This evening your local beloved hockey club, aka The Handsome Men’s Team, aka the Nashville Predators, take on their very definitely not rivals, don’t be silly, Chicago Blackhawks. It’s likely to be a first round preview, so it’s extra required viewing.
The Blackhawks are coming off a shootout victory last night versus the New York Islanders. Like they somehow always do, they started the year out slowly and have started gaining momentum just a few weeks out of the playoffs. They have been battling the injury bug, however, so Corey Crawford is expected to start both halves of the back to back.
Despite injuries to key players such as Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artem Anisimov, perennial Nashville killers Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa are still as effective as ever. Artemi Panarin scored both the game tying goal and shootout winner, so he seems to be heating up after coming back from injury.
Nashville’s deadline day pickup won’t make his debut tonight, but James Neal has been moved back up off the fourth line to Jarnkrok’s wing again. Yes, Craig Smith remains in the lineup.
Unfortunately, Ryan Ellis is out due to a lower body injury sustained during the loss against Montreal on Thursday. As of writing, we don’t have the projected defense pairings, but I expect Josi-Irwin, Ekholm-Subban, Bitetto-Y. Weber. Juuse Saros will stop the pucks, which is exciting.
Reasons to Watch
- It’s a Saturday night home game against Chicago, c’mon.
- Will Craig Smith get within twenty feet of Corey Crawford’s crease?
- Filip Forsberg’s goal scoring streak was snapped against the Habs, but look to him to start another one.
Sights and Sounds
The game starts at 7 PM Central. Catch the action on Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports Go, or 102.5 FM The Game.