By Amanda DiPaolo
Nashville Predators – 24-14-6
Chicago Blackhawks – 24-18-4
Saturday night, the Nashville Predators came back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout in front of a sold out crowd at Bridgestone Arena. Sunday night, the rematch is set to go at the United Center. The Blackhaws will try to avoid going down 4-1 in the season series against Nashville.
Last night’s win marks the seventh time the Predators have won when trailing after the first period. Nashville is 7-7-1 in that category for second best in the League. The Predators are also now 4-10-0 when they trail after two periods of play for third best in the NHL.
When Shea Weber scored his eighth goal of the season in the middle of the final frame to tie the score last night, the captain extended his career-high points streak to eight games. Nashville is 8-0-0 when Weber scores a goal.
Predators starting goaltender, Pekka Rinne continues to make his case for why he should be considered a Vezina trophy candidate. Rinne allowed two goals last night. It was the 13th game in his last 16 starts that the netminder allowed two goals or fewer. He is tied for second in the NHL in both save percentage (.927) and goals-against average (2.13).
Nashville has slight breathing room in the playoff race, but in the tight Western Conference standings winning remains a must. The fifth place Predators have 54 points, whereas the ninth place Los Angeles Kings sit at 49 points.
Marty Erat returned to the lineup last night after missing the last nine games with an upper-body injury. He started the game playing with David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist but later was reunited with Marcel Goc and Sergei Kostitsyn, his linemates before getting injured.
Sunday night’s game will be played without Shane O’Brien in the lineup for Nashville. The defenseman will be serving the second game of his two-game suspension.
Tonight’s game marks the start of a roadtrip that will see the Predators play away from Bridestone Arena until after the All-Star break. Nashville will play games against the red hot Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado and then make a visit to Western Canada.
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