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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, November 7th (All times eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (5-5-3-0) at Nashville Predators (4-7-1-0), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks target their third straight win tonight when they head to Nashville to face off with the Predators at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

A win tonight would give the Blackhawks their first three-game winning streak since December 17-22 of last season.

Chicago will be playing for the first time since Sunday when Steve Sullivan and Scott Nichol scored goals just 31 seconds apart in the first period of the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Michael Leighton turned aside 29 shots and Kyle Calder also scored for Chicago, which has lost just once over its last eight games (4-1-3), while playing through a plethora of injuries

In addition to playing without Eric Daze and captain Alex Zhamnov, the Blackhawks lost rookie center Tuomo Ruutu in Sunday's contest with a bruised shoulder. He returned for one shift, but then left the game for good. Both he and defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev (bumps and bruises) practiced yesterday and could play tonight.

Chicago will also welcome defenseman Bryan Berard into the lineup tonight for the first time since signing him last week. Berard, who won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1997, played 80 games last season for the Boston Bruins last season and scored 10 goals to go along with 28 assists.

Nashville, meanwhile, has dropped two straight including Wednesday's 4-3 setback to the Vancouver Canucks. Scott Hartnell had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who fell for the sixth time in their last eight outings (1-6-1). Tomas Vokoun made 20 saves in the defeat.

Hartnell is now two points away from 100 for his career, while Vokoun will tie Mike Dunham's franchise record for most goaltender appearances (217) if he plays tonight. With Nashville playing tomorrow night, Chris Mason could make his second start of the year this evening.

The contest was the Predators' sixth straight game against one of last year's playoff participants, as well as the ninth time in 12 contests overall that they've faced a postseason squad.

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who will be playing in his 350th game tonight, is riding a four-match point streak.

Chicago defeated Nashville earlier in the season and is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings. The Blackhawks, though, are winless in their last four trips to the Music City (0-3-1).

11/07 10:34:29 ET


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