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Game Day: Blackhawks vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(31-13-4) Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators (20-17-8)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #CHIvsNSH
TV: NBCSN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Rivalry Night


The Nashville Predators are looking to put an end to a streak tonight, as they host the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. The Hawks have won a franchise-record 11 consecutive games, including a victory over the Preds just one week ago. It's the fourth of five meetings between the two clubs this year, with the Hawks holding a 2-1-0 advantage.

Nashville snapped a five-game skid on Saturday by defeating the Minnesota Wild 3-0 in Ryan Johansen's home debut. Carter Hutton made 29 saves for the Preds on the way to his third career shutout.

Chicago defeated Montreal on Sunday night at the United Center by a 5-2 final, thanks in part to two goals from Captain Jonathan Toews.

Johansen notched his 200th career NHL point, an assist, on Saturday against the Wild, becoming the fourth member of the 2010 NHL Draft class to join the 200-point club. Tyler Seguin, Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner, each from Johansen's draft year, have also reached the 200-point plateau.

The Preds boast the League's highest-scoring defensive unit, tallying 109 points (33g-76a) this season, while Chicago is tied for third with 99 points (19g-80a) coming from the backend.

Defenseman Roman Josi leads the Preds in points with 32, including 10 goals. Captain Shea Weber and forward Filip Forsberg are both tied for second on the club in points with 29 piece. Weber has 11 goals from the backend, and Forsberg's 13 tallies are second on the team to James Neal's 16. Mike Ribeiro has 28 points and leads the team in assists with 23. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 16-14-7 on the season, Hutton is 4-2-1 in net for the Preds.

Mike Fisher has a point in five of his last six games versus the Blackhawks (2g-5a), as does Johansen (3g-3a). Neal has 14 career goals against Chicago, his second-most versus any team. He recorded his most recent of five career hat tricks on Oct. 23, 2014, against Chicago. Eric Nystrom is on a two-game goal streak against the Blackhawks.

Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks, and the League, in points with 69. Kane is also first in the NHL with 29 goals and 40 assists. Rookie forward Artemi Panarin is second on the club with 43 points, while Toews' 19 goals are second among the Hawks. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith have 31 and 29 points from the blue line, respectively. Corey Crawford is 26-10-2 on the campaign for the Hawks.

Ribeiro leads the Preds in points against Chicago this season with three (1g-2a), while Forsberg, Neal and Nystrom each have two goals to lead the goal-scoring department. Nashville’s special teams have been solid against Chicago in 2015-16, as the club has scored on 2-of-8 power play opportunities (25 percent) and have killed 9-of-10 on the penalty kill (90 percent).
 
All time, the Preds are 44-42-12 against the Blackhawks, including a 25-17-6 record at home.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and Mike Fisher


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Winger Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body) participated in Tuesday's morning skate but not line rushes. Forward Colin Wilson (IR; lower-body) skated alone prior to the session.

Nashville Predators:

Forwards
Kevin Fiala Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Calle Jarnkrok
Eric Nystrom Mike Fisher Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki Paul Gaustad Cody Bass
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm Ryan Ellis
Barret Jackman Anthony Bitetto

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Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the expected starter in net with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Petter Granberg, Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (F) Colin Wilson (IR; lower-body), (F) Austin Watson


Chicago Blackhawks:

Forwards
Andrew Shaw Jonathan Toews Marian Hossa
Artemi Panarin Artem Anisimov Patrick Kane
Andrew Desjardins Phillip Danault Teuvo Teravainen
Richard Panik dennis Rasmussen Ryan Garbutt
Defense
Duncan Keith Niklas Hjalmarsson
Erik Gustafsson Brent Seabrook
Trevor van Riemsdyk Michal Rozsival

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Goaltenders: Corey Crawford is the projected starter in net with Scott Darling serving as the backup.

Extra: (F) Brandon Mashinter, (D) Rob Scuderi, (F) Marcus Kruger

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