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!

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 53 10 27 -2 37
S. Weber 53 14 21 -4 35
F. Forsberg 53 15 18 -6 33
M. Ribeiro 53 6 27 3 33
J. Neal 53 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 53 6 16 3 22
R. Ellis 52 6 15 2 21
C. Smith 53 11 6 -1 17
C. Jarnkrok 52 9 7 0 16
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 17 7 .904 2.50
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36