The Nashville Predators are still one of two teams that are undefeated in regulation in the NHL. After a 4-3 OT win against the Arizona Coyotes, the Nashville Predators are back on the ice tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks. This will be the 2nd time the two teams have faced off against each other this season. The last match, in Chicago, netted an overtime win for the Blackhawks on a short-handed overtime goal from Jonathan Toews.
Just like the Preds, the Blackhawks have not lost in regulation yet this season. In their last outing, the Chicago Blackhawks blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0. The Blackhawks came out strong in the 1st period with 3 goals by Brandon Saad (11:54), Patrick Kane (12:26 PP), and Bryan Bickell (14:00). Kane achieved the final goal against the Flyers with another powerplay goal in the 3rd period.
Keys to watch
The Blackhawks will be down their main goaltender, Corey Crawford. Crawford has an undisclosed “upper-body” injury and will not be in net. Instead, the Blackhawks will send out G Antti Raanta. In his one start this season, Raanta did not allow a goal in the 4-0 win against Philadelphia.
Kane. Kane. Kane.
Patrick Kane is in rare form early this season. He already has 3 goals and is tied for 2nd on the team with 5 points. The Preds will need to focus on Kane, especially in cases of the powerplay. With 17 career goals against the Predators, Kane is an offensive juggernaut against the Preds.
Ellis leads the way
Ryan Ellis had an outstanding night on Tuesday against the Coyotes. He had three points and the game-winning shootout goal. Ellis was on fire and seemed to be the entire offense for the Preds against the Coyotes. The Predators will need a strong offensive effort from Ellis in order for the team to continue their winning ways.
***Note: We all know the struggles of the Predators’ ineffective powerplay. This is another key to watch that has been noted all season thus far.
The Predators look to remain on top of the Central Division. The only way that this can be accomplished is through another win at Bridgestone Arena. With a loss in regulation, the Preds will lose 1st place of the division. The Preds, with a win, will take a three-point advantage above the Blackhawks in the Central Division.
Get out to Bridgestone Arena and support the Preds! The puck drops at 7pm. If you can’t make it to the game, you will be able to watch on FS-TN or listen live on 102.5 THE GAME.