Preview/Game thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

  

Chicago Blackhawks (3–5–2) vs. Nashville Predators (7–3–1)

7 p.m. CDT
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN

Projected starting goaltenders

ChicagoRobin Lehner (2–1–2, .935 save percentage, 2.16 goals against average)
Nashville — Pekka Rinne (6–0–1, .931 save percentage, 1.98 goals against average)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (9.7%, 26th)
Nashville (21.9%, 15th)

Penalty kill
Chicago (73.3%, 26th)
Nashville (71.4%, 27th)

Shots for/against
Chicago (31.6, 14th; 32.9, Eighth)
Nashville (31.9, 13th30.1, 23rd)

Shooting percentage
Chicago (7.9%)
Nashville (12.8%)

Face off percentage
Chicago (49.8%, 17th)
Nashville (51.4%, Eighth)

Average height and weight
Chicago — 6-foot-1, 196 pounds
Nashville — 6-foot-0, 196 pounds

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Alex DeBrincat — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik — David Kampf — Alexander Nylander
Brandon Saad — Kirby Dach — Andrew Shaw
Dylan Strome — Ryan Carpenter — Drake Caggiula

Duncan Keith — Calvin de Haan
Olli Maatta — Dennis Gilbert
Slater Koekkoek — Erik Gustafsson

Nashville Predators

Calle Jarnkrok — Ryan Johansen — Viktor Arvidsson
Mikael Granlund — Kyle Turris — Matt Duchene
Rocco Grimaldi — Nick Bonino — Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki — Colton Sissons — Austin Watson

Roman Josi — Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm — Dante Fabbro
Dan HamhuisMatt Irwin

Analysis

The Blackhawks got back to their winning ways by thrashing the Kings 5–1 on Sunday night. The Kings are in the midst of a lengthy rebuild and it showed against the Blackhawks. Head coach Jeremy Colliton decided to reunite Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat on the fourth line and it paid off. The close friends were probably singing “reunited and It feels so good” as they had three points each.

In addition to stellar play from the fourth line, Robin Lehner continues to dazzle in the net for the Blackhawks. Lehner now ranks third in NHL save percentage (.935) and seventh in goals against average (2.16). Those numbers have earned Lehner his fourth start in the last five games.

Also of note, veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook is being scratched for the second consecutive game tonight.

The Blackhawks and Lehner will be facing much stiffer competition in tonight’s opponent. The Nashville Predators are coming off an overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Pekka Rinne and the team defense have been the story for years in Nashville and this season appears to be no different. Rinne has a 1.98 goals against average, which is good for fifth in the NHL and a save percentage of .931, which is good for seventh in the NHL. On defense, Roman Josi, who signed a massive eight-year contract extension earlier today, continues to play an all-star level with five goals and eight assist. His defense partner, Ryan Ellis, is tied with Josi for the team points lead at 11.

Can Lehner and Blackhawks outplay Rinne and the scoring defense of the Predators?

Comment below in our live game thread tonight!

And, be sure to look for the internet’s most robust recap of the game on The-Rink.com.

Center Ice Forums Preview/Game thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

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