The Nashville Predators last played on Saturday evening against the streaking Arizona Coyotes out in the desert.
Nashville was not able to break-through during the entire game as they were shutout against Louis Domingue. The Predators got 26 shots on net, provided lots of pressure, but Domingue was too good for the Preds to score. One positive was the Preds only had three penalties for six minutes of time in the penalty box. The Coyotes were able to score four goals, three of which were in the third period to give themselves a 4-0 victory.
Tonight, Nashville takes their struggling act to the Windy City to take on archrival, the Chicago Blackhawks. In their last outing, Chicago defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-3.
Keys to Watch
It can only get better, right?!
Needless to say, the Nashville Predators were not good last week. They lost three in a row, two of which were to Central Division rivals (Winnipeg, Colorado). The Preds, for the most part, are out-shooting their opponent, getting many more chances, and are providing opportunities for all players to get involved. Other than blocked shots, there isn’t much of a discrepancy in most statistical categories. The problem is finishing around the net. The Preds have got to start putting in rebounds and fighting for loose pucks with more intensity. The pretty bombs from the blue line aren’t working, and its showing on the score sheet. If Nashville will start getting some rebounds, the tide might change for this squad.
Seven in a row
The Chicago Blackhawks are clicking on all cylinders going into tonight’s game. They have the leader in points in the NHL (Kane-62), third best power-play (22.9%), and are in the top five in many other statistical categories. They have won seven in a row with wins against Pittsburgh (2), Ottawa, Colorado (2), Buffalo, and Arizona. Over the last seven games, they are averaging 4.14 goals per game and only allowing 2.14 per game. The Preds will have an uphill road against the Blackhawks tonight.
Crawford in net
This season, the Chicago Blackhawks have been able to depend upon Corey Crawford as a stable brand in net. So far, Crawford has a record of 23-10-2 on the season, 2.21 goals against average, and .926 save percentage. The Châteauguay, QC, Canada native is currently on pace for his best season as a professional. Nashville has to find some way to beat Crawford. Shots from the point will not work. You have to get him moving from post-to-post and provide lots of traffic in front of him. If he has time to see the puck, he can be extremely effective and we could see another similar performance from last Saturday when the Preds were shutout against Arizona.
Tonight, the Preds will need everyone, working together, to come out of Chicago with a win. This season, Chicago is one of the best in the NHL and Nashville will have an uphill climb. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at the United Center at 7:30 pm!