Game Day Blog: Conference Quarterfinals Game 4

Thursday, 04.22.2010 / 3:03 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Tom Callahan  - Nashville Predators
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Game Day Blog: Conference Quarterfinals Game 4
Game Preview
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Western Conference Quarterfinal Series, Nashville leads 2-1
Bridgestone Arena, 7:30 pm CST
TV:
Fox Sports Tennessee (HD) Radio: 104.5 The Zone, Predators Radio Network

 Morning Skate Photo Gallery
NHL.com All-Access Pregame Preview
Preds/Hawks Conference Quarterfinals Series Midpoint Recap
Game Day Audio: Coach Trotz
Game Day Audio: Captain Jason Arnott
Game Day Audio: Francis Bouillon
Both teams realize the importance of tonight’s game. Nashville has a chance to really take control of the series, and Chicago wants to seize home ice advantage once again in the series. If the Predators are able to jump ahead two games in the series, it would mean that the team would have three shots at wrapping things up starting Saturday (2 pm CST, NBC) at Chicago and securing the first playoff series win in franchise history.

HOWEVER, let’s not put the cart before the horse. I expect the Blackhawks to come out tonight more fired up than ever. They will bring a lot of anger and a need to atone for the mistakes of Game Three into a hostile environment of towel-waving Preds fans. Trust me when I say that the Blackhawks know they gave a very poor effort and are more than ready to make up for it.

Part of turning it around for Chicago may start with inserting Adam Burish into the lineup tonight. He is definitely raring to go and is as fired up as anyone, which might give the Blackhawks a boost not only on the ice but in the room as well. He wants to win, wants to be a part of it, and is looking to make the most of his chance tonight to get involved in the series. He’s a player to keep an eye on tonight.

The other thing the Hawks need is more production from names like Hossa, Toews, and Sharp. Patrick Kane has chipped in for the most part but otherwise, the Hawks haven’t seen the big names step up and play important roles for this club.

On Nashville’s end, the Predators know they need to play physical hockey and really attack the Hawks once again. It worked like a charm in Game Three as the constant barrage of hits put the brakes on the Blackhawks run-and-gun style. That will have to once again be a solid hallmark of the contest to earn a win.

Notes:
  • Brian Campbell skated today and will take warmups before any decision is made on his status tonight.
  • Patric Hornqvist remains out with an upper body injury. Denis Grebeshkov has been cleared to play but will not dress tonight.
  • Martin Erat’s penalty shot goal in Game Three was the first-ever successful post-season attempt by the Preds. Steve Sullivan had the only other chance in Preds playoff history back on April 7, 2004 and was stopped by Manny Legace.
  • Pekka Rinne’s 1.35 GAA, .953 save % and .970 even-strength save % leads the NHL playoffs this year.
Keys to the Game
  • Bring that physical element right back out on the ice. Get fired up and use the energy to your advantage!
  • Get pucks up on Niemi, just like Erat did. Corners are starting to appear.
  • You the fans! You are key #3 so bring it and be loud tonight!

SCHEDULE
 

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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