Game Preview : The Back End

USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks (60 pts 28-5-4) vs Nashville Predators (38 pts 15-16-8) 6 PM United Center- Chicago, IL. TV: CSN Chicago Radio : WGN 720 AM

Season Series

Date Score W. Goal
Apr 19 '13
Apr 07 '13
Apr 06 '13 CHI 1 at NSH 0 B. Bickell
Apr 01 '13 NSH 2 at CHI 3 - SO M. Rozsival
Feb 10 '13 CHI 3 at NSH 0 M. Kruger

Not too much you can say about two teams who will play each other for the 3rd time in 6 days tonight. The Hawks look to win their 4th straight over the Preds this year tonight. Coach Q will address the media at 4 pm, but I do not expect to see either Patrick Sharp or Dave Bolland in the lineup tonight. As far as goalies go logic says Corey Crawford will play tonight but logic and Q doesn't always mix. The last time the Hawks played back to back games when the first game was an afternoon game, Crow played both games. Ray Emery did pick up his 2nd shutout in 3 starts yesterday so could be rewarded with another start tonight.

As far as the Preds go, the will send Pekka Rinne out again today. With Nashville's playoff lives in doubt, I am sure Rinne is not going to get many days off from here on out. Tonight is a huge game for the Predators, especially if the Red Wings and Blues have themselves a 3 point game this afternoon. Mike Fisher will miss tonight's game due to a nagging hand injury. Youngster Austin Watson will make his NHL debut in his place.

If you are coming down to the United Center, get there early to see the Hawks and their special Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys during warm ups. The jerseys will feature lavender numbers and lettering and will all be autographed and auctioned off with the proceeds going to Chicago Blackhawks Charities.

Probable Blackhawks lineup

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Dan Carcillo - Marcus Kruger - Patrick Kane
Viktor Stalberg - Michal Handzus - Bryan Bickell
Michael Frolik - Andrew Shaw - Brandon Bollig

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy - Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya - Sheldon Brookbank

Goaltender

Corey Crawford 15-4-4, 2.01 GAA, .922 save %, 2 SO

Injuries

Dave Bolland (lower body) OUT, Patrick Sharp (shoulder) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Kane 37 19 25 44 12 4 8 2
J. Toews 37 18 20 38 22 23 2 3
M. Hossa 30 13 10 23 13 14 3 4
B. Saad 36 8 13 21 13 8 0 2
D. Keith 37 2 19 21 12 29 1 0

Probable Predators lineup

Forwards

Sergei Kostitsyn - Nick Spaling - Austin Watson
Taylor Beck - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist
Richard Clune - Craig Smith - Bobby Butler
Brandon Yip - Chris Mueller - Matt Halischuk

Defensive Pairings

Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Victor Bartley - Kevin Klein
Hal Gill - Jonathon Blum

Goaltender

Pekka Rinne 14-12-7, 2.27 GAA, .915 save %, 5 SO

Injuries

Gabriel Bourque (upper body) OUT, Colin Wilson (upper body) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
D. Legwand 39 10 12 22 3 20 2 2
S. Weber 39 7 14 21 3 32 3 1
M. Fisher 36 9 10 19 5 27 1 0
C. Wilson 25 7 12 19 1 4 2 1
G. Bourque 34 11 5 16 6 4 3 2

NSH
Stats
CHI
39 GP 37
15 W 28
16 L 5
8 OT 4
38 P 60
0.487 P% 0.811
2.33 G/G 3.19
2.51 GA/G 2.05
17.4 PP% 17.1
77.3 PK% 85.4
26.1 S/G 31.3
27.2 SA/G 26.3
50.5 FO% 50.4

Chicago Blackhawks tickets

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