Chicago v Nashville: Game Preview

 

TCL Blackhawks

CHI v NSH- Game Preview

4/19/13

7:30pm CST

 

The Chicago Blackhawks have clinched the Central Division and the no. 1 playoff spot in the Western Conference; their opponents tonight, the Nashville Predators, are in a very different situation, already eliminated from the postseason for the first time in four years. 

 

Team Stats:

 

Team

P

P%

G/G

GA/A

PP%

PK%

S/G

SA/G

Blackhawks

70

0.833

3.17

1.98

15.4

86.1

31.2

26.0

Predators

38

0.432

2.23

2.66

17.0

76.9

26.0

27.3

 

 

The Blackhawks (33-5-4) will have the opportunity to sweep the Predators (15-21-8) tonight in the United Center, with four wins, including two shutouts, already under their breezers this season. 

 

The two most recent of those victories came with goaltender Ray Emery between the pipes for Chicago.  Emery will not be on the roster for the Hawks tonight due to a back injury.  Corey Crawford will take the start. 

 

Patrick Sharp will also miss his third game in a row for the Blackhawks with an upper body injury.  Sharp returned for only two games after an extended period off the ice for the Hawks prior to this. 

 

The Nashville Predators have dropped their last seven games, two against Chicago, and have already set their sights to next season’s hopes in their younger players.  The Predators, holding fourteenth in the Western Conference were plagued by the unfortunate timing of injuries and a losing streak. 

 

The Blackhawks are on track for 80 points with only six games left of the regular season.  The Hawks will play half of their remaining games at home and half on the road to finish their schedule.  Four of the six teams Chicago will face have already been eliminated from the postseason, including: Nashville, Phoenix, Calgary and Edmonton.  Vancouver and St. Louis are solid in the playoff mix.  

 

The Hawks are also in the race for the President’s Trophy with Eastern Conference leaders the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Should Chicago secure the award for best league record, it would be the first for the franchise in twenty-two years. 

 

Injury Report: CHI- Patrick Sharp (upper body), Ray Emery (back).  NSH- Kevin Klein, Brandon Yip, Mike Fisher, Patric Hornqvist.