Matthew Highmore

Duncan Keith -- Adam Boqvist

Erik Gustafsson -- Connor Murphy

Olli Maatta -- Slater Koekkoek

Corey Crawford

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Dennis GilbertDylan Sikura

Injured: Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), Brandon Saad (right ankle), Brent Seabrook (right shoulder/left and right hip), Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol), Dylan Strome (right ankle)

 

Status report

The Predators did not hold a morning skate. … Highmore and Koekkoek are in for Sikura and Gilbert, respectively. … Strome is day to day. The forward was injured in a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

 

Stat pack

Josi can pass Sergei Kostitsyn for the second-longest point streak in Predators history. … Turris will play his 700 NHL game. … Kubalik has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past three games.

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