NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 17th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (24-7-5) at Nashville Predators (16-14-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After snapping the winning streak of one red-hot team
over the weekend, the Chicago Blackhawks look to deny the Nashville Predators
a season-high fourth straight victory when the two clubs clash in the Music
City on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks have won four of their last five games and halted Los Angeles'
six-game winning streak on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Kings.
Chicago got all three of its goals in the first period and saw rookie
netminder Antti Raanta make 21 saves in a bounce-back effort.
Raanta allowed five goals in just two periods of work the previous night in a
7-3 loss to Toronto, but came 3:54 short of his first career shutout while
improving to 6-1-1 with a 2.41 goals against average in nine games (7 starts).
Marian Hossa scored shorthanded, Kris Versteeg at even strength and Patrick
Sharp on the power play for the Blackhawks, while Jonathan Toews had two
assists and Patrick Kane one.
"We knew what we had to do tonight in order to really get ourselves off on the
right foot," said Versteeg. "The other night we took some penalties right at
the start of the game and got ourselves behind and didn't play with the
assertiveness we needed. Tonight we did that from the first puck battle."
Kane has logged four goals and 13 assists over a nine-game point streak,
though Sunday marked the first time in five games he did not finish with
Chicago could get forward Bryan Bickell back in the lineup tonight after
activating him from injured reserve on Monday. Bickell has been out since
suffering a left leg injury on Nov. 19 and has logged five goals and six
points in 22 games this season.
Nashville comes in aiming to win four in a row for the first time since Jan.
31-Feb. 7 of last season and recorded its second three-game win streak of the
season with Saturday's 3-2 win over San Jose.
Carter Hutton was strong with 36 saves and has been in net for each game of
the Predators' current win streak. He has stopped 97-of-101 shots in that
span, with the rookie getting named the NHL's Third Star for the week on
Eric Nystrom, Roman Josi and Viktor Stalberg scored and had an assist for the
Predators, whose winning streak comes on the heels of five losses in a row.
"We battled hard and were able to keep them away from us. It was a big win for
us. We will enjoy this one tonight and try to move forward," said Stalberg.
The Preds wrap a three-game homestand tonight looking for a second victory in
as many games versus the Blackhawks this season. Nashville had lost six
straight to Chicago before winning the first of five meetings this campaign
7-2 at home on Nov. 16.
That loss snapped Chicago's three-game win streak in Nashville.
12/17 10:47:42 ET
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