Let’s be real here... last year’s Western Conference Divisional Semifinal sucked. The Chicago Blackhawks rolled into the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference, and were looking at the Nashville Predators in the first round. Chicago was 4-1 against the Preds in the regular season, and were looking to roll through the series with relative ease.
That didn’t happen. In fact, Chicago didn’t really put up a fight. Nashville swept the Hawks in four games, with the last two losses coming in Bridgestone Arena. Chicago has not been in that building since getting manhandled last year, but that changes tonight. The Hawks face the Preds at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena.
Chicago (12-8-3) rolls into tonight’s game 4-0-1 in their last five games, including a 7-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday at the United Center. Within the seven (!?) goals scored last night, Alex DeBrincat earned his first career NHL hat-trick, Patrick Kane extended his point streak to seven games, and the team scored the most goals in a game since the season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nashville (14-6-3) is just as hot right now. They’re 9-1-1 during their last eleven games, with their last game ending in a shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Before that loss, left winger Filip Forsberg was riding a seven-game point streak of his own, center Ryan Johansen had three multi-point nights in four games, and the Preds had one of the 10th highest scoring offenses in the NHL.
We’ve got a feeling Tuesday is going to be a high scoring affair.
The season series is split at a game apiece, with the Hawks and Preds winning a game each 2-1 in Chicago. Historically, Chicago is 26-31-3 when playing in Nashville (64-55-4 all time). Outside of the 2017 playoffs, the Hawks won their last two regular season games at Bridgestone Arena.
|F1||Brandan Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik|
|F2||Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane|
|F3||Patrick Sharp - Ryan Hartman - Alex DeBrincat|
|F4||Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Cody Franson|
|D2||Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook|
|D3||Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta|
|F1||Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Alexander Radulov|
|F2||Mattias Janmark-Jason Spezza-Devin Shore|
|F3||Remi Elie-Radek Faksa-Tyler Pitlick|
|F4||Curtis McKenzie-Gemel Smith-Brett Ritchie|
|D1||Esa Lindell-John Klingberg|
|D2||Dan Hamhuis-Greg Pateryn|
|D3||Jamie Oleksiak-Stephen Johns|
How to watch Blackhawks at Predators
Start time: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville Tenn.
TV: NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra App