With their six-game trip halfway done, the Nashville Predators are in Chicago to face the Blackhawks tonight at the United Center. It's the third of four meetings between the two divisional rivals this season; the Preds will host the Hawks in April for the final time in 2018-19.
The last time Nashville was in Chicago, a week before Christmas, the Preds were in the midst of a lengthy losing streak. Now, they've collected points in five straight and have won two in a row, including a 4-0 shutout over the Maple Leafs on Monday night in Toronto.
Forward Filip Forsberg returned to the Nashville lineup on Monday, giving the Preds yet another boost to their forward corps as the new year continues. Through three games on the current trip, the Predators have collected five out of a possible six points, while scoring 11 total goals in the process. Now, they simply want to continue their road success.
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[Renaissance Road Warriors: Preds Photo Blog]
"It was a good couple games, but we've got a lot of work left to do on this road trip," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said following Monday's win in Toronto. "We're going into another back-to-back situation, and then have to hit Carolina after that, so we have to keep pushing. We gave up some wins on the road back a couple months ago, and we have to try and fight for that road record again."
Video: Ekholm, Rinne pace Preds in 4-0 win against Leafs
Last Time Out:
Mattias Ekholm, P.K. Subban, Colton Sissons and Kevin Fiala all tallied for the Preds in Toronto, while Pekka Rinne made 18 saves to earn his third shutout of the season.
Ryan Johansen continues to lead the Preds in scoring with 36 points, while Ekholm and Roman Josi are tied with 30 points apiece. Forsberg and Craig Smith are tied for the team lead with 14 goals each, followed by Viktor Arvidsson with 12.
Chicago has one win through four tries in 2019, including a 4-3 loss to the Flames on Monday. Patrick Kane leads the club with 24 goals and 56 points, followed by Jonathan Toews with 39 points and Alex DeBrincat with 35 points. Cam Ward is 7-7-4 in net for the Blackhawks; Collin Delia is 3-1-1 with a .947 save percentage through five games of action this season.
Video: Forsberg says he felt good in his first game back
The Predators are 49-49-(4)-9 all-time against the Blackhawks, including a 21-28-(1)-6 record at the United Center. The Preds have earned at least a point in four of their last six games against the Blackhawks (3-2-1). Nashville has limited Chicago to two-or-fewer goals in each of their last six meetings.
This will be the 112th time the Predators and Blackhawks clash in the regular season, Nashville's most against a single opponent.
Video: Laviolette is pleased to see star players returning
Notables Versus Chicago:
Pekka Rinne made his NHL debut and earned his first career victory on Dec. 15, 2005, versus Chicago. Ryan Johansen has 19 points (5g-14a), including five multi-point games, in 26 career regular-season meetings with the Blackhawks. Dan Hamhuis has 32 points (5g-27a) in 68 career contests vs. Chicago
Video: Predators face Hawks in stop No. 4 of six-game trip
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's game at the United Center comes with a 7 p.m. CT start and is being broadcast nationally on NBCSN. Fans may listen to the contest on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network with Pete Weber and Hal Gill on the call. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
If the Predators are playing hockey, you can count on the game being on at Preds Approved Bars & Restaurants. Locations throughout Tennessee may be seen by clicking here.
Listen to a Live Radio Feed (on active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game with NBCSports.com or through NHL.TV.