Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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Preview: Blackhawks at Predators

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[December 17, 2013]  (SportsDirect Inc.)  The Nashville Predators have yielded a total of only four goals in three straight victories but get a major test when the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks visit on Tuesday. The Predators scored a season-high seven goals the last time Chicago came to Nashville on Nov. 16, but the Blackhawks lead the league in scoring and victories. Six Blackhawks have recorded more points than David Legwand, Nashville's leading scorer, and the club has netted 25 goals in its last five contests, four of which were wins.

Chicago's Patrick Kane is two points behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (47) and has registered 17 during a nine-game point streak. The game also features two of the NHL's top defensemen in 2010 Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith of Chicago and two-time runner-up Shea Weber of Nashville. The Predators had lost six straight to the Blackhawks before Craig Smith led the way with three points in last month's 7-2 win.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago) FSN Tennessee (Nashville)

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (24-7-5): Keith has 30 points, tied for the league lead among defensemen through Sunday, and Kane has notched at least one point in 21 of his last 22 contests. Patrick Sharp also has 33 points, captain Jonathan Toews 32 and Marian Hossa 29 for an offense averaging 3.64 goals. Antti Raanta is 4-1-0 since replacing injured starter Corey Crawford in net.


 



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ABOUT THE PREDATORS (16-14-3): Carter Hutton turned aside 97 of the 101 shots he faced over the last three games to improve his save percentage to .913 after the Predators had suffered through a five-game winless streak (0-4-1). Legwand leads the club with 24 points, and no one else has more than 17 as Nashville sits in the bottom-third of the league in scoring (2.33). Weber is tied for the team lead with seven goals while fellow blue-liner Roman Josi has notched five points during a four-game streak.

OVERTIME

  1. Nashville LW Viktor Stalberg, who won the Stanley Cup with Chicago last season, has four points in his last five games and notched a goal against his former team Nov. 16.

  2. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, who has 684 career victories, needs one more to pass Pat Quinn for fourth place on the all-time list.

  3. The Predators (12-0-1) and Blackhawks (13-0-0) are two of six teams that are unbeaten in regulation when leading after the first period.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Predators 3

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