Last night, the Nashville Predators welcomed the Chicago Blackhawks into a lively Bridgestone Arena. The Preds were looking to begin their season on a positive note. Nashville was successful in a 3-2 win against the Blackhawks.
During the first period, the Predators and Blackhawks exchanged two goals a piece. Marcus Kruger began the scoring at 2:35 of the first period, but new Nashville defenseman, P.K. Subban, scored his first goal as a member of the Nashville Predators.
Niklas Hjalmarsson regained the lead for Chicago at 9:51. The Predators were able to respond with their own goal as Roman Josi shot a laser from the blue line and scored at 16:33. The first period ended with the score 2-2.
The only other goal scored during the game would be the game-winning goal, a redirected shot, by newly minted captain, Mike Fisher, at 16:36 of the second period.
**It is interesting to note that all of the Preds scoring occurred while on the power-play. Nashville was three for six on the power-play for the game.
Keys to Watch
Well, it seems like the Predators just had a game against Chicago?! Oh, wait… They did. The Predators will travel to Chicago tonight to take on the Blackhawks in a back-to-back set against their rival. Nashville’s game-plan will not be much different from last night. The Predators were very physical, played solid defense, Rinne played well in net, and were able to get timely scoring. Chicago will try to avoid their third straight loss this season. If Nashville can win tonight, look for lots of panic in the Windy City.
Last night was a tale of two different special teams. The Predators were three for six on the power-play and the penalty kill stopped all four chances of Chicago. On the flip side of that, Chicago struggled mightily as Nashville was able to get opportunities on the power-play. The Blackhawks will try to stay out of the penalty box and be more efficient on special teams, while Nashville will continue to take advantage with the extra skater.
Darling over Crawford
In an interesting maneuver, the Chicago Blackhawks will give the nod to Scott Darling and give Corey Crawford the night off. On the season, Crawford has six goals for .898 save percentage, and 3.10 goals-against. Darling came in during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs and played exceptional against the Predators. Tonight, Chicago will be looking for a spark from Darling to give them their first win of the season. The Predators cannot allow for the Newport News, Virginia native to get comfortable. Nashville needs to have lots of traffic in front of Darling to make it as difficult as possible.
The Predators will look to get their first victory away from Bridgestone Arena this season. Chicago is a team looking for their first win and will come out with a determination to get that victory. 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 7:30pm!