First Vs Worst In The Central Division Collide At The United Center- Nashville Visits Chicago

By Keith Schultz

Apr 7, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Nashville Predators goalie

Pekka Rinne

(35) looks for the puck in front of Chicago Blackhawks center

Jonathan Toews

(19) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Game #43-Nashville Predators (15-22-7) vs Chicago Blackhawks (33-5-4)

Game Time-7:30pm Central

TV– NBCSN, CSN-Chicago

Radio– WGN Radio

Season Series- The Hawks are 4-0 against Nashville this season including two shut outs in Smashville and two wins, including one in a Michal Rozsival shootout victory, at the United Center.

Preview- The Nashville Predators will be home watching the playoffs this season for only the 2nd time in nine seasons.  The loss of Ryan Suter and the inability to put pucks in the net, and a incredible amount of injuries were too much for Coach Barry Trotz defensive system to overcome in the shortened season. The Predators have now lost seven straight with nothing but the finish line in sight for help. The Predators are 5-12-4 away from Nashville which was part of their downfall this season. Pekka Rinne has a .914 Save percentage and a 2.35 Goals Against Average but like a starting pitcher with no offense his record reads 14-16-7.

The Blackhawks have clinched the #1 seed for the Western Conference, and now have 6 games to play out the string without accumulating any injuries and continue to build momentum of playing good hockey on the way to the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Ray Emery and Patrick Sharp are not dressing for tonight’s game while Niklas Hjalmarsson and Michal Rozsival were held out of practice yesterday.  The one thing that Hawks really can work on in this last stretch is the powerplay which hasn’t scored a single goal during the current Hawks 8-0-1 winning stretch.  The powerplay unit has dropped all the way to 25th in the NHL with only a 15.4% success rate, so there is always something to focus on with the #1 seed clinched.

Prediction– The Predators open up their game with nothing to lose which makes the game fun to watch in a 6-3 Hawks win.

What is your prediction for tonight’s game?

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