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Chicago Blackhawks (24-7-5) at Nashville Predators (16-14-3)

December 17th, 2013 at 2:22 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks are back at it tonight as they are in Nashville to take on the Predators. The Blackhawks are coming off a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday and have won four of their last five. The Predators have won three in a row after losing five straight. This is the second of five meetings between the teams. The Predators dominated the first game, handing the Blackhawks a 7-2 beat down.

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane enters tonight on a nine-game point streak, recording 17 points over that span.
  • Bryan Bickell is expected to be back in the lineup for the Blackhawks. He has been out since November 19 with a lower-body injury.
  • The Blackhawks have scored a power play goal in nine straight games. A unit that struggled to start the season has moved to fourth-best in the league, converting 24% of the time.
  • The Predators are second-best in the league in the face off circle, winning 54% of their draws.
  • Predators forward Viktor Stalberg will take on his former team tonight. Stalberg has four goals and six assists in 27 games.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Raanta (6-1-1, 2.41 GAA, .915 SV%)

Raanta is 4-1-0 in his last five games. After giving up five goals on 25 shots against Toronto on Saturday, he bounced back on Sunday stopping 21 of 22 shots against Los Angeles.

Nashville Predators: Carter Hutton (7-3-1, 2.76 GAA, .913 SV%)

Hutton was named the “third star of the week“ last week as he posted a 3-0-0 record to go along with a 1.33 goals against average and a .960 save percentage. Hutton was part of the Blackhawks organization for two years before joining the Predators this past offseason.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Marian Hossa: 14 G, 15 A, 29 P

Hossa is on a three-game point streak recording five points over that stretch. Hossa missed the first game against the Predators and will want to avenge his team's loss tonight. 

Nashville Predators: Forward, David Legwand: 6 G, 18 A, 24 P

Legwand leads the Predators with 24 points. He has four points over his last three games and he recorded two assists in the first meeting against the Blackhawks this season.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Marcus Kruger: 4 G, 11 A, 15 P

Kruger doesn't stuff the stat sheet but he has played an important role for the Blackhawks this season. Kruger centers the fourth line and leads the charge on the team's penalty kill. 

Nashville Predators: Forward, Craig Smith: 6 G, 10 A, 16 P

Smith returned to the ice on Saturday after missing three games to an illness and being a healthy scratch. Smith had three points in the first meeting against the Blackhawks

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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