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Predators Game Day Preview: Chicago @ Nashville

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04-07_medium

Blackhawks blog: Second City Hockey

TV: FS-TN (Comcast 28, Dish Network 450, DirecTV 644)

Radio104.5 "The Zone" (WGFX)

It's the regular season home finale tonight in Nashville, so expect a loud and raucous crowd to cheer on the Preds as they try to stay one step ahead of St. Louis in the race for the playoffs.

Questions to be answered: (1) Will Ryan Jones be ready to go, and if so, who gets scratched? (2) After a strong game Saturday that included the winning goal in the shootout, will Ville Koistinen continue to see ice time in favor of Greg de Vries? (3) Will the Sullivan/Arnott/Dumont line stick together, or be used only in time of dire need?

Blackhawks coming in: Thanks to a three-game winning streak, Chicago seems pretty well positioned for 4th place in the West, with home-ice advantage and matchup with Vancouver in the first round. 

Predators coming in: A dramatic shootout victory over Columbus Saturday night has them in 8th place, just ahead of St. Louis due to a tiebreaker (Nashville has more wins). The injury situation finally took a turn for the better with Jason Arnott back in the lineup, and Jones should be ready any day now.

Here's a look at the two teams in the main statistical categories, along with overall NHL rank:

Chicago Nashville
 Record 43-24-11 6th 39-32-8 17th
 Pts % .622 6th .544 17th
 Goals For/Game 3.15 5th 2.51 24th
 Goals Against/Game 2.59 5th 2.70 9th
 5-on-5 GF/GA 1.15 5th 0.95 19th
 PP% 19.3 13th 15.4 25th
 PK% 80.6 17th 83.5 3rd
 Shots/Game 33.1 4th 29.0 19th
 Shots Against/Game 28.7 7th 29.4 11th
 FO % 48 23rd 52.2 3rd

 

Next, let's see which players draw penalties, and which ones head to the box (data through April 5):

 Chicago Penalties Drawn Nashville Penalties Drawn
 Player Draws Fouls Pen +/-  Player Draws Fouls Pen +/-
 Ben Eager 32 43 -11  Jordin Tootoo 50 45 +5
 Patrick Kane 31 19 +12  Martin Erat 25 24 +1
 Jonathan Toews 28 23 +5  Ryan Jones 24 10 +14
 Kris Versteeg 27 14 +13  Dan Hamhuis 23 25 -2
 Colin Fraser 27 17 +10  Vern Fiddler 22 13 +9
 Dustin Byfuglien 27 28 -1  Joel Ward 21 12 +9
Penalties Taken Penalties Taken
 Ben Eager 32 43 -11  Jordin Tootoo 50 45 +5
 Dustin Byfuglien 27 28 -1  Ryan Suter 18 36 -18
 Brent Seabrook 16 27 -11  Shea Weber 16 35 -19
 Matt Walker 16 25 -9  Greg de Vries 15 24 -9
 Duncan Keith 8 25 -17  Dan Hamhuis 23 25 -2
 Jonathan Toews 28 23 +5  Martin Erat 25 24 +1

Courtesy of Second City Hockey, here are the Blackhawks' lines:

And the goaltenders?

Chicago


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Cristobal Huet 40 2291 19 15 4 5 97 2.54 1064 967 .909 3
2008 - Nikolai Khabibulin 39 2282 23 8 6 1 91 2.39 1109 1018 .918 2


Nashville


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Dan Ellis 35 1965 11 19 4 5 96 2.93 963 867 .900 3
2008 - Pekka Rinne 49 2817 28 13 4 5 107 2.28 1347 1240 .921 7