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Game Day: Blackhawks vs. Preds

by Nashville Predators / Nashville Predators

(4-0-1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators (4-0-2)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game

The Nashville Predators will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the second meeting between the two in 2014-15, this time within the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night.

The Preds fell 2-1 in overtime last Saturday to the Hawks on a shorthanded, breakaway goal from Jonathan Toews. Carter Hutton stopped 35 shots in the effort.

Both Central Division foes have yet to lose in regulation during the current campaign, with a combined eight wins and three overtime or shootout losses between them.

The Preds maintain a slight lead in the all-time series (42-39-(2)-9), including a 23-16-6 mark at Bridgestone Arena.

James Neal has 12 points (7g, 5a) in 15 career games against Chicago, while linemate Mike Ribeiro is currently riding a four-game pointstreak heading into Thursday's matchup.



Morning Skate Lines:

Predators Forwards:
Forsberg—Ribeiro—Neal

Wilson—Roy—Smith

Jokinen—Jarnkrok—Beck

Nystrom—Gaustad—Stalberg

Extra: Clune—Cullen*—Bourque

*On Injured Reserve

(Mike Fisher also skated this morning and rotated on a line with Clune and Bourque.)

Defensemen:
Josi—Weber

Volchenkov—Jones

Ekholm—Ellis (Bartley rotated)

Goalies:
Rinne
Hutton


Blackhawks Projected Lines:

Forwards:
Sharp—Toews—Hossa

Versteeg—Shaw—Kane

Bickell—Richards—Saad

Carcillo—Kruger—Smith

Defensemen:
Keith—Seabrook

Oduya—Hjalmarsson

van Riemsdyk—Rozsival

Goalies:
Raanta
Darling



Quotables:

Laviolette on a chance for redemption tonight after Saturday's loss against Chicago:


"We had opportunities to win [Saturday] in the third period. There's an opportunity where we could walk away with two [points] right there as well. It was disappointing because you're on a power play in overtime and that's a chance to seal the game and walk out with that extra point and that was frustrating for us. [Tonight is] a chance to get back and play a big game, certainly for a lot of different reasons."

Laviolette on what he's learned from his team thus far this season:

"We're a young group. There are times when we seem to be playing pretty good and there are times when I think that we can do things a little bit better out there. I think our consistency can improve. The one thing I've learned about this group, since day one, they come to work every day. Even on the days when we're looking for a little more consistency, it's not from a lack of caring or a lack of work ethic. They're a committed group, they're fun to work with and it's been a good start but I think we can get better. I know that they'll work to do that."



Predators locker room video: Derey Roy, Pekka Rinne and Viktor Stalberg


Coach presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


What to watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown (Bonus: Jonathan Toews photo bomb)


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