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Nashville Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks Preview: Here We Go Again

Tonight marks the back end of an old-fashioned home & home series between two division rivals. Can the Predators knock off the NHL's best team for the first time this season?

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Frederick Breedon

The Stats

Nashville Predators Chicago Blackhawks
Record 15-16-8 22nd 28-5-4 1st
GF/Game 2.33 27th 3.19 1st
GA/Game 2.51 11th 2.05 1st
5-on-5 SF/60 25.4 29th 30.2 7th
5-on-5 SA/60 26.6 7th 25.3 5th
Fenwick Close 47.09 23rd 55.10 2nd
5-on-5 Save % .923 11th .928 3rd
5-on-4 GF/60 6.1 16th 4.8 23rd
# of PP's/Gm 3.10 24th 3.32 21st
4-on-5 GA/60 7.8 28th 5.5 9th
# of PK's/Gm 3.05 4th 2.97 1st

The Blackhawks are the cream of the crop, it's that simple. As long as they stay healthy, they should be the favorite to lift the Stanley Cup in a couple months.

It's going to be a long, hot summer... don't you need a new Nashville Predators hat to keep cool?

Chicago Blackhawks

Blah blah blah great team blah blah blah best record and goal differential in the league blah blah blah even their backup goalie has a 13-1-0 record blah blah blah Patrick Kane is 5th in the NHL in scoring blah blah blah the Preds are 0-2-1 against them this season.

Nashville Predators

We've got good news and bad news. The good news? Austin Watson has been recalled from Milwaukee and will make his NHL debut!

The bad news? It was under "emergency conditions", so it sounds like a forward who played yesterday won't be able to go. Paul Gaustad already sat out Saturday's game with an upper body injury, and with Gabriel Bourque still out, this means someone else is watching from the pressbox tonight. Might it be Patric Hornqvist, who crashed into the net yesterday trying to prevent an empty-net goal? Stay tuned to find out...

UPDATE: Mike Fisher is out for tonight. Yippee.

No matter who sits, it will be interesting to see how Watson looks in his first NHL game. For a bit of background, here's the NHL's profile video of him ahead of the 2010 Draft:

Make sure you tune in to 102.5 The Game after the final horn this evening, as I'm joining Willy Daunic in studio for post-game analysis. We'll see you in the Game Thread around 6:00 p.m.!