Michal Kempny will make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 on Thursday at Bridgestone Arena. Kempny gets the nod over two-time Stanley Cup winner Johnny Oduya, who Chicago reacquired near the trade deadline.
Chicago trails the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals series 3-0 against Nashville and must win to avoid a first-round exit for a second straight year.
Kempny was paired with Brent Seabrook on the Hawks’ second blue line during Wednesday’s practice while Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson were the top pairing and Brian Campbell and Trevor van Riemsdyk rounded out the group.
Kempny, a 26-year-old Czech defenseman, hasn’t played since April 6 at Anaheim. He has two goals and eight points in 50 games this season.
In the regular season, Oduya had a 45.1 even strength Corsi, which is just .8 percent lower than what he’s averaged in three playoff games, according to Natural Stat Trick. Oduya isn’t known for driving possession, but he posted above 50 percent at Corsi during his previous stint in Chicago. Conversely, in his first NHL season, Kempny had a 56.3 percent Corsi.