Posted April 07, 2013 on AP on Fox
Ray Emery admits the Chicago Blackhawks don't play a flashy brand of hockey when they face the Nashville Predators. Although they might not get points for style, the Blackhawks have been piling up points in the standings versus their Central Division rivals. Chicago looks to beat the Predators for the third time in a week as it tries to sweep a home-and-home set Sunday night at the United Center. These teams should be plenty familiar with one another after the Blackhawks (28-5-4) defeated the Predators 3-2 in a shootout Monday in Chicago and 1-0 Saturday in Nashville. Bryan Bickell scored 5:31 into the first period Saturday and Emery did the rest, stopping 20 shots for his second shutout in three starts. "That's a team that you've really got to play some boring hockey against,'' Emery said of the Predators. "You just try to be in good defensive position and take advantage when you get the opportunity. And I thought we played that strategy to a T.'' Although Emery isn't convinced facing Nashville promotes Chicago's high-powered offense, the Blackhawks have had plenty of scoring chances in the past two meetings. They had 30 shots Saturday after amassing 40 five days earlier. The play of Pekka Rinne is a big reason Chicago has totaled three regulation goals in the last two meetings - just shy of its season average per game - although he was caught out of position on Bickell's goal. The loss was the fifth in six games for Nashville (15-16-8), which is in 12th place in the Western Conference and four points back of eighth-place St. Louis. "Obviously you know the standings and everything, but you try not to look at it right now,'' Rinne said. "You try to focus on one game at a time. Now it's (Sunday) night, and it is not going to get any easier. We have a pretty big task on our hands if we want to make it and we have to start winning some games.'' Getting a win Sunday could be tough given Nashville's struggles on the road. The Predators have lost six straight and 12 of 13 away from Nashville. They haven't dropped seven consecutive road games since Dec. 8-Jan. 11, 2009. The Predators are struggling to score regardless of the venue, tallying two goals or fewer in four of five games - with two of those being 1-0 defeats. Nashville has been shut out a league-high seven times, with Chicago responsible for two. It hasn't helped that the Predators are playing without center Paul Gaustad, whose upper-body injury will keep him out at least a couple more games, along with leading goal-scorer Gabriel Bourque and forward Colin Wilson. The Blackhawks, winners of three of four, are also a bit banged-up, though Joel Quenneville said both Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland are questionable for Sunday. Sharp hasn't played since March 6 because of an upper-body injury. Quenneville seems likely to go with Corey Crawford between the pipes in the second half of this back-to-back. Crawford stopped 25 shots Monday, and had 17 saves in a 3-0 win at Nashville on Feb. 10.

Predators shut down by Blackhawks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Bryan Bickell scored in the first period, and Ray Emery made 20 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 Saturday for their third win in four games. The Blackhawks improved to 12-0-1 against the Central Division this season and moved closer to clinching the playoff berth. The Blackhawks won their third against Nashville this season and...

Blackhawks 1, Predators 0

Bryan Bickell scored in the first period, and Ray Emery made 20 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 Saturday for their third win in four games. The Blackhawks improved to 12-0-1 against the Central Division this season and moved closer to clinching the playoff berth. The Blackhawks won their third against Nashville this season and second in six days...

Blackhawks win clinches playoff spot

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John Jaeckel: The Saad Truth

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After struggling to pull away from the Predators for 40 minutes, a change made by Joel Quenneville provided the spark the Blackhawks needed to clinch a playoff spot. The Hawks dominated the first two periods, putting 29 shots on Pekka Rinne … Continue reading →The post Blackhawks Beat Preds Again, Clinch Playoff Berth appeared first on Committed Indians.

Blackhawks 5, Predators 3

Rookie Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored 55 seconds apart midway through the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Sunday night to become the first team to clinch a NHL playoff spot this season. Chicago (29-5-4) had fallen behind 3-2 early in the third on a goal by David Legwand, but Saad and Toews connected against Pekka Rinne...

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Blackhawks clinch playoff spot in 5-3 win

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Predators @ Blackhawks (Game 40): Preview

After the Chicago Blackhawks got the best of the Nashville Predators Saturday afternoon in a 1-0 regulation victory, they faceoff again, but this time at the Madhouse on Madison. The Predators are ranked 12th in the Western Conference with 38 points and a record of 15-16-8. The Blackhawks are 1st in the Western Conference with a 28-5-4 record and 60 points. Puck drops at 6:07pm CT...

Chicago Blackhawks @ Predators (Game 39): Preview

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