Nashville Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks Preview: Oh, You Again

Just nine days ago the Preds skated into the United Center and pulled out a 3-2 win. Can they repeat that feat tonight?

The Stats

Nashville Predators Chicago Blackhawks
Record 30-31-10 23rd 41-15-15 7th
GF/Game 2.39 25th 3.31 1st
GA/Game 2.90 24th 2.48 8th
5-on-5 Close SF/60 29.7 13th 32.8 4th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 27.2 5th 26.3 3rd
Fenwick Close 50.70 13th 55.20 2nd
5-on-5 Close Save % .908 27th .928 10th
5-on-4 GF/60 6.4 12th 7.0 6th
# of PP's/Gm 3.03 28th 3.20 21st
4-on-5 GA/60 7.1 25th 6.3 19th
# of PK's/Gm 2.97 3rd 3.17 11th

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are primarily concerned with fine-tuning the team for playoff performance these days, and Patrick Kane's recent injury forces the team to see how the rest of the forwards can step up in his absence. So far, so good on that count: they shut out St. Louis 4-0 during the game Kane left and followed that up with a 3-2 victory over Carolina, in which Chicago did not allow a shot on goal by the Hurricanes for the last 9:40 of the game.

That's impressive two-way hockey, and speaks to the Blackhawks' status as more than just a high-scoring bunch. Sure, they could end up the season with three or four 30-goal scorers in their lineup, but they also play some of the tightest defense in the league and enjoy above-average goaltending, too.

Nashville Predators

A six-goal game like we saw last time out leaves a positive vibe in the air, which is nice, and it looks like Calle Jarnkrok will get another crack at NHL action, as he's still on the roster after a fine effort in his big-league debut. As we consider how the Nashville Predators can work towards a more successful 2014-15 season, what we see out of Iron Hook can help inform the organization's plans for this summer's trade & free agency market.

Will Jarnkrok play a prime-time role on the next edition of the Preds? How about Filip Forsberg? Those questions and many more will keep us busy for the rest of 2014, and what we're seeing now are the opening moments of what could be the next chapter in Predators history.

While the on-again off-again offense broke out in major fashion Friday night at Calgary, the major challenge currently for Nashville is in goal, where Pekka Rinne has given up 13 goals over his last three games. Oh, and he's facing the top offense in the NHL tonight.

Check back later for the 6:00 p.m. Central faceoff, and let's see if the Preds can follow up on their last visit to the United Center, a 3-2 triumph over the Blackhawks on March 14...

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker