|CHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|NSH||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
BLACKHAWKS (7-3-1) at PREDATORS (4-6-1)
Last 10 - Blackhawks 7-3-0; Predators 3-6-1
Season series - The Central Division rivals are already meeting for the third time. Chicago won the first two, 3-1 at Nashville on Oct. 15 and 2-0 at the United Center nine days later. The teams play their other three games in December and are done for the season on the night after Christmas.
Big story - The Predators have struggled to score against everyone (21 goals in 11 games), but especially so against the Hawks - a team they're meeting for the third time in 15 days. They've managed just one goal in two losses to Chicago, which leads the Central Division.
Blackhawks - Patrick Kane's spectacular goal in Monday's 3-1 home win over Minnesota was the talk of Chicago. With the Hawks leading 2-1 in the third period and pressing the Wild, Kane stole the puck, took it behind Minnesota's net, stepped out to his right, spun and lofted a shot above Niklas Backstrom's blocker for the goal.
"We had the puck in the zone for a while, and I don't know if [Backstrom] was tired from the series, but we kept the pressure up" Kane said. "I wanted to step out behind the net and shoot it high. It's one of those things that you work on, shoot and pray that it goes in. It's nice to see it work finally."
It was the 50th NHL goal of his career.
Kane said he had been working on the move for years in practice and was glad to finally get the chance to use it in a game.
"It's got to be a perfect shot," he said. "It's lucky, too- - kind of shoot and pray it goes in."
Predators - Wednesday's 4-3 win at Minnesota snapped a 1-6-1 drought for the Predators and marked only the second time this season they've scored more than three goals in a game. They also rallied after a stretch early in the second period in which they allowed three goals in a span of 1:47.
"Those are hard lessons sometimes, but those are lessons you take," coach Barry Trotz said. "In Chicago we gave up back-to-back goals and lost 2-0. Today we gave up three. Hopefully we're not giving up four tomorrow. But we've gotta learn from that."
Who's hot - Nashville defenseman Shea Weber had a goal and an assist in the win at Minnesota and is 3-2-5 in his last three games. … After a poor performance in a home loss to Dallas on March 17, Hawks goaltender Cristobal Huet has allowed just one goal in two games, including the shutout victory over the Predators.
Injury report - Chicago has played its last two games without captain Jonathan Toews and top-four defenseman Brent Seabrook, both of whom are listed as having upper-body injuries. Toews won't play; Seabrook skated Wednesday and may be back in the lineup. Marian Hossa, who's still out after shoulder surgery, also skated Wednesday. Nashville is playing without captain Jason Arnott (arm) and forward Jordin Tootoo (lower body), both of whom are on injured reserve.
Stat pack - The Hawks have scored first in nine of their 11 games, going 6-2-1 in those contests. In contrast, the Predators have scored the game's first goal just four times in their 11 games; they're 3-1-0 when they open the scoring and 1-5-1 when they play from behind.
Puck drop - The Hawks have won four in a row against the Predators, outscoring Nashville 12-4 in the process. Don't be surprised if they make it five - Chicago has far more firepower than Nashville, which has 10 goals in two games and 11 in its other nine.
--John Kreiser, NHL.com