Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: Blackhawks vs. Predators

Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews fights for the puck with Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi. (Andrew A. Nelles/AP)

After a solid season, this could finally be Nashville’s year — so, naturally, they should be paired up with the playoff-savvy Blackhawks. The Predators have managed to advance past the first round just twice in their seven playoff appearances, and after two years of not making it into the post-season, they’re surely hungry.

The Blackhawks experienced an uncharacteristic skid during the post-season push. Still, their playoff record speaks for itself: of their last six playoff appearances, they’ve made it to the conference final four times and won the Cup twice. Can a Kane-less Blackhawks squad power through for their third Stanley Cup in six years?

Nashville has home-ice advantage for this series.

(C2) vs. (C3)
G1 Wed., April 15 Chicago @ Nashville, 8:30 p.m. ET SN 360
G2 Fri., April 17 Chicago @ Nashville, 9:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet
G3 Sun., April 19 Nashville @ Chicago, 3 p.m. ET Sportsnet
G4 Tues., April 21 Nashville @ Chicago, 9:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet
G5* Thurs., April 23 Chicago @ Nashville, TBD TBD
G6* Sat., April 25 Nashville @ Chicago, TBD TBD
G7* Mon., April 27 Chicago @ Nashville, TBD TBD

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: 48-27-6. 4th in Western Conference
NASHVILLE PREDATORS: 47-24-10. 3rd in Western Conference

Chicago: 3-1-0
Nashville: 1-1-2

Last game played head-to-head: On Dec. 29, the Chicago Blackhawks scored in the final two minutes of regulation after rallying from a three-goal deficit earlier in the game. With both teams scoreless in overtime, the Blackhawks completed the come-from-behind win on a shootout goal from captain Jonathan Toews to take home a hard-fought 5-4 win.

Chicago: Jonathan Toews (66 pts), Patrick Kane* (64), Marian Hossa (60).
Nashville: Filip Forsberg (62), Mike Ribeiro (61), Roman Josi (55).
*Kane tallied his 64 points in just 61 games this season.

Chicago: 5on5CF% – 53.6; 5on5Sv% – .936; 5on5Sh% – 7.02; PDO – 100.6
Nashville: 5on5CF% – 52.6; 5on5Sv% – .923; 5on5Sh% – 8.16; PDO – 101.4

Chicago: 5-5-0
Nashville: 4-3-3

LAST TIME THEY MET IN THE PLAYOFFS: In 2010, the Predators and Blackhawks faced off in the first round. Chicago won the series in six games, foiling the Predators’ attempt at getting past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Blackhawks went on to the win the Stanley Cup — their first since 1961.

With an embarrasing loss to the lowly Buffalo Sabres looming, Jonathan Toews scores the game-tying and game-winning goals in just 47 seconds to send the Blackhawks to a win.

Nashville Predators backup Carter Hutton makes a swinging, backhanded paddle save to preserve a lead versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Chicago: Patrick Kane (IR: fractured clavicle), Kimmo Timonen (day-to-day: undisclosed), Brad Richards (day-to-day: upper body), Marcus Kruger (day-to-day: illness).

Nashville: Eric Nystrom (day-to-day: lower body), Mike Fisher (day-to-day: lower body), Calle Jarnkrok (day-to-day: illness), Cody Franson (day-to-day: upper body).

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