TIME: 7 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH | RADIO: WGN 720-AM / TUDN 1200-AM | STREAM: NHL.TV & MyTeamsApp
The Blackhawks and Predators meet for the first time in nearly two months on Saturday night at the United Center, opening up the second back-to-back slate against each other this season.
CHI: 16-13-5, 37 PTS
NSH: 16-17-1, 33 PTS
LAST TIME OUT
Chicago picked up a second straight victory on Thursday night with a 3-0 blanking of the Florida Panthers at the United Center. Patrick Kane, Pius Suter and Brandon Hagel all scored and Kevin Lankinen made 41 stops en route to his second career shutout.
Nashville scored a season-high seven goals in a 7-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. Rocco Grimaldi led the way netting a hat trick in a 2:34 span of the first period before adding a fourth tally in the third period. Juuse Saros made 20 saves on 21 shots in the win as the Predators pushed their winning streak to three games and five of their last six.
This weekend marks the fourth true back-to-back of the season for the Blackhawks. In the opening game, Chicago has posted a 0-2-1 record while going undefeated in the second meeting, 2-0-1.
Both extra-frame losses on either half of the back-to-back came against Nashville in the opening two meetings of the season: 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 26 and 2-1 in a shootout on Jan. 27.
Chicago enters the night with a three-point lead on Columbus and a four-point lead on Nashville for the fourth and final playoff position in the Central Division, with each team seeing 22 tilts left on their schedules.
The Blackhawks and Predators meet Saturday night for the first of six times in the next 14 games over the next 27 days.
LANK THE TANK
Lankinen made 41 saves on Thursday against the Panthers for his second career shutout, becoming the first rookie netminder in franchise history to make 40+ saves in a shutout performance. His performance featured the second most saves in a shutout among NHL goaltenders this season (Anton Khudobin, 43 saves on Feb. 24 at FLA). The last Blackhawk goaltender to notch a 40+ save shutout was Corey Crawford on March 16, 2019 at Montreal when Crawford stopped 48 shots in Chicago's victory.
Among goalies with 20 appearances during the 2020-21 campaign, Lankinen is fifth in the league with a .920 save percentage.
Kane registered a goal and an assist on Thursday, and now has more multi-point games this season (13) than he does single-point games (11). Kane is third in the league with 46 points and is second with 33 helpers during the 2020-21 campaign.
His current 22:01 of average TOI per game is third in the league among forwards and is the second highest total of his career (22:29 during the 2018-19 season).
Pius Suter recorded a marker for the second consecutive game on Thursday. It was the second time this year he has scored in back-to-back contests. He is second in the NHL among rookies with 10 goals this season, trailing only Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov who has 11 markers.
Philipp Kurashev shares sixth among rookie goal scoring leaders during the 2020-21 campaign. Suter is ninth with 15 points and Kurashev shares 13th with 12 points.
Chicago leads the NHL with 25 goals and is second with 52 points from rookies this season.
Alex DeBrincat extended his point streak (1G, 3A) to four games with a helper on Thursday. He also matched a career high with three takeaways against the Panthers on Tuesday night.
Since he returned to the lineup on Feb. 2 after being removed from COVID-19 protocol, DeBrincat is second in the NHL with 14 goals and shares ninth with 27 points. His 16 markers this season share seventh in the league and he shares 14th in the league with 24 takeaways this year.
Would assume Lank tonight SUB Sunday
Another big series make sure they know where #9 is at all times.