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Blackhawks vs. Predators game preview 2015: Chicago tries to leapfrog Nashville

A win Tuesday night would push the Hawks ahead of the Predators in the Central Division standings.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators play the first leg of a home-and-home series Tuesday night at the United Center. The opening of a stretch that'll see the Hawks play seven of their next 10 games at home, Chicago has a bit of an opportunity to settle in over the next few weeks amid a busy schedule.

Coming off a 3-1 win over the Jets on Sunday, the Hawks have shaken up their lineup once again by recalling Dennis Rasmussen and reassigning Tanner Kero to Rockford. Rasmussen, a big-bodied forward who was putting up strong numbers (14 points in 22 games) with the IceHogs, will be taking over for Kero as the team's fourth center, although he'll be playing on the third line if the morning bag skate was any indication.

As for the blue line, David Rundblad will snap his streak of 17 straight healthy scratches to take over for the ailing Trevor Daley, who suffered an apparent head injury Sunday against Winnipeg. The team has said that Daley is day-to-day, but hopefully its not too aggressive in bringing him back.

Projected lines:



Marko Dano is once again looking like a healthy scratch, which is a tad frustrating. Dano has been up-and-down but hopefully he'll get another look soon. At least Teuvo Teravainen is getting a steady look on the first line and maybe Rasmussen can make a difference.

Opponent Breakdown

Nashville Predators | Record: 14-8-5 | 4th in Central Division | Goal differential: +1

Nashville has really cooled off after a monster start to the season. The team is 3-5-2 over its past 10 games even after beating the Bruins on Monday.

However, that's largely been the result of some nasty luck. Over that 10-game stretch, the Predators have a 5-on-5 Corsi of 59.2 percent -- No. 2 in the league over that time frame -- but their PDO is just 94.5, lowest in the league. At even strength, Nashville has continued to play quite well, it's just not getting the bounces of late.

Penalty killing, on the other hand, might be a legitimate concern for the team. Despite an impressive set of blue liners, the team is just 16-of-27 (59 percent) on penalty kills during its past nine games. Nobody has given up more power play goals over the past two-plus weeks. Considering how well the Hawks' power play has performed at times this season, the man advantage should offer some big opportunities for Chicago.

Here's a quick rundown of the team's projected lines:



Goaltender Pekka Rinne is also confirmed to start Tuesday night. Carter Hutton started for Nashville on Monday night in order to free up Rinne to play the second night of the back-to-back against the defending champs.


Blackhawks: Trevor Daley

Predators: Mike Fisher, Gabriel Bourque

How to Watch

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center, Chicago

TV: CSN Chicago