Preview #50: Predators play Blackhawks before heading into All-Star Break
Nashville Predators 29-16-4
Chicago Blackhawks 29-14-6
The Nashville Predators boast a 10-2-2 record against Central Division opponents this season heading into Tuesday night’s action. The Predators will try to expand that record to 11-2-2 when they visit the United Center to take on the Chicago Blackhawks before entering the All-Star break.
Only two points separate the clubs, two overtime/shootout losses to be exact. A win for Nashville will put the Predators and Blackhawks tied for 64 points on the season after 50 games.
Tuesday’s game won’t be easy. Chicago is a tough place for away teams to play. The Blackhawks have only lost five games in regulation at the United Center in 28 contests, with a 19-5-4 record at home. Furthermore, the Predators played Monday night beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. So far this season, Nashville has a 5-2-0 record on the front end of back-to-back contests but is only 2-4-0 in the second game.
Chicago and Nashville have split the two games they have played against each other this season. On Saturday night, the Predators beat Chicago by a 5-2 score in front of a sold out crowd at Bridgestone Arena. The last time the Predators played in Chicago they lost 5-4 in overtime on Halloween.
The Predators have a 15-22-2 all-time record in Chicago.
Adam Jahns of the Sun Times reported that Jonathan Toews will not be in the lineup for Chicago on Tuesday night. He left Saturday night’s game in Nashville with what is a suspected left wrist injury. Patrick Sharp is also out of the lineup with a wrist injury.
After the game, the Predators will enter their All-Star break. Nashville doesn’t play again until January 31st when they visit the Minnesota Wild. Three Predators will be taking part in the All-Star weekend. Defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were named to the team as well as Craig Smith, who was named as a part of the rookie contingent invited to the weekend festivities in Ottawa, Ontario.