Chicago Blackhawks 29-20-7
Nashville Predators 32-18-6
David Legwand, pictured here taking a faceoff against Jeff Halpern of the Washington Capitals, has 51 points against the Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks have lost their last 8 games, dating back to the back-to-back contests they lost against the Nashville Predators January 21st and 24th. In fact, the Blackhawks have gone 0-7-1 in those contests, losing an overtime tilt against the Canucks. Chicago was in fact struggling a bit before the current skid, too. The 10 games prior to their current losing streak, Chicago went 5-3-2, dating back to the start of January.
Right now, however, the Predators are also struggling. Losers of three in a row, two via shootout, Nashville has done the unthinkable, scoring 3 goals in each of its last three games but dropping the decision nonetheless. Before last week, the Predators were 26-3-1 when scoring three or more goals.
Tuesday’s game is the second of three regular season meetings at Bridgestone Arena between Chicago and the Predators. The Predators have won three of their last four games against Chicago on home ice, and Nashville’s all-time home record against the Blackhawks is 20-12-6. This season, including two games played at United Center in Chicago, Nashville is 2-0-1 against the Blackhawks.
Nashville players to watch tonight include two veterans and a rookie.
Martin Erat has 15 points including 6 goals and 9 assists in his last 17 outings against Chicago. Longtime teammate, David Legwand has picked up 51 points against the Blackhawks, including 19 goals and 32 assists. Legwand is the first player to pick up 50 points against one team. And finally, Predators rookie Craig Smith has three goals in three games against the Blackhawls this season.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Ray Emery will get the start in net for Chicago. The Predators faced Emery in the playoffs last season in the Anaheim series, but have only faced the netminder twice in the regular season, not fairing so well with a 7.52 goals against average and a .650 save percentage.
Rinne is 8-6-1 against the Blackhawks with a 2.39 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.
While no one is out of the Predators lineup with injury, the Blackhawks are short two defensemen with Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador out of the lineup with upper-body injuries. Dan Carcillo is also out of the lineup. He will miss the remainder of the season after having left knee surgery.
Photo credit: Getting Images