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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 24th (All times eastern)

Nashville Predators (3-5-1) at Chicago Blackhawks (5-3-1), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Blackhawks haven't had much luck so far on their four- game homestand. Possibly playing without their captain won't make things any easier tonight.

Chicago hopes to have Jonathan Toews in the lineup Saturday night in a matchup with the Nashville Predators at the United Center.

Toews notched 34 goals and 35 assists in 82 games last year for a career-high 69 points, but has managed just one goal and four helpers through Chicago's first nine games this year.

However, the 21-year-old might be a spectator for this contest after suffering an upper-body injury in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Vancouver. Toews was caught off guard in the third period of the contest when he was leveled by the Canucks' Willie Mitchell after Mitchell had stepped out of the penalty box.

Toews missed the rest of the game following the hit, which Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said was clean, and is questionable for this game after missing practice on Thursday and Friday.

Brent Seabrook is also questionable due to a head injury suffered versus the Canucks. He missed the last two practices as well.

Troy Brouwer and Duncan Keith had the goals for the Blackhawks, who have lost the first two games of their homestand after winning four games in a row overall. Chicago wraps its residency on Monday versus the Wild.

Antti Niemi stopped 28 shots in defeat.

"I thought we had some of the momentum there and we kind of lost it from taking penalties," said Keith after Chicago blew a pair of one-goal leads.

Keith had a goal in Chicago's 3-1 win over Nashville on October 15, the club's third win in a row over the Predators. The Blackhawks have won four of five and nine of the last 13 meetings in the series, taking two straight and five of six at home in that span.

That loss to the Blackhawks came in the middle of a six-game losing streak that the Predators finally halted on Thursday in Ottawa. It wasn't easy, as Nashville blew a 3-0 lead, went ahead on Ryan Suter's power-play goal with one minute left in the third but allowed Ottawa to tie the game while shorthanded with just 1.6 seconds left in the frame.

However, Shea Weber's second goal of the game lifted Nashville to a 6-5 overtime win. Weber lit the lamp 2:11 into OT and also had an assist.

"Finally, we get a win. Not the way we want to do it, but it is a win. We have to keep moving forward," said Suter, who ended with two goals and an assist as well.

J.P. Dumont registered a goal and four assists and Cody Franson posted his first NHL goal for the Preds, who had scored only 12 goals on the season coming into the contest.

Pekka Rinne stopped 27-of-32 shots to earn his first victory of the season.

Nashville improved to 1-1-1 on a five-game road trip that ends on Wednesday in Minnesota.

10/24 10:53:22 ET


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