The Nashville Predators blow into the “windy city” of Chicago tonight to face the Blackhawks, who have “payback” on their minds, after Nashville’s “thumping” of them last Saturday night in the music city.
Their last meeting ended in a 5-2 Nashville win, after Chicago had played the night before, and was delayed by weather in getting to Nashville, throwing the Blackhawks” schedule behind for their meeting with the Predators. Now the table is turned, as the Blackhawks await a red hot Predators team, who played to a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night.
The Predators make their second trip of the season to the United Center tonight. Nashville and Chicago have split the first two games in the season series so far. The Predators are 15-22-2 in the Windy City, a difficult place to win for visiting teams.
During their last game, just three days ago, the game was tied after one, before Nashville opened a 4-1 lead in the second on goals from Kevin Klein, Sergei Kostitsyn and Colin Wilson. Chicago’s Marian Hossa cut the Predators lead to 4-2 just 48 seconds into the final frame, but Patric Hornqvist restored Nashville’s three-goal lead just a few minutes later. Goaltender Pekka Rinne turned away 20-of-22 shots to earn his seventh consecutive win.
In their last 13 games, the Predators have posted the leagues best record (11-2-0), while outscoring the opposition 41-23 during that stretch. In those 13 games, Nashville has averaged 3.15 goals per game, while allowing just 1.76 goals per game.
The Predators penalty kill has been perfect in seven straight games and in 13 of the last 15 games, successfully extinguishing 36 of 38 times shorthanded in that span to move from 24th in the NHL prior to the stretch, to 11th. Nashville’s seven straight games without allowing a power-play goal is tied for second in franchise history hit four times; the record is nine straight without allowing a man-advantage goal.
The Predators will close out their seventh set of back-to-back games this season in Chicago, after their win over Columbus last night. The Predators play just 11 sets of back-to-back contests this season, the lowest total in the team’s last four campaigns. Thus far, Nashville has posted a 5-2-0 record on the front end and a 2-4-0 record on the back half in 2011-12. A season ago, Nashville was 9-4-0 on the front end and 6-6-1 on the back end of two-games-in-two-night scenarios.
Nashville will have a break after tonight’s game for the NHL All-Star break, and return to action January 31 on the road against the Minnesota Wild. Predators return home, Saturday February 4 to host the St. Louis Blues.
About Hank Bonecutter
Hank is a forty year broadcast veteran, talk show host, writer, producer, and stand-up comedian. Hank is the President of Bonehead Promotions and Clarksville Sports Network.com, and is a contributing author/journalist for Clarksville Online. Hank is an advertising consultant, and social media adviser/manager for exclusive customers.
Web Site: http://clarksvillesportsnetwork.com/
SectionsNashville Predators, NHL, Sports
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