The Chicago Blackhawks have never won 12 straight games in their lengthy history, but they could accomplish that feat on Tuesday night when they take on the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Things have been going well for the Blackhawks, to say the least. Their offense has found its footing as players like Andrew Shaw and Artemi Panarin have helped the team to score a slew of goals, and their defense has gotten a big boost from the performance of youngster Erik Gustafsson and the stellar goaltending of Corey Crawford.
Add to that mix the continuing exploits of Patrick Kane, who is making a strong case for the MVP award as he nears a career high in goals and continues to lead the league in that category, and it’s easy to see why the team has vaulted up to the top of the Central Division standings.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Nashville Predators are still having difficulties in putting the puck in the net, and their playoff standing reflects that. They currently are on the outside looking in of the playoff picture, sitting a point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
After a disastrous road trip that saw them lose four consecutive games (including a 3-2 decision to the Blackhawks last week), the Predators are looking to get their footing back on home ice. They made a good start in that direction on Saturday night when they shutout the Minnesota Wild 3-0, with Carter Hutton making 29 saves and their power play unit scoring a goal for the third consecutive game.
Despite those advances, the Predators will still have their hands full with the Blackhawks. With their ability to roll several scoring lines and the recent resurgence of players like Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks are trending in the right direction in numerous areas, and it will take a big effort from Nashville to slow them down.
On the Hawks’ side of things, their main point of focus has to be on Nashville’s power play. Ranked ninth in the NHL, the PRedators have scored a power play goal in their last three games and four of their last five, and it’s been one of the few bright spots for an offense that is still trying to find a consistent footing after adding Ryan Johansen to the mix in a recent trade.
Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet.