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Game Preview : The Front End

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Chicago Blackhawks (27-5-4) @ Nashville Predators (38 2pts 15-15-8) 2 PM Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, TN TV: CSN Chicago Radio: WGN 720 AM

Frederick Breedon

Season Series

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

The Blackhawks start a weekend home and home series with their division rivals, the Nashville Predators. Saturday Broadway Street will be turning into Chicago south before the two teams meet again at the United Center tomorrow. The good news about playing a team three times in six days is that my previews are going to be short and sweet. Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp did not make the trip to Tennessee for today's game. Sharp is taking is time coming back from his shoulder injury and Bolland is still feeling the effects of taking a Shea Weber slap shot off the foot. Not sure why he played against the Blues on Thursday if he was hurt. Both are questionable to return tomorrow night as well.

Since we last saw the Predators on Monday they dropped their last game to Columbus on Thursday. Missing from the Preds lineup this weekend is Martin Erat, who was shipped to the Washington Capitals for prospect Filip Foresberg. I do think the Preds scored a big return for Erat, but I found it odd that a team fighting for their playoff life would trade away their leading scorer. Mike Fischer, who missed Monday's game returned on Thursday. He was moved out of his normal 2nd line center position and filled Erat's vacant RW spot on the top line.

Probable Blackhawks lineup

Forwards

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

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Johnny Oduya - Brent Seabrook
Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Ray Emery 12-1-0, 2.09 GAA, .919 save %, 1 SO

Injuries

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

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Kane 36 19 25 44 12 4 8 2
J. Toews 36 18 20 38 22 23 2 3
M. Hossa 29 13 10 23 13 14 3 4
B. Saad 35 8 13 21 13 8 0 2
D. Keith 36 2 19 21 12 29 1 0

Probable Predators lineup

Forwards

Sergei Kostitsyn - Paul Gaustad - Mike Fisher
Gabriel Bourque - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist
Richard Clune - Craig Smith - Nick Spaling
Brandon Yip - Chris Mueller - Matt Halischuk

Defensive Pairings

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

Goaltender

Pekka Rinne 14-11-7, 2.31 GAA, .914 save %, 5 SO

Injuries

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

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
D. Legwand 38 10 12 22 3 18 2 2
S. Weber 38 7 14 21 3 32 3 1
M. Fisher 35 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

CHI
Stats
NSH
36 GP 38
27 W 15
5 L 15
4 OT 8
58 P 38
0.806 P% 0.5
3.25 G/G 2.4
2.11 GA/G 2.55
17.2 PP% 17.8
85 PK% 77.1
31.3 S/G 26.3
26.5 SA/G 27.2
50.2 FO% 50.7

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