Friday, December 4, 2009

Predators Face Hawks in Chicago

The Nashville Predators (15-10-2) head into Chicago (17-6-3) to face the Blackhawks in a key battle as the Preds are now five points back in second place in the Central Division.

This is the fourth meeting of the year between the two teams with Chicago winning two of three games, 3-1 in Nashville on October 15, and 2-0 in Chicago on October 24. The Preds held the Hawks scoreless on October 29 in a 2-0 Pekka Rinne shutout. The Hawks held the Preds to 13 shots in the first meeting which was at the height of the Predator's early season ineptness.

Dan Ellis (4-4-1, 2.70, .906) will be in net for the Preds and it appears that Christobal Huet (13-5-2, 2.16, .909) will start for the Hawks.

The Preds will try out a new look tonight after Mike Santorelli was sent to Milwaukee and replaced by Cal O'Reilly. John Glennon indicates that the Preds will sport a fourth like of Cal O'Reilly, Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Jones, who was recalled yesterday to replace the injured Dave Scatchard.

Preds Keys To The Game

Don't Look Back...

The Preds need to put the past two losses as well as the two resounding defeats to Chicago in October in the rear view mirror. They need to try to recapture some of what they had during the seven game win streak.

Play a Full 60 Minutes...

The Predators have developed an annoying habit of not playing with full intensity for the entire game. It seems that there has been at least a period in six of the last seven games that has been played with much less enthusiasm. They need to start quickly, forecheck, and try to keep the puck in the Chicago zone as much as possible.

Lines Need to Mesh...

Barry Trotz has indicated that he wants to go back to more of a four line game including a very young fourth line. The first line played well in the game against the Wild and needs to continue to do so tonight. Steve Sullivan needs to remember what he did in his four point night and keep doing it as does Jason Arnott and J. P. Dumont.

Up Next...

The Preds will leave immediately after the game and return to Nashville for a rematch with the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at the Sommet Center.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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