The Nashville Predators will look tonight to go up 2-0 against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Preds can expect a much better offensive push throughout the entire game from Chicago tonight. During the first period of Game One, the Predators dominated a majority of the play and scored the only goal of the game by Viktor Arvidsson.
Game One was positive after a struggle against Chicago during the regular season. They can not sit back and become conservative with their style of play. The Predators must push the play of the game, have the defenseman pressing with the puck, and have Pekka Rinne play lights out once again such as he did in Game one with 29 saves. This will be a tall order against a very dangerous Chicago squad with plenty of offensive capabilities and a streaky goaltender in Corey Crawford.
The Predators had troubles in the second and third period in Game One with nine shots on goal. With the only goal of the series for both teams, Nashville will need more offensive production if they plan on winning the series. The play of Colin Wilson could help, but his status for tonight’s game is uncertain. The Predators could use more offensive chances with their third and fourth lines. Traffic in front of the net will be a key to tonight giving Nashville multiple scoring opportunities, so look for players like Austin Watson and Mike Fisher to play key roles in Game Two.
Control the Puck
In our preview going into Game One, we discussed the importance of the Nashville Predators controlling the puck. The Nashville centers needed to win in the face-off circle, yet Chicago dominated winning 56% of the face-offs in Game One. Nashville was able to do well blocking 26 shots, but playing the puck possession game and controlling the play will be essential in giving Nashville the opportunity to go up 2-0 in the series.
The Predators will look to the blueprint from Game One, adding more offense and go up 2-0 in the series. Be sure to catch all of the action tonight on NBCSN or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at the United Center at 7:00 pm!