Originally written March 31, 2012 on Red Light District Hockey:
The Morning After:
Yesterday’s results:
Blue Jackets 4, Panthers 1
Jets 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)
Penguins 5, Sabres 3
Rangers 4, Canadiens 1
Predators 4, Red Wings 1
Avalanche 4, Flames 1
Kings 4, Oilers 1
Canucks 5, Stars 2

RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. Sidney Crosby, PIT (1 goal, 3 assists)
2. Pekka Rinne (31 saves)
3. Semyon Varlamov (38 saves)
---

Tonight’s slate:
Senators @ Flyers, 1:00 ET
Bruins @ Islanders, 1:00
Jets @ Lightning, 7:00
Sabres @ Maple Leafs, 7:00
Canadiens @ Capitals, 7:00
Devils @ Hurricanes, 7:00
Blackhawks @ Predators, 8:00
Blue Jackets @ Blues, 8:00
Kings @ Wild, 8:00
Ducks @ Coyotes, 9:00

Game of the night:
Chicago Blackhawks @ Nashville Predators
8:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Records:
Overall: Blackhawks (43-26-9) … Predators (45-25-8)
Away/Home: Blackhawks (16-18-4) … Predators (24-9-5)
Last 10: Blackhawks (7-1-2) … Predators (5-4-1)
Season Series: 4-1 Preds

Starting goaltenders:
CHI- Corey Crawford (2011-12 stats: 28-17-6, 2.75 GAA)
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2011-12 stats: 42-17-8, 2.40 GAA)

Injury report:
CHI- Sami Lepisto (left leg, out), Jonathan Toews (concussion, out), Dan Carcillo (ACL, out), Steve Montador (concussion, out)
NSH- No injuries

Three things to watch:
1. Playoff implications
Even though the Predators and Red Wings are still ahead of the Blackhawks in the standings, a sudden winning or losing streak could change the seeding of all three organizations. A win in regulation not only puts the Blackhawks into the postseason, it would give them the same amount of points as the rival Wings. And while the Preds and Wings look destined for the 4-5 spot, nothing is set in stone; especially with the Blackhawks set to face the Minnesota Wild in two of the next four games.
2. Can the Preds hold up on back-to-back nights?
Tonight's game is the last of a grueling schedule as the Preds try to better their playoff positioning. After tonight's game, the Preds play two of the next three at home and face the Wild, Avs and Stars. Following a hard-fought battle against the Red Wings last night, will the Predators have enough stamina to make it past the Blackhawks? Considering they boast a full line of extra forwards which includes promising youngsters like Craig Smith and Colin Wilson, you can expect head coach Barry Trotz to be creative with his roster.
3. Firepower vs. Firepower
Three years ago this Blackhawks club was known for their firepower with Toews, Kane, and Hossa all up front and Keith and Seabrook on the back end. Years later, the Preds can match that with Martin Erat and Alexander Radulov at forward complimented by Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne. Expect the stars to shine tonight in Smashville.

Final thoughts: Following a big win in Detroit, the Predators can further solidify their home-ice positioning with a win. If Pekka Rinne can withstand another barrage of offense, they should be able to hold up. Tough to bet against a club with just a wealth of depth and talent built around a hard-working system. Prediction: Predators 3, Blackhawks 2

The rest of today’s predictions:
Flyers over Senators
Bruins over Islanders
Lightning over Jets
Sabres over Maple Leafs
Capitals over Canadiens
Devils over Hurricanes
Blues over Blue Jackets
Kings over Wild
Ducks over Coyotes
---

Video of the day:


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