Game Day Blog: Conference Quarterfinals Game 3

Tuesday, 04.20.2010 / 5:25 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Tom Callahan  - Nashville Predators
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Game Day Blog: Conference Quarterfinals Game 3
Game Day Preview
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Western Conference Semifinal, Series tied 1-1
Bridgestone Arena, 8 pm CST
TV:
Fox Sports Tennessee (HD)  |  Radio: 104.5 The Zone, Predators Radio Network

It’s bounce-back time for Nashville, just as it was for Antti Niemi and the Hawks in Game Two. Heading back into the safe haven that is Bridgestone Arena, the Predators are looking forward to getting the momentum back on its side tonight.

The biggest question mark is going to be Patric Hornqvist and whether or not he’s able to return to the lineup tonight. After being scratched from Game Two, he is listed as a “game-time decision” by head coach Barry Trotz. Let’s hope that Nashville does indeed get him back into the lineup, as his grit and determination alone are missed! Of course, I could mention his amazing ability to take abuse, get under the opposing goalie’s skin, and tip pucks out of midair, but I think that goes without saying.

For the Blackhawks they need to continue to chip away at the solid netminding of Pekka Rinne. Patrick Kane said today that the Predators play tough defense and they’re not easy to break through on, but the plan is to just keep hammering away, waiting for chances, and burying them when they come. Sounds pretty familiar to Nashville fans, that’s the way the Predators need to execute on offense as well. They simply have to generate more shots and more scoring chances in this game.

Notes:
  • Brian Campbell is not going to play tonight, and saw team doctors on Sunday. Although the Hawks say he is progressing nicely, they still do not list a timetable for his or Kim Johnsson’s (concussion) return.
  • The freshly-cobbled line of Dustin Boyd, Nick Spaling, and Jerred Smithson showed the most offensive jump in Game Two, and was the only unit Barry Trotz said generated second and third chances with any regularity. It is possible the line will stay intact for tonight’s Game Three.
  • Ryan Suter’s four third period shots on goal in Game Two tied a franchise record for a post-season period.
Keys to the Game
  • Vinegar. Sandpaper. Grit. Abrasiveness. Any way you want to phrase it, Nashville needs more of it. They simply didn’t annoy or pester the Hawks to any great detail, whether it be on the forecheck to pressure the team’s D, or be it when set up in the offensive zone in front of Antti Niemi. This has to happen for Nashville to be successful. For a team built on hard work, it has to show.
  • Barry Trotz said back at the beginning of the year “our best players have to be our best players.” That has to kick in tonight against the Blackhawks.
  • Put tape on Patrick Kane’s and Jonathan Toews’ skates.
SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 14 5 8 8 13
R. Josi 14 1 8 -6 9
R. Johansen 14 4 4 0 8
J. Neal 14 4 4 1 8
M. Fisher 14 5 2 -1 7
M. Ekholm 14 3 4 2 7
S. Weber 14 3 4 -7 7
R. Ellis 14 0 6 0 6
F. Forsberg 14 2 2 -11 4
M. Salomaki 14 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 7 7 0 .906 2.63
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .667 3.00