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Game Day: Preds vs. Blackhawks

Nashville Returns to Chicago for the Second Time This Month to Face Division Rival

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Just two weeks after their first visit to the Windy City, the Predators will be back at the United Center tonight to face the Chicago Blackhawks. It's the second of four meetings between the Central Division rivals this season; Nashville fell 2-1 in overtime in the first contest.

Extra motivation is no longer needed when these two get together. After facing each other two times in the playoffs over the past three seasons - including a Round One sweep in favor of the Preds last spring - the Preds and Hawks rivalry is on a whole other level. Throw in the controversial ways of this season's first outing and tonight's game is sure to be a dandy.

"We like playing Chicago," Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "For us, certainly a couple of playoff appearances in our division, and just the success that they've had over the last 10 years, I think our guys like playing the Blackhawks."

[Click here to see the Predators projected lineup for tonight's game]

Last Time Out:

The Predators are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames, a game that saw Nashville jump out to an early 2-0 lead before the Flames scored twice in the third period. Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi tallied for Nashville on the power play, while Pekka Rinne made 30 saves in net.

Forsberg leads Nashville with seven goals and 12 points, followed by P.K. Subban with eight points and Ryan Johansen with five. Scott Hartnell and Viktor Arvidsson have three goals each, while Rinne has gone 4-1-2 in net with a .933 save percentage.

With his goal on Tuesday, Forsberg tied a club record with James Neal (2014, 2015) for the most goals by a player in October in franchise history.

Video: The Preds are back in Chicago to face the Hawks

The Opposition:

The Blackhawks have gotten off to a 5-3-2 start this season but have lost three of their last four, including a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

Patrick Kane leads Chicago with 12 points in 10 games, followed by Brandon Saad and Ryan Hartman with nine points apiece. Saad has tallied six times thus far, while Kane and Richard Panik have found the back of the net on five occasions. Panik and Jonathan Toews have eight points each and Corey Crawford is 5-3-0 in net.

All-Time Meetings:

The Predators are 46-47-4-9 all-time against the Blackhawks, including a 20-27-1-6 record on the road at the United Center. Nashville has played Chicago 106 times in the regular season, the most games it has played against a single opponent.

Video: Preds broadcasters analyze Forsberg, 5-on-5 play

Notables vs. Chicago:

Austin Watson (4/7/13) and Pekka Rinne (12/15/05) both made their NHL debuts against the Blackhawks. Subban is on a seven-game point streak (2g-5a) vs. Chicago dating back to Dec. 5, 2014, while Johansen has 16 points (4g-12a), including three multi-assist games, in 22 career meetings with the Blackhawks.

Take It In:

Coverage for tonight's 7:30 p.m. CT start in Chicago begins at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Tennessee with Predators Pregame Live. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley call the action on the television side, while Pete Weber and Hal Gill have the call on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Plus, stay tuned to PredsNHL on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for updates from Chicago.

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