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 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