• PRINT
  • RSS

Preds/Blackhawks Match-Up To Watch

Monday, 04.6.2009 / 4:52 PM CT / Preview
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
X
Share with your Friends


Preds\/Blackhawks Match-Up To Watch

Special Teams Battle

With both goaltenders playing well – Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin has allowed just two goals in his past three starts and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne ranks third in the league in goals against average, fifth in save percentage, and tied for third in shutouts this season –even strength goals should be tough to come by, which will put more of a premium on special teams play. And special teams – particularly the match-up between Nashville’s power-play and Chicago’s penalty kill – has been a determining factor in four of the five games. Nashville has scored a power-play goal in all three of its wins, while Chicago has held the Preds power-play off the scoreboard in the two Blackhawks wins.

The most recent meeting between the two teams, last Friday in Chicago, was the only match-up this season that did not see one of the two teams score a power-play goal, but it took a key Blackhawks penalty kill midway through the third period to preserve a one-goal advantage and set the stage for a late empty net tally in Chicago’s 3-1 win.

In the earlier season match-ups Nashville has drawn momentum from its power-play including a pair of third period man-advantage goals in the February 24 come-back win with J.P. Dumont scoring the game-tying goal with an early third period power-play marker and Shea Weber getting the insurance goal to seal the 5-3 win on a late game power-play. Weber also netted the game-winning goal in the January 10 meeting on the power-play. And going back to the first match-up between the teams, it was a Weber power-play goal midway through the first period that tied the game 1-1 in Nashville’s eventual 3-2 shootout win.

Nashville’s penalty kill – which ranks third overall in the NHL this season at 83.5% and is even better at home killing off 88.6% of opponent man-advantages – has also been sharp against Chicago, negating 17 of the Hawks 19 power-play opportunities. However, the Hawks made good use of their scores, with a power-play goal to open the scoring in their 3-1 win on January 11.

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61