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Blackhawks look to avoid third straight loss

Chicago hopes penalty kill can improve against P.K. Subban, Nashville

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

PREDATORS (1-0-0) at BLACKHAWKS (0-2-0)

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

CHICAGO -- After allowing six power-play goals in their first two games, three in each, the Chicago Blackhawks are hoping for a better effort when they host the Nashville Predators at United Center on Saturday.

Chicago took nine penalties in a 3-2 loss to Nashville at Bridgestone Arena on Friday, going 3-for-6 on penalty kills and 0-for-4 on power plays.

"Across the board we need to be better," coach Joel Quenneville told the Blackhawks website. "We need to be better with and without the puck, and in discipline as well. We didn't give up a ton [at even strength], but we certainly had some opportunities to generate a little more [and] it didn't happen."

Part of the issue is inefficiency in blocking shots when shorthanded. Chicago has eight blocks in each game, having been shorthanded 11 times. 

Crawford hasn't allowed an even-strength goal this season, with each of the six he has allowed coming when shorthanded.

"Last game they were going in from [the outside] and [Friday] it was through the middle," said Quenneville, who is displeased with the Blackhawks taking 14 penalties through the first two contests. "I think whether we were in front properly or they had traffic at the net, certainly we've got to have better discipline and stay out of the box, as well."

The Predators meanwhile hope to keep their special teams performing well. Defenseman P.K. Subban scored a power-play goal in his first game with Nashville and center Ryan Johansen assisted on all three power-play goals.

Video: CHI@NSH: Subban's power-play blast ties game at 1

"We were moving the puck around fast, supporting each other, winning battles and shooting the puck," Johansen said. "It wasn't really anything fancy or surprising, or a trick or anything like that. It was just get the puck, find the lane, shoot it, screen, get in the goalie's eyes and hopefully score some goals. It was great to get off to a good start like we did with our special teams."

Neither team held a morning skate, but Quenneville said backup goalie Scott Darling will start for the Blackhawks. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette didn't announce his starting goalie but Pekka Rinne, who started Friday, is expected to start again.


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen - Kevin Fiala

Colin Wilson -- Mike Fisher -- James Neal

Calle Jarnkrok -- Mike Ribeiro -- Craig Smith

Viktor Arvidsson -- Colton Sissons -- Miikka Salomaki

Roman Josi -- P.K. Subban

Mattias Ekholm -- Ryan Ellis

Matt Carle -- Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Marek Mazanec  

Scratched: Cody Bass

Injured: Anthony Bitetto (upper body)

Blackhawks projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Jonathan Toews -- Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Tyler Motte -- Marcus Kruger -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Dennis Rasmussen - Nick Schmaltz -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Brian Campbell

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Trevor van Riemsdyk, Michal Rozsival

Injured: Andrew Desjardins (lower body), Ryan Hartman (lower body)

Status report

Hartman, who sustained a lower-body injury in the first period Friday and didn't return, won't play. Quenneville said Hartman "might miss some time," and likely would be out more than a couple of games. Rasmussen is expected to replace him. ... Bitetto, who was injured in the second period during a fight with Tootoo and didn't return, won't play and likely will be replaced by Weber.

Who's hot

Fisher and Josi each had a goal and assist on Friday. … Kruger has a goal and assist in the first two games.

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