The Chicago Blackhawks had a keen eye on three series the past two days.
Columbus, Minnesota, and Calgary each played Game 4s and needed to win to avoid elimination. The Wild faced the toughest task playing on the road, while the Blue Jackets and Flames had a home crowd behind them. The Blue Jackets beat Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Minnesota skated away with a win in St. Louis, and Calgary fell to Anaheim to become the first team eliminated from the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday.
Chicago looks to join Columbus and Minnesota as teams to avoid sweeps when they visit the Nashville Predators for Game 4 of their best-of-seven series Thursday at Bridgestone Arena.
It’s the first-ever 3-0 series lead in franchise history for Nashville.
Only four times in NHL history have teams rallied from such a deficit to win a series. Toronto beat Montreal in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final, the New York Islanders rallied to beat Pittsburgh in the 1975 quarterfinals, and this decade there was Philadelphia’s 2010 second-round comeback over Boston and Los Angeles’ 2014 first-round win over San Jose. Also, nine players were part of Chicago’s 2011 team that came back from a three-game deficit to Vancouver to force overtime in Game 7.
After being shutout in the first two games, Joel Quenneville opted for line changes and stuck with Corey Crawford in net for Game 3. The line changes didn’t make much of an impact, but Crawford excelled with a 46-save performance. Dennis Rasmussen and Patrick Kane each scored to give Chicago a 2-0 lead heading into the third period before Nashville rallied for the win.
Quenneville is shaking up the Hawks’ lines again for Game 4, as Jonathan Toews had Marian Hossa and Nick Schmaltz as his wingers during Wednesday’s practice. The defensive unit also will see a change with veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya a healthy scratch in favor of Michal Kempny, who will make his playoff debut.
Projected lines for Game 4
|Goaltender||Corey Crawford||Pekka Rinne|
How to watch Game 4
Time: 7 p.m. CT
TV: CSN Chicago, NBCSN
Live Stream: NBC Sports