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Nashville Predators 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2: Not Pulling Any Punches

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The Nashville Predators opened their season against their arch rival Chicago Blackhawks. It was quite the physical, in-your-face game everyone expected.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It is clear the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks do not like each other.

Anthony Bitetto and Jordin Tootoo proved that point with their second period tussle that left Bitetto out for the remainder of the game with an upper-body injury. Then to really drive the point home, James Neal and Jonathan Toews exchanged words, with their fists.

P.K. Subban won over the hearts of Predator fans early on scoring the first goal of the season for Nashville on the power play. He also broke up a 2-on-1 in the defensive zone that could have been disastrous with Patrick Kane skating in. The Shea Weber-less power play looked pretty good with three power play goals, two from defensemen.

The Predators ultimately won 3-2 sending the Blackhawks back to Chicago with a bad taste in their mouths.

Random Observations

  • Predator fans love them some P.K. Subban.
  • Boy are Filip Forsberg and Kevin Fiala going to be fun to watch on the same line together.
  • James Neal and Jonathan Toews dropped the gloves. Just like we all predicted.
  • Jordin Tootoo reminded everyone why Nashville used to pay him to beat people up at Bridgestone Arena. Unfortunately Tony Bitetto found out the hard way.
  • Good luck keeping up with the pace of the Predators this season. They have speed, speed, and more speed.
  • Josi and Subban have the potential to be the most lethal defensive top pairing in the league.
  • This Predator defense has the skill to be the best in the league.
  • The Nashville Predators will not be bullied. They can play fast, they can play physical, they will even throw the occasional punch if needed.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. P.K. Subban - Because why not? He scored the first goal of the season, broke up a 2-on-1 that had Patrick Kane breaking in, and no one got the crowd as loud as P.K. Also, not only did he terrorize Toews in the final period, but he shoved Patrick Kane on his rear-end and got Kane to draw an embellishment call.
  2. Ryan Johansen - He recorded three assists and I bet you didn’t even notice. It was just the second time Johansen has had three or more assists in a game.
  3. James Neal - Let’s be honest, a lot of people in Bridgestone Arena enjoyed watching Neal trade blows with Toews. Two of the least likely players to get into a scrap provided one the more entertaining moments of the game.

Tweets of the Night

Game Stats Photos of the game HockeyStats Natural Stat Trick

Game video