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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, January 16th (All times eastern)

Nashville Predators (24-14-6) at Chicago Blackhawks (24-18-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators will aim for a sweep of their home- and-home series with the Blackhawks when they visit Chicago tonight at United Center.

The Predators hosted Chicago on Saturday and Nashville picked up the 3-2 shootout victory at Bridgestone Arena. It was the seventh win in eight games for Nashville, which rebounded from Thursday's regulation loss at Florida.

Nashville enters tonight with 54 points. placing the Predators two points ahead of the Blackhawks in both the Central Division and Western Conference standings. The Preds, who are second in the Central and fifth in the West, are eight points behind Detroit for the division lead.

Marcel Goc supplied the lone goal in the first round of the shootout to lead the Predators to Saturday's win over Chicago.

Goc slipped the puck underneath Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford after Nashville's Pekka Rinne turned away Jonathan Toews to begin the extra segment. Rinne then stopped a Patrick Kane bid before Patrick Sharp, who was denied by Rinne on a breakaway late in overtime, missed the net with his attempt.

Jerred Smithson and Shea Weber scored 2:34 apart in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit for Nashville, which also received 31 saves from Rinne.

"Big win. What a turnaround," Rinne said.

Tomas Kopecky and Viktor Stalberg lit the lamp for the Blackhawks, while Crawford, coming off consecutive shutouts, stopped 24 shots. Chicago was denied in its attempt to match a season-high with a fourth straight win.

Nashville has taken three of four from the Blackhawks this season and has won five of eight overall in the series. The Preds have also dropped two of three and five of their last seven tests in the Windy City.

Predators forward Martin Erat was activated from injured reserve in time to play on Saturday. Erat, who has five goals and 12 assists in 28 games this season, had missed the previous nine games with an upper-body injury.

Chicago is 15-11-0 as the host this season, while the Predators have a 13-10-1 road mark.

01/16 11:09:59 ET


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