On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators look to get off the losing path and would take on the Chicago Blackhawks for the second time in two games.

For the first time in a long time, the Nashville Predators were able to get a great start and scored three unanswered goals on Chicago within the first period.

The scoring began with James Neal getting on the board at 6:54 of the first period to give Nashville a 1-0 lead. At 15:56, Craig Smith decided to join in on the action for his 6th goal of the season.

At 16:14, Marcus Kruger was called for hooking against Cody Hodgson. It only took 19 seconds for the Preds to take advantage and score the third of the period with a Filip Forsberg power-play goal.

The second period had lots of back-and-forth action, but neither side was able to tally a point during the period.

The third period began with a controversial call to give Patrick Kane the opportunity to expand his point streak. After the Coach’s Challenge from Peter Laviolette, the referees insisted that it was a good goal.

Nashville would get two additional goals in the third period from James Neal (12) at 14:55 and an empty net, short-handed goal from Eric Nystrom at 18:46.

After the final horn sounded, the Nashville Predators were able to get a dominating performance over the Blackhawks with a 5-1 victory.

Tonight, the Preds will face another Central Divison opponent as they welcome in the Colorado Avalanche to Bridgestone Arena.

In their last outing, the Avs lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2.


Keys to Watch

Talent Down the Middle

The Colorado Avalanche have one of the most talented group of centers in the NHL. Whether it is Matt Duchene, Nathan Mackinnon, or Carl Soderberg, the Avs have assembled an extremely versatile group that is able to do so many things. On the flip side, the Nashville Predators struggle at times at the center position. The centers for Nashville will need to keep up and contend with physical play and great faceoff play to get a win against this talented group.

Shot Attempts Percentage Close

Enhanced statistics are the going trend for the NHL. The Nashville Predators are one of the top teams in the NHL according to advanced statistics in regards to shooting percentage. One statistical category that Nashville excels in is shot attempts percentage when both teams are within one goal or tied in the third period. The Nashville Predators are currently ranked 2nd in the NHL with a percentage of 55.53%. There are only 14 teams in the NHL above 50%. The Avs are currently ranked last in the NHL with a percentage of 43.95%. Nashville will need to play their game of lots of shots on net, but make those shots quality and not focus on quantity.

Stop Duchene!

Matt Duchene has been one of the best overall players in the NHL this season. The Haliburton, ON, Canada native has 15 goals, 11 assists for a total of 26 points. Duchene is currently ranked 4th in goals, 20th in total points, 20.3 shot percentage, and is averaging 19:09 per game on ice. He is a catalyst on offense and the Nashville defense will have to contend with his play.

**Gabriel Landeskog will be out for the Avs tonight against Nashville due to a lingering back injury. Mikhail Grigorenko will start on the first line with Duchene and Mackinnon.


 

The Nashville Predators will look to build upon their dominating performance against the Blackhawks and take it to the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena. Tonight’s matchup will be carried on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.

Puck drops at 7:00 pm!