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Blackhawks vs. Predators Game 3 preview: Antoine Vermette will play

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Darling in net, Desjardins possibly in as Chicago host Nashville in Game 3.

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Antoine Vermette will make his 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators in Game 3 on Sunday afternoon at United Center, reports Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.

Vermette, 32, who was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes for a 2015 first-round draft pick and defenseman Klas Dahlbeck on Feb. 28, was a healthy scratch for Games 1 and 2. Vermette scored zero goals and three points in 19 games with the Hawks.

Vermette has played in 58 playoff games, including all 54 of his team's games since his rookie season. He scored four goals and five points against the Hawks in the Coyotes' 4-2 first-round series victory in 2012.

In his career, Vermette has 10 goals and 11 assists in 13 games against the Preds. The only team he has faired better against is the Hawks (13 goals, 11 assists).

There's no official word on who Vermette and possibly Andrew Desjardins will replace in the lineup. Joakim Nordstrom, Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell are the leading candidates to sit.

Patrick Sharp thrives in the playoffs. He has a goal in the last three games. It's his first three-game goals streak of the season. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each have a team-high three points in the series.

Scott Darling is slated to start in net in place of Corey Crawford, who is missing a start in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2010. In Darling's last outing against the Preds, he stopped all 42 shots he faced.

[MORE: Stanley Cup Playoffs: Full schedule for Blackhawks vs. Predators]

There are no changes to the defensive pairings. Here are the lines after warmups:

Saad Toews Hossa
Versteeg Richards Kane
Bickell Vermette Sharp
Desjardins Kruger Shaw

Opponent Breakdown: Nashville Predators

The Preds will be without captain Shea Weber, who left Game 2 with a lower-body injury he suffered midway through the second period and did not return. The star defenseman was injured when Chicago's Brandon Saad delivered a hit against him along the boards. Weber did not make the trip to Chicago.

Seth Jones is expected to take his place alongside Roman Josi on the top pairing. Anton Volchenkov is expected to join the lineup.

Mike Fisher sat out Game 2 and is questionable for Sunday.

Colin Wilson has scored three goals in the first two games of the series. He had one goal between March 1 and the end of the regular season. Wilson and Craig Smith each have a team-high three points in the series.

Here are the lines from Friday's game:

Forsberg Ribeiro Smith
Wilson Cullen Neal
Santorelli Jarnkrok Stalberg
Bourque Gaustad Beck

Injury Report

Chicago: None

Nashville: Mike Fisher (lower-body, day-to-day), Shea Weber (lower-body, day-to-day) and Eric Nystrom (lower-body, day-to-day)

Game Information

When: 2 p.m. CT

Where: United Center

TV: NBC

Radio: WGN-720

For Chicago Blackhawks tickets, check out Ticketmaster. Follow Second City Hockey on Twitter at @2ndCityHockeyand Like us on Facebook. You can follow Brandon Cain on Twitter at @BrandonMCain.